A message from the organiser, Clare Francis:
The effect of air quality on our children is a really important issue, particularly as Australia is one of the few OECD countries that does not have effective legislation in place that protects our health and that of our children.
This was recently demonstrated by the East West Link (with unfiltered stacks) gaining government approval despite the experts clearly stating it would have a significant detrimental impact on the publics health in its current design.
While most countries have taken measures to improve their air quality and have noticed improving health trends over the past 5 years, Australia has had a 69% increase in air pollution related deaths since 2005. To give that figure some context, in 2003, over 3000 Australians died from the effects of air pollution (so at least over 5000 per year dying now).
Diesel is now in the same class as asbestos in terms of causing lung cancer. And what the government hasn’t told us is that the East West Link is intended to carry a substantial amount of freight trucks.
I have noticed with alarm over the past decade of working with cancer patients, the significant increase in lung cancer patients that are young and have never smoked. Lung cancer is the number 1 cause of cancer related deaths in Australia, and until recently I was completely oblivious of the impact of air quality and it’s link to this horrific disease.
Our children are the most susceptible to the effects of air pollution for a variety of reasons.
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