Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
11 April 2006
Research into Australia's most critical air quality issues will receive a $1.4 million boost, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today.
Senator Campbell said 13 research projects – which would investigate air quality issues such as photochemical smog, the health costs of air pollution, and the links with climate change – would be funded through the Australian Government's three-year Sustainable Cities Clean Air Research Programme.
“These projects will look at key air pollutants and where they come from,” he said. “They will also suggest practical ways to reduce their harmful impacts.
“It is vital for us to have high quality research if we are to understand and manage the impacts of air pollution in Australia.
“Although we largely enjoy better air quality than America and Europe, ambient levels of particles and ozone continue to be a concern, particularly in major Australian cities.
“The research projects I am announcing today will help expand our knowledge of major pollutants, such as particles and ground level ozone, and will increase our understanding of the chief sources of air pollution, such as motor vehicles and wood heaters.”
Senator Campbell said projects to be funded would investigate:
- the exposure of the community, including children, to vehicle pollution
- novel methods to determine the health effects of air pollution
- the impacts of climate change on photochemical smog and ground-level ozone and
- air pollutant emissions from individual vehicles and identifying gross polluters.
“Research funded through the Clean Air Research Programme will ensure that Australia remains a world leader in tackling the problems that cause poor air quality,” Senator Campbell said.
For more information go the list of successful projects below or to: http://www.deh.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/carp/index.html
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Ozone and photochemical smog management
- CSIRO Energy Technology (NSW) – examining how emissions of major air pollutants from motor vehicles influence the formation of secondary particles, a component of photochemical smog. The information will inform fuel specifications and improved emissions controls. ($92 000)
- CSIRO Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology (Vic) – looking at the effects of prescribed burning on indoor and outdoor levels of selected air pollutants. Results from this study will be used to assess the community risks air from exposure to pollutants from prescribed burning activities, and ways to mitigate risks through better planning. ($150 000)
- CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Vic) – conducting a modelling exercise to predict how climate change could affect ozone levels in major urban areas. Results will provide insight into management actions that will be needed to meet air quality standards. ($120 000)
- CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Vic) – assessing the contribution of secondary particles to urban particle pollution and inform effective management strategies to minimise particle pollution, which is a major problem in Australia's urban centres. ($75 000)
- CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Vic) – measuring levels of ozone and their precursors in urban centres. Results will be used to develop policies and management actions that will significantly reduce ozone pollution in major cities. ($105 800)
- NIWA Australia (Qld) – studying of emissions from a range of vehicle types. The project will provide information on the emissions characteristics of the vehicle fleet and identify those vehicles that are gross polluters. This will have practical applications related to reducing the number of smoky vehicles on the road. ($125 000)
- Woolcock Institute of Medical Research (NSW) – measuring individual exposure to vehicle pollutants and assess which are the most relevant indicators of vehicle pollution. One of the major outcomes will be to determine children's exposure to vehicle pollution. ($159 900)
- CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Vic) – determining the how woodheaters perform in peoples' homes and the major factors that influence particle emissions. Results will be used to develop realistic woodheater emissions factors that will inform appropriate management actions. ($125 000)
Health costs of air pollution
- Sydney South West Area Health Service (NSW) – attempting to resolve some major issues associated with assessing the health costs of air pollution, an area of considerable debate. Results will be used to develop more robust estimates of the costs and benefits of air quality policies and management actions. ($120 288)
Estimating exposure to air pollution
- CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Vic) – determining how ambient levels of air pollution relate to personal exposure. Results will be used to inform the development of air quality standards, where exposure assessment is currently the weakest link. ($119 400)
- CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (Vic) – examining if atmospheric chemistry plays a major role in community exposure to air pollution. Current air quality standards do not take into account the longevity of air toxics, such as benzene and formaldehyde. Results from this study will be used to inform monitoring programs and management actions for air toxics in urban environments. ($34 000)
- Department of Environment WA: Air Quality Management (WA) – developing a method to elicit community involvement in air quality issues traditionally identified and acted upon by governments, thus giving ownership of the issues to the people that are affected. ($50 000)
- National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Qld) – examining a novel approach to assessing air quality using biomarkers. Health effects of air pollutant mixtures have generally been regarded as too difficult to determine. Outcomes from this project will be used to develop a method for assessing air quality based on the effects of ambient air on micro-organisms. ($119 489)