Take care cleaning up, lots of lumps & bumps at Rocky Hosp
Take care cleaning up, lots of lumps & bumps at Rocky Hosp ©iStockphoto/Steve Shepard

Sick fear it is from CSG exposure

QUEENSLAND Health has confirmed it is working with six patients on the Darling Downs who fear they have become sick after exposure to coal-seam gas.

A spokesman for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the department had been calling GPs in the Darling Downs region following allegations of CSG leaks in Chinchilla and Tara.

From July 4 to July 24, six people reported symptoms to their doctor, concerned it could be the result of CSG exposure.

Since then Queensland Health has set up a dedicated 13Health hotline, and followed up with a total of 32 people who either knew or were related to those six.

Where people had concerns, the department prepared a public health official and epidemiologist - an epidemics expert - to talk with them and their doctors.

It follows allegations made in early July by a pregnant mother in Tara who said she and others were experiencing health issues caused by CSG drilling in the region.

Mr Springborg's spokesman would not rule out the possible danger of gas exposure to residents but said historically there had been issues with drinking water from dams.

"We are not saying there is not an issue, it is our obligation to follow through," he said.

The Australian Medical Association Queensland previously told Channel 7 that it was possible that gas exposure could occur naturally as chemicals rise from the ground.

President Dr Alex Markwell said the group was keeping a close eye on what was happening, but warned that symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and headaches can be caused by many conditions not just from a reaction to chemicals.

"We're having difficulty working out if this was gas exposure or from another illness that has not been diagnosed in these individuals," she said.

"If you are suffering symptoms or are concerned you may have been exposed, you should seek medical treatment."

The AMAQ declined to comment until more is known

The group will now work with Queensland Health to learn more about the claims.