Seed Grants Awarded - 2015

Exposure to PAHs and metals in residential dust and soil resulting from the Hazelwood coalmine fire smoke plume (Fay Johnston, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania)
In response to the Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire in February - March 2014 a study is being undertaken to understand exposures to the smoke emissions. Researchers will collect vacuum dust and soil samples from homes at increasing distances away from the mine. The samples will be analysed for a range of environmental pollutants known to be emitted from coal smoke. The data will inform us about the extent of the smoke plume and exposures across the Latrobe Valley during the fire.

Neighbourhood level air pollution exposure estimation for cohort studies of long term exposure and health in Australia (Geoff Morgan, University Centre for Rural Health – North Coast, University of Sydney)
Studies of air pollution and health are increasingly examining exposure to pollutants at the local level such as the neighbourhood or street level. Long term Government funded air pollution monitoring is generally designed to assess average air pollution exposure over several suburbs or over the entire city. New sources of air pollution data are increasing becoming available such as detailed road network and land use data, local scale dispersion models and satellite derived data. This study will combine such data with state of the art statistical methods to estimate neighbourhood level air pollution, further advancing our understanding of the health effects of air pollution.

Forming an international collaboration to investigate relevance of residential greenness in allergies and lung health (Shyamali Dharmage, University of Melbourne)
We will investigate whether exposure to more greenness in the residential environment reduces the risk of asthma and allergies and improves adult lung health. Greener environments are believed to have lower levels of air pollution and noise and increased diversity of microbes. They are also thought to encourage people to spend more time in outdoor and physical activities.

Does air pollution influence survival of stroke in China: China National Stroke Registry Study (Shanshan Li, University of Queensland)
In China, stroke is a leading cause of death, accounting for almost 20% of all death, with 2 million newly diagnosed patients and 1.4 million recurrences each year. Air pollution in China is also a severe problem. Assessing the impacts of air pollution on stroke survival and recurrence after disease onset is crucial for improving health quality of patients with stroke. This project will be the first study to examine the relationships between ambient PM2.5 and stroke survival and recurrence. The findings will be used by policy makers for public health education and intervention planning.