Journal article

Impact of smoke from biomass burning on air quality in rural communities in southern Australia

Fabienne Reisen, CP Mick Meyer, Lachie McCaw, Jennifer C Powell, Kevin Tolhurst, Melita D Keywood, John L Gras

Atmospheric Environment | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2011


In rural towns of southern Australia, smoke from biomass burning such as prescribed burning of forests, wildfires and stubble burning is often claimed to be the major source of air pollution. To investigate the validity of this claim, ambient measurements of PM and ozone were made in two rural locations in southern Australia between 2006 and 2008. In order to distinguish PM associated with smoke from other sources of particulate pollution, PM samples were analysed for specific smoke tracers, levoglucosan, non sea-salt potassium (nssK ) and oxalate. Monitoring was also undertaken in four homes to determine the extent to which ambient pollutants from prescribed burning penetrate indoors int..

View full abstract


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge support from the Clean Air Research Program funded by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. The authors also wish to thank John-Louis Costenaro from School of Forest and Ecosystem Science University of Melbourne: Jennifer Hollis, Grant Phelan and Roy Wittkuhn from the Department of Environment and Conservation, Manjimup Research Station: Kathleen Boast, Rob Gillett, James Harnwell, Ian Morrissey, Bernard Petraitis, Paul Selleck and Jason Ward from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research as well as members of the Ovens Valley community who kindly invited us to use their houses for the indoor sampling program.