A new research collaboration between the University of Queensland and three leading research institutes in Brazil will seek to deliver groundbreaking new guidelines to assess air and water quality in mining regions.

The collaboration between UQ and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) will take a holistic approach to generate data to provide comprehensive environmental and human health risk assessments in mining areas. 

Project Leader Associate Professor Massimo Gasparon, from UQ’s School of Earth Sciences, said that the project would simultaneously assess water, soil and air quality in areas under investigation.

“In the recent past, environmental investigations in mining areas have focused on water and soil quality, and guidelines for environmental and human health risk assessment have been developed for these areas," said Associate Professor Gasparon. 

“It is becoming increasingly obvious that air quality can also be severely impacted by large-scale mining activities, and there is significant uncertainty over what should be monitored, what guidelines should be applied and how to actually assess exposure.