Air Quality

Find out what affects air quality and how it's monitored in Albury.

Air pollution

The enemy of clean air is particulate matter (or particulate pollution). It’s a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot and smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electronic microscope.

These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can contain hundreds of different chemicals.

‘Inhalable coarse particles’ have diameters larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10 micrometers, and ‘fine particles’ have diameters 2.5 micrometers and smaller. To visualise what 2.5 micrometers is, imagine a single hair from your head. The average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter, making it 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.

Where particulate pollution comes from

There are many sources of particles in the air. They come from natural processes such as wild fires and dust storms as well as from things like truck emissions, industry, solid fuel heaters used in homes, and controlled burns.

As anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies knows, there are seasonal variations. For example, particle emissions from domestic wood heating are predominant in the cooler months, while agricultural and hazard reduction burns contribute heavily to particle emissions in autumn.

Monitoring air quality

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has a monitoring station at Jelbart Park in Lavington that checks the daily concentration of particles in the air.

What we’re doing to improve air quality

We regulate vegetation burning locally through our Controlled Burning Policy and Procedure. This encourages recycling and suitable land disposal instead of burning, especially in urban areas.

What you can do to improve air quality

The most important thing you can do about reducing particulate pollution is to comply with our Controlled Burning Policy and Procedure , minimise smoke from any controlled burning you do, and reduce the amount of smoke from your wood heater.

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