February 15, 2016

Experts gather to tackle the quality of Australia’s air

Leading Australian experts are coming together to develop plans to tackle the growing issue of Australia’s air quality in Melbourne tomorrow.

Coordinated by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Lung Foundation Australia, the inaugural National Air Quality and Health Meeting will look at topics like air safety, links to respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, and air quality hot spots across the country.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO Heather Allan said the meeting was an important step forward as it brought together leading experts including academics, lawyers, doctors and advocates.

“Learning more about the quality of air and its impact can help us understand the best way to protect the lung health of Australians,” Mrs Allan said.

“Air pollution affects 100 per cent of the population from unborn babies to the very elderly,” she said.

“We’ve seen in places like Europe and Asia how important it is to have clean air for the ongoing health of the population.

“Clean air means air free from particulate matter, pathogens, smoke and dangerous gases[i].

“In the long-term, air pollution can reduce life expectancy, affect lung development, increase lung diseases like asthma and lead to other issues such as heart disease[i].

“Even short-term exposure to air pollution such as from bush fires can increase respiratory symptoms[i].”

Chair of the multidisciplinary Lung Service at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and a Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne, Professor David Ball said although air pollution has been clearly established as a cause of lung cancer, there have been no studies to determine how many of Australia’s 12,000 annual lung cancer deaths can be attributed to this overlooked carcinogen.

Mrs Allan said the meeting was the first step towards developing a coordinated strategy to appeal to public and policy makers and as well as establishing common ground with the view to an advocacy alliance between health experts and scientists.


Media Opportunity:

As part of the meeting, conference organisers in partnership with ClimateWorks Australia and Alphabet Fleet have arranged for interstate delegates to commute from the airport to the venue in electric vehicles, the BMW i3. Electric vehicles, when powered with renewable energy, provide a zero emissions solution for passenger transport – reducing both local air pollutants and carbon emissions. There are a range of electric vehicles available on the market today in Australia. For further information visit http://electricvehiclecouncil.com.au/.There will be an opportunity to interview conference delegates as well as film delegates with BMW i3s electric cars, during the meeting lunch break.

Alphabet Fleet aims to reduce fleet emissions through staff novated lease programs with low emissions vehicle programs or reducing the entire fleet emissions through the financed introduction of lower emissions vehicles (than current selections).

Further information about the meeting and the delgates can be found at http://lungfoundation.com.au/national-air-quality-and-health-meeting/



When: Tuesday 16th February at 1pm

Where: Graduate House, University of Melbourne, 220 Leicester Street, Carlton, Vic 3053


For more information contact:

Damon Cavalchini, Lung Foundation Australia, 0411 609 681 or

Bede Doherty, Alphabet Fleet, 0439 017 923


This meeting is proudly supported by:

air quality