Health Hazards in the Environment

Environmental hazards

Environmental hazards include air pollution, chemicals, contaminated sites, noise, radiation, lead, and asbestos. Regulation of these issues is shared between State and local government agencies. Environmental Health Officers can provide advice to agencies and the public regarding health risks. For more information, please see NSW Health Environmental Health Branch.

Health risk assessment

Environmental Health Officers can review and provide comment on Environmental and Health Impact Assessments and Statements, Local Environmental Plans, Development Control Plans and planning guidelines with respect to potential public health risks associated with the proposal.

Arbovirus surveillance and monitoring program

The NSW Health Arbovirus Surveillance and Monitoring Program aims to provide an early warning of the presence of Murray Valley encephalitis virus and Kunjun virus and compiles and analyses mosquito and alphavirus, especially Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus. 

Within South Eastern Sydney Local Health District there have been scattered cases and outbreaks of infection due to the arboviruses Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus. In these cases, it is believed that infection results from the bites of the Saltmarsh Mosquito Aedes vigilax, which in turn have probably been infected by biting infectious native fauna such as wallabies. Reports on arbovirus infections in residents of the Health District are found here.

There are two trapping sites within the Health District along Georges River at Alfords Point and Illawong, and during the mosquito season, generally October to May, Environmental Health Officers from the Public Health Unit set and collect traps each week and deliver any mosquitoes to the Department of Medical Entomology at Westmead Hospital for analysis.  For more information, please see NSW Health Vector Borne Surveillance and The NSW Arbovirus Surveillance & Vector Monitoring Program

Barangaroo: Hickson Road Remediation

Barangaroo is a former industrial site, located on the north-western edge of Sydney’s central business district, which contains contamination from historic activities as a landfill and the old Millers Point Gasworks. Barangaroo Delivery Authority, and its contractor Lendlease, are cleaning up this historical contamination. For more information, please see the fact sheet for Information on remediation works and odours.