Dr van Steenis Dishes the Dirt on Dust!
As expected, this international Coal Pollution Expert’s visit to Caroona did not disappoint.
Dr van Steenis calmly explained the threat to health caused by small particle dusts generated by coal mining, processing, transport and coal-fired power plants. It’s a real, demonstrable threat to our community’s health backed by an increasing number of peer-reviewed studies and the health statistics coming out of The Hunter.
The danger particles are those smaller than 2.5 microns of which the mining process produces billions. These tiny particles get into the lungs and with repeated exposure lead to chronic lung disease and lung cancer. We now know why chronic lung problems (eg. chronic pulmonary obstructive disease COPD) are endemic in the Hunter Valley. The science shows that babies and children are affected the most and we know that the NSW government has only just started to collect the data on this particle size, preferring in the past, despite the mounting evidence, to concentrate on the less-hazardous 10 micron sizes.
Armed with the facts, the science and the indisputable evidence that coal costs our community, it is clear that health resources can never meet the growing casualties of coal-based pollution, no matter how much money is poured by these polluting businesses into healthcare. Lung problems are just the tip of the dirty coal-health iceberg that Dr van Steenis revealed.
Coal production adds to NSW revenue – but now the spotlight will be focused on how much it COSTS too. Stayed tuned…….