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Associations between respiratory health outcomes and coal mine fire PM2.5 smoke exposure: a cross- sectional study


Johnson, AL and Gao, CX and Dennekamp, M and Williamson, GJ and Brown, D and Carroll, MTC and Ikin, JF and Del Monaco, A and Abramson, MJ and Guo, Y, Associations between respiratory health outcomes and coal mine fire PM2.5 smoke exposure: a cross- sectional study, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, (21) Article 4262. ISSN 1661-7827 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph16214262


In 2014, wildfires ignited a fire in the Morwell open cut coal mine, Australia, which burned for six weeks. This study examined associations between self-reported respiratory outcomes in adults and mine fire-related PM2.5 smoke exposure. Self-reported data were collected as part of the Hazelwood Health Study Adult Survey. Eligible participants were adult residents of Morwell. Mine fire-related PM2.5 concentrations were provided by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Oceans & Atmosphere Flagship. Personalised mean 24-h and peak 12-h mine fire-related PM2.5 exposures were estimated for each participant. Data were analysed by multivariate logistic regression. There was some evidence of an association between respiratory outcomes and mine fire PM2.5 exposure. Chronic cough was associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.23) per 10 μg/m3 increment in mean PM2.5 and 1.07 (1.02 to 1.12) per 100 μg/m3 increment in peak PM2.5. Current wheeze was associated with peak PM2.5, OR = 1.06 (1.02 to 1.11) and chronic phlegm with mean PM2.5 OR = 1.10 (1.00 to 1.20). Coal mine PM2.5 smoke exposure was associated with increased odds of experiencing cough, phlegm and wheeze. Males, participants 1864 years, and those residing in homes constructed from non-brick/concrete materials or homes with tin/metal roofs had higher estimated ORs. These findings contribute to the formation of public health policy responses.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:smoke, coal mine, fire, respiratory health, fine particulates (PM2.5), surveys, cough, wheeze, sputum
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Atmospheric sciences
Research Field:Atmospheric aerosols
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)
ID Code:135841
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2019-11-18
Last Modified:2022-08-25
Downloads:21 View Download Statistics

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