Page 1

Contents 2

Office Bearers


Introducing the new Deputy Editor - Travis Ancelet


Challenges for 2014


Branch Reports


New Members


Challenges for 2014


Environment and Industry News

President’s Column

Air Quality and Climate Change is the journal of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand Incorporated in NSW, Australia ISSN 1836-5876 Web site: Air Quality and Climate Change is on-line at

Report Review NEPC Annual Report – Air Toxics NEPM

Technical and Scientific Articles All technical and scientific articles are externally peer reviewed.

Panama resumes efforts to cut emissions from deforestation and forest degradation with renewed focus on rights of indigenous communities EAD calls on ready-mix sector to comply with environmental guidelines to avoid permit being revoked Dallas-based companies agree to pay civil penalty to settle clean air act violations stemming from illegal import of vehicles EPA proposes updates to air standards for newly manufactured woodstoves and heaters Minister welcomes sixth national communication on climate change Solution to cloud riddle reveals hotter future New vehicle emissions regulations released Chinese MEP announces new emissions standards for major industries – efforts to implement the ten major measures against air pollution New long-lived greenhouse gas discovered Global warming’s biggest offenders UK parliament urged to recognise health costs of coal Fuel economy of new vehicles sets record high Abrupt climate change still looming Ammonia pollution from farming may exact hefty health costs NSW EPA launches new air emissions web-tool A risk you can fix: protect your family’s health by testing your home for radon gas in 2014 / 21 000 radon-related lung cancer deaths each year MEP releases air quality of key regions and 74 cities in november Focus on environmental protection in Shanghai More emission controls urged Black carbon: better monitoring needed to assess health and climate change impacts Ozone action linked to hiatus Ocean pH in 2100: expert assessment Environment at risk from rapidly rising population NASA searches for climate change clues in the gateway to the stratosphere Less sea ice means more co2 uptake in the arctic – but new research indicates the trend is not clear-cut NT EPA approves new environmental guidelines China focus: fresh air returns after smoking ban Citizens of India demand for livable cities Leading corporations join forces to tackle freight emissions in Asia Bicycle sharing launched in Pasig city

Editor Dr Mark Goldstone Metreo Consulting Tel: 61 (0) 0407 771 881, Fax: 61 8 9463 6249 Email: Editorial Board A/Prof Howard Bridgman, Ms Kirsten Lawrence, A/Prof David Doley, Prof Lidia Morawska, A/Prof Stephen Wilson, Prof Godwin Ayoko, Mr James Forrest, Dr Farah Adeeb, Dr Elizabeth Somervell Prof Peter Nelson, A/Prof Frank Murray, A/Prof Simon Kingham Deputy Editor Dr Travis Anclet Tel: 64 (0) 210202 9721 Email: Administration and Advertising Ms Vicki Callaway, CASANZ Office 70 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda, VIC 3788 Tel: 61(0)3 9723 6588, Fax 61(0)3 8677 1775 Email: Design and Layout Ms Jodie McLean Tel: 61(0)417 380 665 Email: Production Printed and bound in Australia by BPA Print Group Subscriptions Annual subscription rates (inc. postage) for non-members and libraries: Australia $A220.00* NZ & Overseas – surface mail $A200.00 Overseas – air mail $A220.00 plus extra cost Single copies – Australia $A55.00* – NZ & Overseas $A50.00 *Includes 10% GST. Enquiries about subscriptions, payment of invoices, and requests for back numbers should be directed to the CASANZ Office. Publication Dates Quarterly in February, May, August and November. The opinions expressed by authors and contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the view of the Society. All material appearing in Air Quality and Climate Change (or any other Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand Publication) is subject to copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without the written permission of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand and where appropriate, the authors of the material. Deadlines for Copy Closing date for finalised editorial material is first day of the month prior to month of issue. Six weeks may be required for refereeing of Technical and Scientific Articles.

Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014


Contents Technical Articles: CASANZ 2014 Keynotes 11

Xie S. and Davy P. Improving estimates of non-exhaust particulate matter emissions from motor vehicles

Effectively reducing particulate matter (PM) emissions from motor vehicles requires accurate estimates of both exhaust (tailpipe) and non-exhaust (suspended road dust and brake/tyre/body wear) emissions. It is particularly challenging to quantify non-exhaust emissions. Source apportionment studies can be used to provide robust information about motor vehicle source chemical profiles and their contribution to ambient PM concentrations. This paper presents the results of the tracer component method (TCM), which has been used to separate exhaust and non-exhaust emissions from the entire source profile for motor vehicles in Auckland by using chemical markers.


Walls K.L., Benke G.P. and Kingham S.P. Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building energy-efficiency for climate change mitigation

The health risks associated with exposure to radon are variously described across different jurisdictions but the exposure-risk scenario may change as buildings are better sealed to make them more energy efficient as a climate change mitigation strategy. Radon which is ubiquitous in the air and often concentrated inside buildings may become more concentrated with better sealed buildings. Some countries such as the UK and the US currently have radon mitigation design standards and building codes which they use for the design and construction of buildings, whereas some other countries such as Australia and New Zealand presently take little or no cognisance of the potential problem of radon exposure in buildings.


Pitt D. Field odour assessments for estimating odour concentrations

The management of odorous emissions to air from industrial, agricultural and waste management processes is one of the most difficult in the field of air quality. One of the reasons for this is the absence of reliable methods for measuring ambient odour concentrations. This paper provides a description of an approach for estimating ambient odour concentrations based on a form of the VDI3882.1 intensity scale, and some results of from two studies using this approach.


Malenkia S. D. Environmental Effects of Wildfire Emissions Associated with Changing Climates

The annual release of greenhouse gases and toxic compounds contributed to wildfires are estimated in the range of gigatons. Changing climates and global warming impact the release of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at ambient conditions and further influence the growth of vegetation and plants with substantial impact on their emissions in the events of wildfires. Studies of the interactive role of CO2 and temperature on tree responses are becoming increasingly important in relation to carbon balance and planetary emissions.


