Gasfield families hit by headaches
Reproduced by www.headache.com.au
Article by: Sarah Elks From:The Australian July 12, 201212:00AM
FAMILIES on Queensland's gasfields are suffering from "agonising" headaches, nosebleeds and skin rashes they suspect are linked to the coal-seam gas industry.
State Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has dismissed the complaints as "suggestions and anecdotes", after only two people reported their allegedly CSG-related ailments to medical authorities near Tara, 300km west of Brisbane. The tiny town on the Darling Downs has become a flashpoint in the clash between CSG miners, environmentalists, farmers and residents.
Tara local Dayne Pratzky, who has been outspoken against gas wells being established too close to homes, said he and five of his neighbours had endured severe headaches for a week. "I'm about to crack my third box of Nurofen for the week and I'm going to the doctor in the morning," he said.
Mr Pratzky said he was generally healthy and had not experienced serious illness before the industrial activity began near him.
Miner QGC launched a fresh round of air tests yesterday in response to the residents' complaints and reports that up to 20 families in the area had fallen ill.
"Our offer of independent baseline health surveys has been repeatedly declined by these landholders," a QGC spokesman said. "We are monitoring noise complaints from these landholders in line with their requests and we are again sampling air and have committed to water and soil tests."
Mr Springborg told Macquarie Radio that people should go to their doctors so the government could "get some verification of the symptoms and linkages".
Fred, a Tara father, who did not want his surname published, said his 14-year-old daughter had been suffering intense headaches when she came home from boarding school on weekends. "She gets headaches at night, horrible headaches," he told The Australian. "She's crying, screaming and stamping her feet on the floor."
Fred said he had not taken his daughter to a doctor because the headaches occurred only at night and had passed by the morning, when the doctor would be open.
Tara mother of five Debbi Orr said her family's health was also being badly affected and the situation had deteriorated in recent weeks. "Every second person you speak to says someone is suffering a nosebleed, headache or skin rash," she said. "Whether it's CSG-related or not, we want answers."
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has done gas testing on wells at QGC's Kate gasfield and has found no leaks. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/gasfield-families-hit-by-headaches/story-e6frgczx-1226423860581