Accurate, Low Cost PM2.5 Measurements Demonstrate the Large Spatial Variation in Wood Smoke Pollution in Regional Australia and Improve Modeling and Estimates of Health Costs
2. Experiments and Data
2.1. Monitoring Equipment
2.1.2. TEOM and Nephelometer
2.1.3. Low-Cost Monitors
2.2. Checking and Calibrating Sensors
3.1. Calibration Equations
3.1.1. TEOM PM2.5 vs. Nephelometer
3.1.2. PA vs. Nephelometer and TEOM
3.1.3. PA vs. DustTrak
3.2. Spatial and Temporal Variation
3.3. Annual PM2.5 Exposure
3.4. Estimating Health Effects
3.4.1. Published Exposure–Response Relationships (ERR)
3.4.2. ERR for Wood Heater and Biomass Smoke
3.4.3. Increased Mortality from Armidale’s Wood Smoke
4.1. Additional Benefits of Low Cost Sensors—Bushfire Alerts, Actions, Exposure Measurements
4.2. DWH Contributions to PM2.5 Exposure and Health Costs
4.3. Policy Implications
Reducing Wood Smoke Pollution Reduces Mortality
Conflicts of Interest
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|Location||Contribution to PM2.5 Pollution and Health Costs|
|Tasmania, Australia||Estimated health costs in Tasmania = A$4232 per wood heater per year ;|
43.4% of days were polluted with DWH smoke (mean PM2.5 = 7.7 µg/m3);
30.6% of days were polluted with landscape fire smoke (mean PM2.5 = 4.2 µg/m3);
26% of days were unpolluted (mean PM2.5 = 1.4 µg/m3) .
|Victoria, Australia||Estimated health costs of DWH pollution in Victoria = A$8 billion over 10 years .|
For the Port Phillip air quality control region (PPAQR), the average wood heater was reported to burn 3.75 tonnes per year. The health cost was estimated at A$180 per kg PM2.5 emissions . This implies that a brand new wood heater satisfying current requirements and real-life emissions of 6.5 g per kg wood burned (the best available estimate ) has estimated annual health costs in the PPAQR of 180 × 3.75 × 6.5 = A$4388.
|New South Wales (NSW), Australia||Estimated cumulative health costs = A$8 billion, more than A$21,000 for every wood heater in NSW .|
|New Zealand||In New Zealand (NZ), DWH accounts for 56% of the estimated health costs of man-made air pollution, equivalent to NZ$4425 (about A$4238) per wood heater per year [15,16].|
|European Union (EU)||Households are said to be the main source of fine particulate matter emissions in the EU because of DWH . In the Île-de-France, Paris, 56% of total PM1 emissions were attributed to DWH in the Airparif inventory. DWH was also identified as and the most important source of volatile organic compounds during the winter season (47%, compared to 22% from traffic) . Although estimated health costs in Europe are lower than Australia and NZ (e.g., in Denmark 7650 kr, approximately A$1700 per wood heater per year ), such costs are still likely to outweigh the benefits. Emissions from wood-heating are increasing , unlike other sources of PM2.5 pollution. From 1998–2018 the UK’s wood-heating PM2.5 emissions increased from 13,215 to 40,676 tonnes, representing 38% of all UK PM2.5 emissions, 3.4 times the 11,983 tonnes of PM2.5 emissions from all UK road transport , even though only 7.5% of the UK population use wood for some of their heating .|
|USA and Canada||Source apportionment studies in several Northwest US locations identified wood smoke as the dominant source of wintertime air pollution. In December–January, PM2.5 averaged 22.4, 20.2, 16.0, 12.8 and 7.1 µg/m3, respectively, in Lakeview, Klamath Falls, Oakridge, Fairbanks and Portland, representing 93%, 86%, 91%, 52% and 58% of all measured PM2.5 . In five western Montana valley communities, wood smoke was identified as the major source (56–77%) of PM2.5 pollution from November–February when PM2.5 averaged 9–13.7 µg/m3 . Wood smoke was also found to contribute 74% of wintertime PM2.5 in Golden, British Columbia .|
|Sydney Greater Metropolitan Region, Australia||The most recent inventory (for 2013) attributes 50.4% of Sydney’s man-made PM2.5 emissions to domestic solid fuel heating . In 2019, DWH was estimated to account for a population-weighted annual exposure (PWAE) of 0.75 µg/m3 (31% of total PWAE to man-made PM2.5) in the New South Wales Greater Metropolitan Region (NSW–GMR) . An earlier estimate in 2017 was that DWH (used as main heating by only 4.4% of Sydney households) accounted for 0.49 µg/m3 PWAE, 1400 years of life lost (100 premature deaths, i.e., 24% of pollution-related deaths in the NSW–GMR), compared to, e.g., 4.1% of PWAE for man-made PM2.5 from petrol vehicle exhausts . Pro-rating the more recent exposure estimate of 0.75 µg/m3  would imply that DWH is responsible for 153 premature deaths in the NSW–GMR or 2148 lost years of life annually.|
|Muswellbrook, (mining town) Hunter Valley, Australia||Muswellbrook is near to open-cut coal mines and power-stations generating enough electricity for 3.25 million homes. Only about 940 households in the urban area use wood-heating, but DWH was considered responsible for 62% of Muswellbrook’s wintertime PM2.5 .|
|Armidale, NSW, Australia||Substantial spatial variation in DWH pollution and estimated health costs of A$4270 per wood heater per year .|
|PA Monitor||Correlation with Neph||Regression Equation to Predict Neph||Dates When Collocated, Day/Month|
|April||May||June||July||Aug||Sept||Oct||Nov||Dec||Smoke 1 |
|2017, Res1_S 2||2.9||33.3||32.8||43.3||30.8||17.9||7.1||4.4||13.8|
|NSWGov (TEOM) 3||5.6||16.5||18.4||21.6||19.6||8.9||3.5||1.4||3.5||7.7||7.9|
|NSWGov (PA) 2||5.0||18.1||17.5||20.8||18.9||7.3||3.4||2.6||2.3||7.4||7.6|
|Overall mean 4||2.2||20.8||20.5||26.3||20.4||9.0||3.5||2.5||2.3||8.4||8.6|
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Robinson, D.L. Accurate, Low Cost PM2.5 Measurements Demonstrate the Large Spatial Variation in Wood Smoke Pollution in Regional Australia and Improve Modeling and Estimates of Health Costs. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 856. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080856
Robinson DL. Accurate, Low Cost PM2.5 Measurements Demonstrate the Large Spatial Variation in Wood Smoke Pollution in Regional Australia and Improve Modeling and Estimates of Health Costs. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(8):856. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080856Chicago/Turabian Style
Robinson, Dorothy L. 2020. "Accurate, Low Cost PM2.5 Measurements Demonstrate the Large Spatial Variation in Wood Smoke Pollution in Regional Australia and Improve Modeling and Estimates of Health Costs" Atmosphere 11, no. 8: 856. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080856