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Study finds increased hospitalisations in Darling Downs, raising red flag over health impacts of coal seam gas

Hospitalisations for circulatory and respiratory diseases in Darling Downs communities of QLD have skyrocketed since the expansion of coal seam gas mining in the region, a new report finds.

The report, published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies, by Dr Geralyn McCarron, has found that acute hospital admissions for circulatory and respiratory diseases increased by up to 142% between 2007 and 2014.

Over the same period, pollutants reported by the CSG industry which are known to cause cardiopulmonary illnesses rose by an astounding 6000%.

In the report, Dr McCarron, concludes; “The considerable growth in hospitalisations for acute respiratory and circulatory conditions concurrent with the increase in toxic pollutants in the local airspace suggests that controls to limit exposure are ineffectual.”

Vicki Perrin from the Lock the Gate Alliance said:

"The quality of human health in Australia must not be sacrificed by forcing families to live in unconventional gasfields.

"This important research must prompt the QLD Government to undertake 24hr real-time air quality monitoring in and around gasfields. The people living there deserve open and transparent information.

"Gas companies must be required to report, not just to estimate, all their harmful emissions. Independent oversight and resourcing is urgently needed to help protect people's health and prevent further harm.

"The level of Government ineptitude exposed here is staggering. Queensland Environment and Heritage Protection Department ignored Queensland Health recommendations in 2013 that they monitor overall gasfield emissions and the exposure of the community to those emissions.

"The Queensland Government has utterly failed in its duty of care, leaving locals to be guinea pigs in this dangerous gasfield experiment,” said Vicki Perrin.


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