Future Conferences and Short Courses

Advertisers in this Issue • Airlabs Environmental • AECOM • Ecotech Pty Ltd • EML Air Pty Ltd • Kenelec Scientific Pty Ltd • Lear Siegler Australasia Pty Ltd • Stephenson Environmental Management Australia • The Odour Unit • Oil Free Air Company • Thomson Environmental Systems Pty Ltd

Conditions of acceptance of material for publication All contributions to this journal, including advertisements, are accepted for publication only on the basis that contributors and advertisers indemnify the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand, its servants and agents, against all liability whatsoever arising from those contributions and advertisements, and warrant that the material supplied by them complies with all legal requirements.


Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014

President Associate Professor Howard Bridgman School of Environmental and Life Sciences University of Newcastle, NSW 2308 Tel: 61(0)2 4921 5093, Fax: 61(0)2 4921 5877 Email: Deputy President Dr Mark Hibberd CSIRO Division of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences PVB 1, Mordialloc, Victoria 3195 Tel: 61(0)3 9239 4545 Email: Immediate Past President Mr Gavin Fisher Program Leader (Air Quality & Noise) Monitoring and Essessment EPA Macleod MACLEOD, Vic. Australia Tel: 64 21 364 964, Fax: 64 9 368 1408 Secretary Ms Janet Petersen Team Leader Air Quality Policy Auckland Council, Level 3, 1 The Strand, Takapuna, Auckland Tel: 61(0)3 8458 2312 Email: Treasurer Mr Robert Kennedy IBM Building, Level 3, 1060 Hay Street West Perth, WA, 6005 Mobile: 61 0438 336 913 Email: Executive Director Vacant SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS (SIGs): Greenhouse Chair: Mr Chaim Kolominskas Pacific Environment Limited South Brisbane, QLD Tel: 61(0)7 3004 6400 Email: Indoor Air Chair: Joseph Scholz QED Environmental Services PO Box 163 Leederville WA 6903 Tel: 61(0)8 9201 0998 Email: Modelling Chair: Mr Robin Ormerod PAEHolmes South Brisbane, QLD Tel: 61(0)7 3004 6400 Email: Odour Chair: Ms Tracy Freeman Beca Infrastructure Ltd PO Box 7079, St Kilda Road, VIC 8004 Tel: 61 (0)3 9272 1452 Email: Risk Assessment Chair: Dr Francesca Kelly Environmedical Aeraqua PO Box 28424 Remuera Auckland 1541 Tel: 64 9 920 9779 Email: Measurement Chair: Mr Jozua Taljaard Golder Associates Pty Ltd Botanicca Corporate Park, Richmond, VIC 3121 Tel: 61(0)3 8862 3500 Email: Transport Chair: Dr Robin Smit Leading Scientist Inventory and Air Assessment DSITIA-Science Delivery QLD GPO Box 5078, Brisbane 4001 Tel: 61(0)7 3170 5473 Email:

Introducing the New Deputy Editor - Travis Ancelet

Travis Ancelet

I am originally from Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada, a small municipality located at the edge of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. After high school, I moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to complete a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan. This was followed by a move to the University of Toronto, where I completed a MSc in inorganic chemistry in 2009. Upon completion of my MSc, I moved to New Zealand, without too much thought as to what I would do when I got here. Luckily I was able to secure an excellent PhD position with GNS Science. My research, supervised by Perry Davy at GNS Science and

David Weatherburn at Victoria University of Wellington, focused on understanding how particulate matter sources and their contributions varied on hourly time-scales. I was fortunate throughout my PhD studies to travel around New Zealand to collect samples. To be honest, much of the time it didn’t even feel like work! Upon completion of my PhD in 2012, I was able to secure a position as a scientist with GNS Science. I have now been with GNS Science for more than a year and feel extremely lucky to have found such a great position so quickly after the completion of my PhD. My work continues to focus on

understanding the sources of particulate matter in urban areas, but has also expanded to new areas, including the sources contributing to sediment build-up in rivers and estuaries, and identifying the chemical state of heavy metals in the atmosphere. I am very excited about the opportunity to contribute to Air Quality and Climate Change, and CASANZ in general, in the role of Deputy Editor. I am sure the position will present its own unique set of challenges, but I am very much looking forward to working through them.

PUBLIC STATEMENT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL PLAN FOR CLEAN AIR. A REMINDER In 2012 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) issued a statement that they would develop a National Plan for Clean Air. As we start 2014 we are reminded that COAG made the commitment that this plan would be in place by the end of the this year. The following excerpts from the original public notice. In 2011 COAG identified air quality as a priority issue of national significance and agreed that the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water would develop a National Plan for Clean Air to improve air quality, and community health and well being, to be delivered to COAG by the end of 2014. The National Plan for Clean Air represents a strategic approach to air quality management, and will: • bring together Commonwealth, State and Territory action into a national plan to reduce the risk of health impacts of air pollution; • integrate air quality standard setting with actions to reduce pollution and exposure to pollution; • modernise standards and respond to the latest science by introducing an exposure reduction framework for pollutants which have no safe threshold; • prioritise measures that achieve a net benefit to the community; and • respond to emerging trends by working with sectors where emissions are growing. What the plan will deliver By the end of 2014, a National Plan for Clean Air which includes the following will be completed for COAG endorsement: • new air quality standards and an exposure reduction framework • proposals for laws, regulations, incentives, guidance, partnerships or other actions for • implementing emission and exposure reduction actions; • improved monitoring and reporting; and • an agreed jurisdiction action list for ongoing implementation; • all supported by integrated economic analysis. In the interim a series of studies and public consultations have taken place, which included; • A review of the Ambient Air Quality NEPM • A study of Non-road Spark Ignition Engines and Equipment • A review into Reducing emissions from Wood Heaters. Key documents used to inform the National Plan include; • Consultation Regulation Impact Statement for reducing emissions from woodheaters - April 2013 • Consultation Summary - Reducing Emissions from Non-Road Spark Ignition Engines and Equipment Regulation - October 2012 • Australian Child Health and Air Pollution Study (ACHAPS) - Final Report - September 2012 More information can be found at:


Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014

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president’s column

Challenges for 2014 Howard Bridgman

I hope all members had a wonderful Christmas, a fun New Year, and an enjoyable Australia Day. My introduction to 2014 was a bit strange. For the past 10 years, I have spent time in January organising material for the February issue of Air Quality and Climate Change. Now that I am no longer editor, I almost feel like I have been on an extended vacation. Activities associated with CASANZ have been very quiet, although based on the emails from last week, the Society has begun working on some of the challenges for 2014. The first of these is training activities, and especially revision and update of some of the courses. We have asked for tenders to update and consolidate Introduction to Air Quality (IAQ), which can be run either over one day or two days. Currently the course has different versions and this can cause confusion, both for the presenters and the attendees. The Odour Control course also needs updating. There is a link to a section of the Measurement Manual, so updating both seems to be an important step. Since both the Odour Control and IAQ courses are scheduled to be run in April, serious action to complete the updates over a relatively short time frame is needed. Toward the end of last year, there was a discussion about creating an aerosol (or particle matter) SIG. Given the number of CASANZ members interested in aerosol and particles, a SIG seems appropriate. Further investigation will occur over the next few months. The Executive has been approached again through the STA (Science and Technology Association) to participate in Science meets Parliament in Canberra. CASANZ has never been represented at this event. Yet a lot of our air pollution activities are relevant on a Federal level, as well as at State and Local levels. Approaches to members to attend and participate as representatives of CASANZ have not been successful in the past. If anyone is interested, please contact the Executive through our Administrative Officer, Vicki Callaway ( Throughout much of 2013, in some parts of Australia and New Zealand, CASANZ Branches and members were involved in community interactions associated with air quality. Using our knowledge and expertise to communicate correct information, and to assist to minimise or resolve air quality problems is an important role for CASANZ.


The key here is good, understandable, communication that allows understanding by concerned people. Presentations by CASANZ members in meetings, seminars, and public forums ideally should be simple and effective. But this can be a big challenge. Based on my experience in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, presenting the realities of an air pollution problem to members of opposing sides who are hostile to each other, and who tend to have fixed viewpoints, is not easy. Public interpretations of information can be “muddy� and in some cases, information can be used in a way that is misleading or incorrect. I will use the example of particle matter (PM) problems in the Hunter to illustrate these points. The situation is complicated by a range of interpretations about the role of PM in human health, and the role of economics in the debate, especially related to jobs. Given the public meetings, seminars and workshops presented in the Hunter in 2013, I think most people and organisations that are directly involved in the PM argument have a reasonably good idea of the importance of particle sizes to human health. PM10 and PM2.5 have been defined enough times, and certainly given the ease of, and information available on, the internet, there is a large range of results from overseas studies that define the roles of these particle size ranges. These results are being used by members of the public and by residents groups as an argument against mine expansion; increasing rail transport of coal to the Port of Newcastle; and increasing port ship-loading facilities for coal. However, how well the results of these overseas studies relate to the realities of PM emissions and human health in the Hunter, is an open question. Many of the overseas studies use much larger populations over multi-year time frames, to gain results showing statistical significance. These studies have occurred in very different environments. These results are interpreted by the Hunter public as directly relevant to their personal health. I am very uneasy about this kind of direct application of overseas results to a local situation. The Hunter needs its own PM and health study, to provide directly applicable results. The economic arguments come from the mining companies and the NSW Minerals Council. Conveniently ignoring the question of human health, the approach is retention of jobs; flow-on of income to local

Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014

communities; and the importance of mining to the Australian economy. There have been a series of ads in newspapers claiming that local jobs will be lost with resultant flow-on economic decreases, if, for example, mine extensions are not approved, or new mines are not supported. These arguments are dubious, and do not tell the whole story. The economic situation for mining, and thus jobs, is basically controlled by the overseas market, and not local decision-making. Witness the current loss of jobs from the mining industry which have nothing to do with dust and the environment. The Minerals Council publicised survey results from Muswellbrook residents, claiming that the results showed mining was supported by the vast majority. Given that the only questions on the survey were about jobs, and there were no questions at all about PM or environmental problems, the results were biased and not surprising. The residents groups countered with their own survey of inner Newcastle residents (Cooks Hill) with results showing 60% were against mining. So what is the point? This kind of approach inflames the tensions between the sides, and does not lead to any resolution. Where could CASANZ and its members fit into all of this? First there needs to be more honesty associated with complete arguments, in terms of both the health situation and the economic situation. CASANZ can certainly contribute to the former, at least. Second, the meaning of health alerts related to exceeding PM10 standards, now issued regularly as needed by the NSW EPA, needs to be clarified. Given the publicity over the past several months, my impression is that the public blames PM emissions from the mines and the coal chain for all the alerts. A recent CSIRO study (focussed on PM2.5) in the Upper Hunter demonstrated that other sources, such as residential wood burning in winter, can be much more important. There is little doubt that PM arguments related to mining and coal chain activities in the Hunter will continue through 2014. In this example, as well as others, CASANZ can communicate the realities, and at least try to overcome uniformed, incomplete or misleading rhetoric.

Branch Reports

Branch Reports NZ Branch Report

NSW/ACT Branch Report

The New Zealand Branch held a very successful seminar day in Wellington on the 27th November in Wellington. There was a great turnout and some fantastic presentations. As always it was great to catch up with everyone and a good reminder to put more of these type of activities onto the NZ branch CASANZ calendar. The AGM was also held following the seminar series. Some key points from this were the membership for NZ, which is relatively high at around 115. As always, if you know of someone that may benefit from the networking, journals and connections that CASANZ brings, membership details are on the website or they can contact one of the NZ branch committee for more details. Looking forward to 2014, we are planning on running a one day introduction to air quality course and will look at further seminars and workshops.

