PREMATURE deaths from air pollution in Lake Macquarie are costing up to $205million a year, the city council estimates.
The disclosure comes amid a federal review that aims to improve national standards for air pollutants.
An Environment Department report has estimated annual health costs of air pollution in Australia at $11.1billion to $24.3billion – ‘‘solely as a result of mortality’’.
Lake Macquarie council has prepared a draft submission to the review, which is examining the National Environment Protection Measure for ambient air quality.
In the submission, mayor Jodie Harrison said the equivalent annual costs for air pollution in Lake Macquarie were between $95million and $205million.
The federal report valued a premature death at $6.5million and said the cost of a hospital admission was $5000 for respiratory disease and $9000 for cardiovascular disease.
The report said there had been ‘‘significant advances in the understanding of the health effects of particulate matter’’.
‘‘They include premature mortality and aggravation of cardiovascular and respiratory disease,’’ it said.
‘‘Outdoor air pollution has recently been classified as carcinogenic to humans, with an emphasis on particulate matter in general and specifically in diesel engine exhaust.’’
Cr Harrison said Lake Macquarie had ‘‘a number of significant air pollutant sources’’, including two coal-fired power stations (Eraring and Vales Point) and 11 mining operations for coal and quarries.
The council supports proposed new national standards for particulates, including for molecules with diameters less than 10 micrometres (PM10) and 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5).
National Pollutant Inventory data shows that Eraring Power Station alone emitted 200,000 kilograms of PM2.5 and 400,000 kilograms of PM10 in 2012-13.
Lake Macquarie Greens spokeswoman Phillipa Parsons said there was ‘‘huge potential for renewable power sources to provide baseload power’’.
‘‘There is no future in coal,’’ Ms Parsons said.
The Newcastle Herald reported on Wednesday that former Australians of the Year Tim Flannery and Fiona Stanley would lead a national campaign for increased monitoring of the health effects of emissions from coal-fired power stations and mines.
Lake Macquarie councillors will vote on the submission on Monday.