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Air Quality Impacts of Smoke from Hazard Reduction Burns and Domestic Wood Heating in Western Sydney

Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfire, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Office of Environment and Heritage, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(9), 557;
Received: 2 August 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 11 September 2019 / Published: 17 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
Air quality was measured in Auburn, a western suburb of Sydney, Australia, for approximately eighteen months during 2016 and 2017. A long open-path infrared spectrometer sampled path-averaged concentrations of several gaseous species, while other pollutants such as PM 2.5 and PM 10 were sampled by a mobile air quality station. The measurement site was impacted by a number of indoor wood-heating smoke events during cold winter nights as well as some major smoke events from hazard reduction burning in the spring of 2017. In this paper we compare the atmospheric composition during these different smoke pollution events and assess the relative overall impact on air quality from domestic wood-heaters and prescribed forest fires during the campaign. No significant differences in the composition of smoke from these two sources were identified in this study. Despite the hazard reduction burning events causing worse peak pollution levels, we find that the overall exposure to air toxins was greater from domestic wood-heaters due to their higher frequency and total duration. Our results suggest that policy-makers should place a greater focus on reducing wood-smoke pollution in Sydney and on communicating the issue to the public. View Full-Text
Keywords: long open-path FTIR; smoke; air quality long open-path FTIR; smoke; air quality
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Desservettaz, M.; Phillips, F.; Naylor, T.; Price, O.; Samson, S.; Kirkwood, J.; Paton-Walsh, C. Air Quality Impacts of Smoke from Hazard Reduction Burns and Domestic Wood Heating in Western Sydney. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 557.

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