eCite Digital Repository

Fine particulate matter exposure and medication dispensing during and after a coal mine fire: a time series analysis from the Hazelwood Health Study


Johnson, AL and Dipnall, JF and Dennekamp, M and Williamson, GJ and Gao, CX and Carroll, MTC and Dimitriadis, C and Ikin, JF and Johnston, FH and McFarlane, AC and Sim, MR and Stub, DA and Abramson, MJ and Guo, Y, Fine particulate matter exposure and medication dispensing during and after a coal mine fire: a time series analysis from the Hazelwood Health Study, Environmental Pollution, 246 pp. 1027-1035. ISSN 0269-7491 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2018.12.085


Limited research has examined the impacts of coal mine fire smoke on human health. The aim of this study was to assess the association between prolonged smoke PM2.5 exposure from a brown coal mine fire that burned over a seven week period in 2014 and medications dispensed across five localities in South-eastern Victoria, Australia. Spatially resolved PM2.5 concentrations were retrospectively estimated using a dispersion model coupled with a chemical transport model. Data on medications dispensed were collected from the national Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule database for 2013-2016. Poisson distributed lag time series analysis was used to examine associations between daily mine fire-related PM2.5 concentrations and daily counts of medications dispensed for respiratory, cardiovascular or psychiatric conditions. Factors controlled for included: seasonality, long-term trend, day of the week, maximum 2.5 and increased risks of medications dispensed for respiratory, cardiovascular and psychiatric conditions, over a lag range of 3-7 days. A 10 μg/m3 increase in coal mine fire-related PM2.5 was associated with a 25% (95%CI 19-32%) increase in respiratory medications, a 10% (95%CI 7-13%) increase in cardiovascular medications and a 12% (95%CI 8-16%) increase in psychiatric medications dispensed. These findings have the potential to better prepare for and develop more appropriate public health responses in the event of future coal mine fires.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:fine particulate matter (PM2.5), coal mine fire, smoke exposure, medication dispensing, time series, particulates
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Williamson, GJ (Dr Grant Williamson)
UTAS Author:Johnston, FH (Professor Fay Johnston)
ID Code:130593
Year Published:2019 (online first 2018)
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1030259)
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2019-02-05
Last Modified:2022-08-29

Repository Staff Only: item control page