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ECU researchers investigating children’s respiratory health in Collie

Friday, 22 July 2011

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Growing up in Singapore, ECU PhD candidate Desmond Menon suffered from asthma as a child. Now, many years later, as an adult living in Perth, this childhood experience has led to investigating the link between particulate matter (PM) and respiratory health in children.

Mr Menon, together with the expert advice from Associate Professor Jacques Oosthuizen, Public Health, School of Exercise and Health Sciences at ECU is researching respiratory health in children and air pollutants, in particular the link between a child’s exposure to respirable PM and its compounds.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognise air pollution, both indoors and outdoors, as a major environmental health problem affecting those in both developed and developing countries.

The study compares children living in Collie, which is in close proximity to industrial sources to a control group in Dalyellup, which is far removed from point sources of air pollution.

Mr Menon has so far received resounding support from these local communities to participate in the study.

The volunteering children are being asked to wear a dust sampler for eight hours on two days in winter and two days in summer to determine the child’s daily exposure to ambient air particulates in these periods.

A urine sample is also being taken. It is hoped that this will help to determine if there is any association between their respiratory health and ambient air particulates.

“It is not known how much respirable particulate matter local children in the south west are exposed to. We also don’t know what particulates are contained within this matter. My research will attempt to answer these questions,” said Mr Menon.

All participation in the study is completely voluntary and parents can withdraw their children at any time.

For further information regarding this study, including the opportunity to participate (if you live in the two designated area) please contact Desmond Menon on 0432 647 488 or d.menon@ecu.edu.au

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