With the holidays and 2013 now seeming like a distant memory, the NSW/ ACT CASANZ branch are reflecting on a successful year past and wishes all its members a Happy New Year. 2013 was closed out with the AGM held at the CSIRO Energy Technology facility in North Ryde on 28 November 2013. The AGM included reports given by the Branch President, Treasurer, Training Representative, 2013 Conference Co-Chairs as well as the Society President. It was noted that training courses in 2013 were limited due to the time taken to organise the Conference, which was deemed successful in terms of the program and general feedback of the event. The financial statement from the Conference has not yet been released. The AGM was preceded by a technical presentation entitled Environmental Chamber Applications to Emission Science Research given by Dr Dennys Angove of CSIRO. Anne Tibbet of CSIRO was also awarded the Clean Air Achievement Award for her many years in the air quality field. The CALPUFF introductory and advanced training courses were held on 18-21 November 2013. The courses were deemed successful with 17 attendees to the introductory course and 25 at the advanced. Courses and events to be planned for 2014 include an AEMROD beginners and advanced course, Air Pollution Control Workshop, the launch of the EPA’s emissions tool as well as ideas for public outreach events, which will include helping the wider community to better understand and interpret scientific air quality reports.

Wishing you all the best for 2014. Emily Wilton NZ Branch President

WA Branch Report The WA committees hopes that everyone had a relaxing festive season, without too much over indulgence, and are ready to start a new year! The WA committee had a meeting in late December where our main focus was on potential society activities for 2014. One of the main topics of interest was to increase the exposure of CASANZ through community presentations of air quality issues. The general focus would be to present an issue, potential health implications and solutions. We are progressing with various topics so stay tuned! We are also planning on holding technical events throughout the year, split between lunchtime and evening presentations. So if you have a topic that interests you, or if you know someone who is doing some exciting research that should be presented to a wider audience, then please contact the committee. Another topic that was high on the list was social events and we’ll try to combine some of these with the evening technical presentations. Further news is that James Forrest has graciously agreed to take over the role of Training and Activities Coordinator for WA – so if you have any training requirements, or would like to see a course being offered, then please contact James through CASANZ.

Francine Manansala NSW/ACT Committee member/Secretary

QLD Branch Report Queensland Government Reforms and Model Air Conditions

The Queensland government has undertaken various environmental reforms in recent years. These reforms aim to streamline the environmental assessment process by developing a licensing model that is proportionate to the risk of the activity whilst providing flexible operational approvals for industry. Ultimately, the reforms hope to simplify the complex environmental regulation system, which can cause inefficiencies and increased costs to government, as well as industry and the consumer. The Department of

Jon Harper Western Australia Branch President.


Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014

Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) acknowledges in its regulatory strategy that the responsibility for ensuring that an activity does not cause harm to the environment sits with industry, not the department. EHP allows Environmentally Relevant Activities (ERA) that have been identified as lower risk the opportunity to be assessed by eligibility criteria and standard conditions. It is noted that while large-scale industry and mining are still governed by a similar prereform environmental assessment process, EHP has developed model conditions for mining projects (EM944). These model conditions are used by the department as a basis for the ultimate approval package and relate to air quality references suitable to Australian Standards for monitoring. Currently the model conditions only recognise low and high volume sampling methods to determine compliance with air quality criteria. The conditions are silent on other real-time methods such as beta attenuation and tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM). The department has acknowledged that the model conditions are a living document and subject to periodic revision. Matthew Goodfellow Queensland Branch President

Vic/Tas Branch Report This year the Victoria/Tasmania branch committee is working hard to bring you a range of interesting events and functions to provide training, networking and learning opportunities. If you would like to contribute event ideas, please contact me, or attend a branch committee meeting – guests welcome! The first event for 2014 is a Stack Emission Testing Industry Engagement Session run by EPA Victoria, with an invitation extended to CASANZ members. Thank you to EPA for making this event available to the Society. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Melbourne 2015 conference continues to plan and prepare the next CASANZ conference. The committee has identified a working theme: “New Frontiers: Air Quality” and is excited about the prospect of exploring new technology, new science and innovation in our industry. The conference venue and dates will be selected in the coming months. Jacinda Shen Victoria/Tasmania Branch President

New Members

NEW MEMBERS FOR JULY TO DECEMBER, 2013 The following are new members who have recently joined the Society. We hope that their membership is both rewarding to themselves and their organisations and that they become personally involved in the activities of their respective Branches. INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS Name



Dr Michael Borgas



Dr Michael Burchill

Katestone Environmental


Mr Ryan Castel


Miss Michelle Clifton

Vipac Engineers & Scientists


Mr Ian Coulson

Phoenix Instrumentation Pty Ltd


Dr Kathryn Emmerson


Dr Chris D Y Guo

Envirolab Services Pty Ltd


Ms Michelle Hall

Sinclair Knight Merz

Dr Graham Johnson

Queensland University of Technology


Mr Matthew Noonan



Mr Nicholas Peters


Mrs Lisa Smith

Katestone Environmental


Mr Anthony Stuart

Golder Associates



Company GHD

Member Representatives


Mr Craig McVie, Mr Michael Asimakis, Mr Barry Cook, Mr David Featherston, Mr Mike Power





Mr Michael Assal


Ms Elise-Andree Guerette


Ms Farhana Haque


Mr Ruhi Humphries


Mr Jeremy Silver


Miss Sarunya Sujaritpong

Denmark ACT

Organisation Membership is open to any company, government department or organisation that is closely associated with the Objects of the Society. An Organisation Member may: 1. Nominate up to two representative members, who will each have all membership rights. 2. Nominate up to two additional people to receive copies of the “Air Quality and Climate Change” journal. 3. Seek the member rate for CASANZ conferences, seminars, courses, etc. for up to any two people from the organisation. 4. Be listed in the “Air Quality and Climate Change” journal as an Organisation Member.

Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014


Report Review NEPC Annual Report – Air Toxics NEPM

Report Review NEPC Annual Report – Air Toxics NEPM The National Environmental Protection Council (NEPC) published it’s annual report for 20122013 in January 2014. The report can be found at NEPC is an important part of the clean air industry, promulgating air quality standards; the National Environmental Protection Measures (NEPMs) and receiving annual reports from each States or Territory as to how compliant monitoring has proceeded and what the results of the monitoring show. A key aim of this process is to ensure that results reported under the NEPMs are consistent in terms of the sites selected and the methods used. Perhaps the intention of this was to establish some kind of inter-comparison of air quality between different state and territories, however this has proved difficult to achieve. The NEPM of interest in this review is the Air Toxics NEPM, formally known as the National Environmental Protection (Air Toxics) Measure and the Air Quality NEPM. Within the Annual Report, each state or territory is required to report on the implementation of the NEPM and any significant issues. They are also to make an assessment of the NEPM effectiveness. New South Wales indicated that they have already achieved the NEPM goal to estimate human exposure to five NEPM air toxics (benzene, benzo[a]pyrene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylenes) in previous years and therefore they repeat this outcome. Two sites (Turella and Rozelle) have been sampled between October 2008 and October 2009 and the results indicate that air toxics were below the monitoring investigation levels (MILs). Turella is a suburban site, but located no more than 2 kilometers from Sydney’s main airport and Rozelle is a central urban location. Victoria indicated that it measured four air toxics (benzene, toluene, xylenes and formaldehyde) at Tullamarine and three air toxics (benzene, toluene and xylene at Dandenong South). None of these measurements revealed concentrations above the MILs. Tullamarine is located close to Melbourne’s main airport, but this location is of a suburban/rural location whilst Dandenong South is a suburban location with some industry. No central urban location was selected by Victoria and the results of modelling indicated that monitoring for Benzo[a]pyrene was unlikely to yield results above the MIL. However, an assessment of air toxics by emission inventory estimated that the highest benzo[a]pyrene could be 66% of the MIL. The emission inventory also found another location where toluene could be 66% of the MIL. These locations will be considered for future monitoring. Queensland has completed their desktop review of air toxics, but has only commenced their monitoring program. Woolongaba, a


roadside central urban site is being assessed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) including benzo[a]pyrene. Monitoring of other air toxics in accordance with the Air Toxics NEPM is scheduled to start in 2013-2014. This will occur at Wynnum, a coastal suburb located near to petrochemical industries. Queensland also uses differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) for assessment of some air toxics (benzene, toluene, xylenes and formaldehyde) at Springwood and central Gladstone. DOAS is not a method recognised under the NEPM protocol. Western Australia refers to a number of studies that have been undertaken as part of the Perth Air Quality management plan. These studies were focussed on differing outcomes and include a transport corridor study, an assessment of an industrial area, an assessment of small to medium enterprises and an assessment of urban and suburban sites. Methods used included; NEPM compliant methods and non-compliant methods. Western Australia is currently employing a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) in urban areas adjacent to the Kwinana Industrial area. FTIR is not a method recognised under the NEPM protocol. South Australia reports that it has not engaged in any specific monitoring for air toxics during the reporting period. There is no indication of previous monitoring. South Australia notes that other jurisdictions results indicate that air toxics in Australia are well below MILs. Tasmania reports that it undertook extensive preliminary screening of air toxics in the state between 2008 and 2011, but no further studies were undertaken in 2012-2013. Much of the previous sampling was undertaken using passive samplers. Nevertheless active sampling of PAHs at two sites was reported in 2011 and active sampling of benzene, toluene xylenes and formaldehyde was completed in 2011. The Australia Capital Territory indicated that it has previously undertaken a desktop analysis that indicated that air toxics are not an issue for the Territory airshed. The Northern Territory undertook a desktop study in 2005 to identify Stage 1 and Stage 2 sites. No Stage 2 sites were found and longterm monitoring has not been implemented. Nevertheless, a 9 month program of monitoring for benzene toluene and xylenes was completed in February 2006. Levels were well below the MIL. Comments The Air Toxics NEPM indicates that it’s goal is “to improve the information base regarding ambient air toxics with the Australian environment in order to facilitate the development of standards.”

Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014

Over the years since it was promulgated in 2004 there has been a considerable increase in the understanding of air toxics in Australia. Perhaps the most important finding is that in every case there is no indication that the MILs have been approached. However, the use of the term “monitoring investigation level” has the potential to be misunderstood or perhaps even misused. The monitoring investigation levels used in Table 2 of the NEPM are consistent with air quality standards promulgated in other countries and the NEPM itself states that the purpose of establishing the MIL was that if any of the states or territories found concentrations above the MILs they should investigate the cause. At least three of the air toxics included in the NEPM are known to be carcinogenic and WHO indicates that they consider there to be continuing risks to populations even when they are exposed to concentrations below those similar to the MILs. Therefore it may be considered, inappropriate for States and Territories to decide not to assess these substances simply because they can’t find concentrations that approach the MIL. The desired environmental outcomes of the NEPM are described as;

1. Providing for the generation of comparable, reliable information on the levels of toxic air pollutants at sites where significant elevated concentration of one or more of these air toxics are likely to occur (Stage 1 sites) and where the potential for significant population exposure to air toxics exists (Stage 2 sites). 2. Establishing a consistent approach to the identification of such sites for use by jurisdictions. 3. Establishing a consistent frame of reference (‘monitoring investigation levels’-MILs) for use by jurisdictions in assessing the likely significance of levels of air toxics measured at Stage 2 sites. 4. Adopting a nationally consistent approach to monitoring air toxics at a range of locations (eg: near major industrial sites, major roads, areas affected by wood smoke). Even a cursory review of the submissions indicates that it is would be difficult to support a view that the data collected is comparable between jurisdictions and that the locations selected for monitoring are nationally consistent. This is not intended as a criticism, but simply an acknowledgement that the States and Territories have addressed priorities that are deemed important within their own jurisdictional contexts. However, it is clear that the selection of monitoring sites has not been nationally consistent and that a range of monitoring methods have been used, which may or may not produce comparable results.

