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As the State's Chief Scientist looks at flaws in a recent report on Hunter dust emissions, a local epidemiologist says he hopes a new study will clear the air on the real impacts of coal trains in the region.
Newcastle's Coal Terminal Action Group says it is about time the community had definitive answers.
The finding by Government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation that coal trains do not cause any more dust than regular trains came under scrutiny earlier this month after an independent expert found a "major error" with its data.
CTAG is now about to start its own study, with Newcastle GP and epidemiologist Dr Ben Ewald one of its technical advisers.
He will soon be crunching numbers on which particles will be significant in terms of human health.
"A lot of what's in coal dust is in the PM-10 fraction and that still has health effects," he said.
"I'm helping them with sorting out which particles are going to be important in terms of human health and then I'll give some help with the numerical analysis of the numbers."
Meanwhile the Greens have welcomed the investigation, saying the other report was compromised and that public health must be a priority.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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