Air pollution is linked to health problems like chest pain, coughing, and breathing difficulties. It triggers asthma attacks, and it can lead to irreversible lung damage and exacerbates conditions like bronchitis and emphysema.
The Greens have established a Senate inquiry into the impacts of air quality on health in Australia.
The Inquiry held hearings in Newcastle on 16 April and the Greens are pushing for hearings in other regions affected by air pollution.
Air pollution contributes to respiratory health problems
There is strong evidence that poor air quality contributes to the ill health of many Australians.
Particulates and compounds from sources such as vehicle emissions, smog and coal dust are affecting many communities across the country.
It's important that the government is able to monitor and regulate air pollutants in order to ensure Australians are protected from the health threats of air pollution.
The Greens' inquiry into air pollution's impacts on health
In the Inquiry's first hearing in Newcastle on 16 April 2013, Senator Di Natale, NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Committee Chair Senator Rachel Siewert heard from a wide range of witnesses including doctors, community groups, environment groups and government agencies about the health effects of air pollution.
Via this inquiry, the Senate examined the impacts on health of air quality in Australia, including:
(a) particulate matter, its sources and effects;
(b) those populations most at risk and the causes that put those populations at risk;
(c) the standards, monitoring and regulation of air quality at all levels of government; and
(d) any other related matters.