Strapline Environment and industry news section

Environment and Industry News

PANAMA RESUMES EFFORTS TO CUT EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION WITH RENEWED FOCUS ON RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES Efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from deforestation and forest degradation will resume in Panama early next year, following agreement between the government and indigenous peoples to strengthen the role of indigenous communities in managing forest resources, in the context of the UN-REDD Joint National programme. The programme was suspended in March 2013, following complaints by the National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples in Panama (COONAPIP) that it did not show sufficient consideration to the rights of indigenous communities. Consultations among the government of Panama’s National Environment Authority (ANAM), COONAPIP technical advisors and the UN resulted in a revised results framework for the UN-REDD programme

in Panama, which was endorsed by the General Assembly of COONAPIP at the end of November 2013. The UN-REDD Joint National Programme in Panama was extended to June 2015 at the Eleventh Meeting of the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board, which took place in Geneva, from 9−10 December. “We feel satisfied that the process followed with ANAM will help us to correct issues, and COONAPIP is going to engage again in the Programme,” said Candido Mezua, President of COONAPIP. “It is time to trust again,” he added. Mezua further emphasized that REDD+ had to be conducted with full respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, asking for the support of UN agencies to ensure that rights such as free, prior and informed consent are respected, and appropriate grievance mechanisms are made available for indigenous peoples. He further underscored the complexities of REDD+ and offered COONAPIP’s contribution to national REDD+ efforts. “This process has taught us something: we better understand

the perspectives of indigenous peoples,” stated Gerardo Gonzalez, Director of Basins at ANAM. “Their participation is now guaranteed and we know they are main protectors of the forest.” The UN-REDD Programme Policy Board - comprised of representatives of partner countries, indigenous peoples, civil society, donor countries and UN agencies - commended the efforts by stakeholders in Panama to resolve the issue and emphasized the value and importance of strong stakeholder engagement processes in all UN-REDD countries. SOURCE: UNEP, 13 December 2013

EAD CALLS ON READY-MIX SECTOR TO COMPLY WITH ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDELINES TO AVOID PERMIT BEING REVOKED Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has begun an intensified series of inspections of the Ready-Mix sector as part of the ‘Eltezam’


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Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014


Strapline Environment and industry news section campaign it launched in November 2013. With the one-month grace period having come to an end, EAD’s inspectors have set out to ensure that the sector is complying with environmental permit conditions, and to ensure that the amount of Particulate Matter (PM) released into the atmosphere from facilities is limited. PM is one of the primary by-products of cement mixing. The inspections, which commenced in December, aimed to cover a total of 160 Ready-Mix facilities across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western region. The first week alone saw EAD inspect over 30 facilities in the Mussafah Industrial Area. The preliminary round of inspections saw the EAD inspectors record 987 violations under the following categories: Material Transfer, Storage and Handling, Solid Waste and Wastewater Management, Noise Pollution and Recordkeeping and Training. EAD inspectors went on follow-up rounds to work hand-inhand with facilities to correct their violations. The follow-up rounds resulted in an 80% improvement in compliance, with no licenses being revoked. EAD’s permitting and compliance procedures are designed to ensure that impacts of this sector on both the Emirate’s environment as well as public health are minimised. With the monitoring and management of air quality being one of its top priorities, EAD introduced the ‘Eltezam’ campaign to reach out to the Ready-Mix sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to highlight the importance of limiting the amount of PM released into the atmosphere from their facilities. Eng. Faisal Al Hammadi, Director of Permitting, Compliance and Enforcement, Environmental Quality Sector at EAD said: “The results of the first round of inspections indicate a very interesting trend: the willingness of the facilities to comply with the environmental permit conditions is correlated with their level of awareness. With our dual approach in combining awareness with enforcement, we are seeing a tangible improvement in compliance.” He stated that if facilities fail to conform to their permit conditions, it reserves the right to take enforcement measures. These range from filing a law suit against a facility to revoking an environmental permit, which will warrant an immediate stop of the facility’s operations. Eng. Al Hammadi added: “We are optimistic about the outcomes of this campaign so far. We will continue to intensify our efforts over the next two months to work collaboratively with all facilities on their compliance, so that we can achieve the Eltezam campaign’s goal of achieving a tangible reduction of PM release into the atmosphere.” The agency aims to target the fiberglass, chemical storage and blending, as well as metals industrial sectors in the near future. SOURCE: EAD, 18 December 2013



