New warnings for toxic M5 East Tunnel

Sydney's M5 East Tunnel will have new warning signs and its pollution levels published online.

It follows a 7News exclusive which revealed just how much drivers are breathing in.

In a remarkable concession, the Roads Minister admits the tunnel is 'pretty ordinary' and he has declared war on smoky trucks.

John Gullotta is a General Practitioner based near the M5 and he says the health of his patients who regularly drive through the tunnel has deteriorated.

"Their asthma is getting worse, allergies and sore eyes," Dr John Gullotta.

Air quality expert Professor Lidia Morawska is an advisor to the World Health Organisation and she believes the risks of pollution exposure can be deadly.

"It's been shown that these particles have impact on mortality and cardiovascular disease," Prof Morawska says.

Last night, 7News revealed dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide and particlate matter, or dust, found inside the M5 tunnel.

Health experts like Adam Garnys from Cetec Scientific Sollutions demanded government action.

Garnys says that a child travelling in a car through the M5 would be better off with a driver smoking nicotine than with the windows open.

The New South Wales Roads Minister Duncan Gay was quick to respond.

"This tunnel is pretty ordinary in many respects," Gay concedes.

The Minister promised monthly air test results from inside the tunnel published online similar to the outside air results.

Warning signs will also warn drivers to put their windows up and shut their air conditioning vents, and new cameras inside the tunnel will identify high-polluting trucks.

"With that info we have the option of finding, or warning, or both. It's one thing to fine them, i just don't want them coming back again," the Minister says.

NRMA spokesman Tony Stuart say it's about time.

"We wouldn't expect to be putting down miners into mineshafts without safe, clean air but we expect drivers to do the same? You must be joking," Stuart says.

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