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The Latrobe early life follow-up (ELF) study: the child health and development stream of the Hazelwood health study

During February and March 2014 a coal fire burned in the Hazelwood mine causing a protracted period of smoky conditions in the Latrobe Valley. The aim of the Latrobe ELF Study is to find out whether the smoke from this fire affected the health of babies and children in any way in the years following  the fire. Other parts of the larger Hazelwood Health Study are investigating the health of older children, adults and the elderly.

No studies like this have been done before and it is not known if there will be any longer term health issues identified. We want to find out if the smoke exposure affected things like the birth weight of babies whose mothers were pregnant at the time of the fire, the number of common infections like  colds and sore ears in the first few years of life, or the early development of the lungs and blood vessels.  Finding out about this will help the management of future severe smoke episodes from bushfires or other fires.

Participants are being asked to provide the ECU CEM researchers with small samples of dust from their vacuum cleaner and soil from their yard that will be tested for chemical markers of coal smoke. Participants will be provided with plastic bags, collection spoons and instructions on collecting soil  and dust. These will be posted back to researchers in a provided reply prepaid envelope. This part of the study is optional.

Funding agency

Victorian Department of Health

Seeking students?

Honours. Masters.

Project duration

2015 - 2024


Associate Professor Andrea Hinwood (Previously)
University of Tasmania, Dr Fay Johnston
University of Tasmania, Dr Kazuaki Negishi
University of Tasmania, Professor Alison Venn
University of Tasmania, Dr Graeme Zosky
University of Tasmania and ECU School of Natural  Sciences Senior Research Fellow (Adjunct), Dr Amanda Wheeler
Monash University, Dr Martine Dennekamp
University of Melbourne, Professor Shyamali Dharmage
University of Sydney, Associate Professor Christine Roberts

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