VIOLATIONS STEMMING FROM ILLEGAL IMPORT OF VEHICLES A Dallas-based group of companies and their owner must either stop importing vehicles or follow a comprehensive compliance plan to settle Clean Air Act (CAA) violations stemming from the alleged illegal import of over 24,167 highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles into the United States without proper documentation, announced the Department of Justice and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The four parties are also required to pay a $120,000 civil penalty. “Vehicles are one of the largest sources of pollution that significantly affect public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for USEPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Holding importers accountable for meeting US emissions standards is critical to protecting the air we breathe, and to protecting companies that play by the rules.” “Importers of foreign made vehicles and engines must comply with the same Clean Air Act requirements that apply to those selling domestic products,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We will continue to vigorously enforce the law to ensure that imported vehicles and engines comply with US laws so that American consumers get environmentally sound products and violators do not gain an unfair economic advantage.” Savoia, BMX Imports, BMX Trading, and their owner, Terry Zimmer, allegedly imported the vehicles from several foreign manufacturers into the United States through the Port of Long Beach, Calif. The vehicles were then sold through the Internet and from a retail location in Dallas, Texas. This settlement requires that the companies either certify that they are no longer engaging in CAA-regulated activities or follow a comprehensive plan over the next five years that would include regular vehicle inspections, emissions testing, and other measures to ensure compliance at various stages of purchasing, importing, and selling vehicles. In addition, the companies are required to export or destroy 115 of their current vehicles that have catalytic converters or carburetors that do not adhere to the certificate of conformity that they submitted to the USEPA. The purpose of the certificate of conformity, required by the CAA, is to demonstrate that vehicles or engines meet applicable federal emission standards. The USEPA discovered the alleged violations through inspections at Long Beach and other U.S. ports of entry, and through information provided by the company. The USEPA’s investigation showed that approximately 11,000 of the imported vehicles were not covered by a USEPA certificate of conformity, which means that the USEPA is unable to confirm that the emissions from these vehicles meet

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federal standards. Other violations included approximately 23,000 vehicles sold without the required emissions warranty, and approximately 500 vehicles that did not have proper emission control labels. The CAA requires that all vehicles have certification, warranty, and labeling prior to being imported or sold in the United States to demonstrate that they meet federal emission standards. Engines operating without proper emissions controls can emit excess carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides which can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and contribute to the formation of ground level ozone or smog. SOURCE: USEPA, 6 January 2014

EPA PROPOSES UPDATES TO AIR STANDARDS FOR NEWLY MANUFACTURED WOODSTOVES AND HEATERS The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is proposing standards for the amount of air pollution that can be emitted by new woodstoves and heaters, beginning in 2015. The agency’s proposal would make the next generation of stoves and heaters an estimated 80 percent cleaner than those manufactured today, leading to important air quality and public health improvements in communities across the country. The proposal would affect a variety of wood heaters manufactured beginning in 2015 and will not affect heaters and stoves already in use in homes or currently for sale today. The agency’s proposal covers several types of new wood-fired heaters, including: woodstoves, fireplace inserts, indoor and outdoor wood boilers (also called hydronic heaters), forced air furnaces and masonry heaters. Many residential wood heaters already meet the first set of proposed standards, which would be phased in over five years to allow manufacturers time to adapt emission control technologies to their particular model lines. The USEPA’s proposal does not cover fireplaces, fire pits, pizza ovens, barbecues and chimineas. When these standards are fully implemented, EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to comply with these standards, the American public will see between $118 and $267 in health benefits. Consumers will also see a monetary benefit from efficiency improvements in the new woodstoves, which use less wood to heat homes. The total health and economic benefits of the proposed standards are estimated to be at $1.8 to $2.4 billion annually. Smoke from residential wood heaters, which are used around the clock in some communities, can increase toxic air pollution, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and soot, also known as particle pollution, to levels that pose serious health concerns. Particle pollution is linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks. In some areas, residential wood

Strapline Environment and industry news section smoke makes up a significant portion of fine particle air pollution. The USEPA’s proposal would work in concert with state and local programs to improve air quality in these communities. SOURCE: USEPA, 3 January 2014

MINISTER WELCOMES SIXTH NATIONAL COMMUNICATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE New Zealand’s Minister for Climate Change Issues, Tim Groser, has welcomed the publishing of New Zealand’s Sixth National Communication on Climate Change and the associated First Biennial Report. “The Sixth National Communication is a snapshot of our progress towards meeting our commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change,” Mr Groser said. “Much of the information is already publicly available but the communication brings it together in a single document, describing the source of our emissions, where they might come from in the future, and the broad range of measures we have underway to take responsibility for our emissions.” “It shows we are doing our share as part of the global effort on climate change and that we have a broad range of measures to reduce emissions across our economy. Agriculture has shown significant reductions in emissions intensity and the Government has a strong and on-going commitment to

exploring innovative and technical solutions to reduce emissions further.” He added, “we are also investing in international programmes to support global emission reductions, mitigation and resilience, and playing a leadership role globally where we can make a significant contribution. This includes leading the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and investing $80 million in renewable energy and climate adaptation to help our neighbours in the Pacific.” The communication was produced by the Ministry for the Environment. National communications are required under Article 4.1 and 12 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Annex 1 Parties, such as New Zealand, produce a national communication every 4−5 years. New Zealand’s last communication was produced in 2009. The Biennial Report is a new requirement under the UNFCCC. It includes additional information on New Zealand’s new unconditional emissions reduction target to 2020, including any accounting assumptions that are relevant to the attainment of that target, and more information on financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries. The national communication will be subject to an “in-depth” review by an international team of experts, coordinated by UNFCCC secretariat. This is expected to take place in 2014. SOURCE: NZ Beehive, 13 December 2013

SOLUTION TO CLOUD RIDDLE REVEALS HOTTER FUTURE Global average temperatures will rise at least 4 °C by 2100 and potentially more than 8 °C by 2200 if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced, according to new research published in Nature that shows our climate is more sensitive to carbon dioxide than most previous estimates. The research could solve one of the great unknowns of climate sensitivity, the role of cloud formation and whether this will have a positive or negative effect on global warming. “Our research has shown climate models indicating a low temperature response to a doubling of carbon dioxide from preindustrial times are not reproducing the correct processes that lead to cloud formation,” said lead author from UNSW’s Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Professor Steven Sherwood. “When the processes are correct in the climate models the level of climate sensitivity is far higher. Previously, estimates of the sensitivity of global temperature to a doubling of carbon dioxide ranged from 1.5°C to 5°C. This new research takes away the lower end of climate sensitivity estimates, meaning that global average temperatures will increase by 3°C to 5°C with a doubling of carbon dioxide.” The key to this narrower, but much higher, estimate can be found in the observations around the role of water vapour in cloud formation. Observations show when

