As the impacts of mining on communities continue to be debated, a university in Western Australia is taking steps to find out what they are and how they affect people.
The first concern for the research project, performed by Edith Cowan University is the youngest members of the mining communities and they have begun taking hair and urine samples from children in Port Hedland.
Their results will then be compared to those from children in Perth, and Dr Andrea Hinwood, from Edith Cowan’s school of natural sciences is expecting the study to have a big impact on the mining industry.
“At this stage, we’d want to see what the exposure levels were like, but it mght be that they have to have additional engineering controls to reduce dust coming into the atmosphere,” she told the ABC.
“I think one of the benefits of a study like this is if we did happen to pick up on elevated dust levels, then you actually start dealing with reducing exposure.
Image: The mine dust exposure monitor; the ABC