Monash Uni awarded contract for Hazelwood mine fire long-term health study

Monash University has announced it has been contracted by the Victorian Department of Health to undertake the government’s study into the long-term health effects of the Hazelwood mine fire on Morwell residents.

In a media release on Tuesday, the university stated the study would pay particular attention to susceptible sub-groups, such as pregnant women, infants and children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing lung and heart disease.

“The study will provide information on the potential health effects including respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, cancer, causes of death, child development and psychological outcomes as well as broader community health outcomes. It will also provide evidence on which to base health advice in future events,” lead researcher Professor Michael Abramson, from the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said.

The study will bring together researchers from across Monash and Federation universities, the University of Tasmania, CSIRO and the University of Adelaide.

According to Monash, its local School of Rural Health will play a lead role in the study.

The project will involve the development of an Advisory Committee with representation from local community members as well as close connections with local health professionals to ensure that the study outcomes are communicated locally and taken up into policy and practice and will be funded for an initial 10 years, but is expected to continue for 20 years or more.

Further details to come in Thursday’s Express.