The Hazelwood Health Study has found that people who were exposed to more smoke during the Hazelwood mine fire have had more problems with their breathing. And while good quality diets can offer some protection against breathing problems, many people in Morwell and Sale do not consume enough fruit, vegetables, and wholegrains.
Since the mine fire in 2014, two more threats to respiratory health have emerged. The first is the 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfire season, which was unprecedented in terms of the duration an intensity of fires that burned across Australia, covering much of the country in smoke. The second is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Taken together, these factors may compound one another, creating even more problems for respiratory health than any in isolation.
To better understand these issues and how they interact, starting in August 2022, the Long-Term Respiratory Health Survey will be administered to a group of participants from the Hazelwood Health Study’s Adult Survey. As this is a follow-up survey, only people who did the earlier survey are eligible to participate.
With these data, we hope to understand how respiratory health has changed since the mine fire, whether the Black Summer or COVID-19 has made breathing problems worse, and if good quality diets provide any protection. In addition, we will examine whether smoke from the Hazelwood mine fire increased risk of COVID-19 infection and severity. These are all important questions as climate change and deforestation increase the frequency of wildfires and pandemics.
A link to the information for the survey is available here.
If you have any questions, please contact our Recruitment Coordinator on 1800 985 899