New Research

“Examining evidence of the health impacts of particulate matter (PM) in outdoor air”

Neil Hime has a background in medical research and has worked in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and San Diego on investigations of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and childhood respiratory diseases. He has recently transitioned to epidemiology and is working at The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research on a consultancy for the NSW Environment Protection Authority and NSW Health examining evidence of the health impacts of particulate matter (PM) in outdoor air. The purpose of this project is to determine whether there is evidence that particular sources and types of PM relevant to NSW are likely to have greater impacts on population health. Sources of outdoor air PM relevant to NSW include coal mining, coal-fired power stations, diesel and other vehicular emissions, bushfires and dust storms. Evidence is being gathered from peer-reviewed literature of Australian and international scientific studies as well as major reports from organisations such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organisation. By thoroughly examining evidence from both epidemiological investigations in populations and laboratory-based studies of the toxicity of various PM this project will inform both future policy surrounding PM pollution in NSW and the studies that are required to address evidence gaps.