Focus: Sydney

Sydney's asthma witch hunt

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 25 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1390
  1. associate professor of public health and community medicine, Sydney

    Sydney has long suffered a reputation as an otherwise beautiful city blighted by an almost permanent pall of brown haze. With an appalling public transport system servicing a vast city with low housing density, car travel has always been the norm. Civic, commercial, and tourism interests are concerned that the haze should not tarnish the city's reputation when it hosts the Olympic games in 2000. Thus the National Roads and Motorists Association, supported by several major companies and government departments, has embarked on a five year publicity campaign seeking to “clear the air” via strategies such as telecommuting and car pooling.

    Public health groups have been drawn into the debate because health provides an imperative to match the aesthetic objections to smog. There is an indomitable assumption that the haze must …

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