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Major forms of air pollution in South Australia
Air pollution can take many forms and can be produced from a range of sources.
One of the causes of air pollution in Adelaide is motor vehicles which contribute most of the carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and benzene in the atmosphere.
Industry is also a contributor to air pollution. Major industries in particular can have a significant effect on local air pollution, including odorous, visual and health-related pollution.
Another source of air pollution is from domestic wood heaters. When not used correctly, wood heaters emit smoke containing fine particles and can add more particulate matter to our airsheds in winter than cars.
Natural events such as bushfires also contribute significantly to atmospheric pollution throughout the state. Smoke from bushfires contains fine particles and other harmful chemicals. Bushfire smoke can be transported over South Australia from areas as far away as New South Wales and Victoria.
As South Australia is such a dry state, during summer, certain weather conditions can carry surface dust from the northern parts of the state over the southern parts. This dust forms a haze over the affected areas.
Air quality management
Maintaining and improving the quality of air is important, for although the air quality in South Australia is generally good, even current levels of air pollution can have significant health impacts and costs.
The EPA administers a broad approach to air quality management in South Australia, which includes:
- supporting industry in pollution reduction initiatives
- long-term ambient air quality monitoring under the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure
- airshed computer modelling and the development of a motor vehicle emissions inventory for metropolitan Adelaide
- the delivery of school and community education initiatives, including AirWatch and SmokeWatch
- supporting national work being undertaken on air-related issues.
Last modified: 03/04/2012 01:36 pm