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Strapline Environment and industry news section water vapour is taken up by the atmosphere through evaporation, the updraughts often rise up to 15 km to form heavy rains, but can also rise just a few km before returning to the surface without forming such rains. In addition, where updraughts rise this smaller distance, they reduce total cloud cover because they pull more vapour away from the higher cloud forming regions than when only the deep ones are present. Climate models that show a low global temperature response to carbon dioxide do not include enough of this lower-level process. They instead simulate nearly all updraughts rising to 15 km. These deeper updraughts alone do not have the same effect, resulting in increased reflection of sunlight and reduced sensitivity of the global climate to atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, real world observations show this behaviour is wrong. When the processes are correct in the climate model, this produces cycles that take water vapour to a wider range of heights in the atmosphere, causing fewer clouds to form in a warmer climate. This increases the amount of sunlight and heat entering the atmosphere and increases the sensitivity of our climate to carbon dioxide or any other perturbation. When water vapour processes are correctly represented, the sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of carbon dioxide which will occur in the next 50 years – means we can expect a temperature increase of at least 3 °C and more likely 4 °C by 2100. “Climate sceptics like to criticise climate models for getting things wrong, and we are the first to admit they are not perfect, but what we are finding is that the mistakes are being made by those models which predict less warming, not those that predict more,” said Professor Sherwood. “Rises in global average temperatures of this magnitude will have profound impacts on the world and the economies of many countries if we don’t urgently start to curb our emissions.”

covered by Australian Design Rules and the Heavy Vehicle National Law respectively. EPA Victoria CEO John Merritt said the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for new vehicles have been instrumental in reducing emissions and noise from motor vehicles. “However, once vehicles are on the road (in-service) they can exceed these limits, beyond normal deterioration, due to vehicle age, lack of maintenance, tampering, vehicle use, and the use of some aftermarket equipment – making the implementation of these regulations critical,” Mr Merritt said. “Current regulations have reduced emissions from petrol vapour by around 18 percent while at the same time petrol sales have increased by 25 per cent.” “It is estimated the new regulations will save approximately $249.3 million over ten years compared to other options assessed as partof the regulation review and will not restrict competition amongst business. This is consistent with the Government’s desire to see the implementation of well designed regulations that provide certainty and reduce the regulatory red tape for business and build trust within the community.” Changes to the regulations include: · Inclusion of hydrocarbon standards in addition to carbon monoxide for non-diesel passenger vehicles – which together have significant environmental emissions impacts; · Alignment with national Australian Vehicle Standards – where every car after 2006 will now be subject to a custom noise level dependent on vehicle model; · Setting of vapour pressure limits (no change for existing limits) for ethanol blended petrol during summer when vapour is more easily dispersed; and · Annual (compared to the current monthly) vapour pressure reporting – removing administrative burden from business.

SOURCE: UNSW, 1 January 2014


NEW VEHICLE EMISSIONS REGULATIONS RELEASED New regulations designed to reduce air emissions, noise from motor vehicles and petrol vapours have been released. The review of the 2003 Environment Protection (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations, set to expire at the end of January 2014, was undertaken by EPA Victoria and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. The new regulations aim to minimise the impact of motor vehicle use and the release of petrol vapours on the environment through the adoption of national vehicle and noise emissions standards; and the setting of summer petrol vapour pressure limits, which control emissions from petrol across the supply chain. The proposed regulations do not cover new or heavy vehicles, as these are


SOURCE: VIC EPA, 11 December 2013

According to the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), in order to implement the State Council Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution, and push forward industrial transformations and upgrades by formulating and amending major industrial emission standards, MEP, together with AQSIQ, announced three emission standards of air pollutants, including: an emission standard for air pollutants from the cement industry (GB 4915-2013), a standard for pollution control on co-processing of solid wastes in cement kilns (GB 30485-2013) and its supplementary standard environmental protection technical specifications for

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co-processing of solid wastes in cement kilns (HJ 662-2013), as well as the amendment list of six emission standards for the nonferrous metal industry including emission standards of pollutants for the lead and zinc industries (GB25466-2010); the amendments set special emission limits to air pollutants. According to the MEP, China is a major cement producer and consumer, with cement output reaching 2.21 billion tonnes in 2012, which accounted for 56% of the world’s cement output. However, the cement industry brought about severe environmental pollution while fueling the rapid development of national economy. Statistics show the cement industry contributed to up to 15−20% of PM emission, 3−4% of SO2 emissions and 8−10% of NOx emission throughout the country. It is a major target industry subject to pollution control. In the meantime, international and domestic experience indicated co-processing hazardous wastes, domestic garbage, and contaminated soils in cement kilns is one of the main approaches to effectively disposing of solid wastes. However, the co-processing could generate toxic pollutants such as heavy metals and dioxins, in addition to conventional pollutants, so pertinent pollution control standards need to be put in place, in order to set management standards and control the risks. The original version of emission standards of air pollutants for the cement industry was announced 1985, and the first and second amendments followed in 1996 and 2004, respectively. The new version is the third amendment. Compared to the current version, the new version extended the scope of application, from cement raw materials mining, cement production and cement product production, to bulk cement terminals. The new version adjusted the emission limits for air pollutants and set special emission limits in key regions. The new standards specify tougher requirements for emission of PM and NOx. Considering the technological progress in dust removal and de-NOx, the new standards set tougher PM emission limits of 30 mg m-3 (for thermal equipment such as cement kilns) and 20 mg/m3 (for ventilation equipment such as cement grinding mill), in comparison to 50 mg m-3 and 30 mg m-3. The NOx emission limit is set at 400 mg m-3 in comparison to the current limit of 800 mg m-3, in order to urge the cement producers to combine the process control (e.g., low NOx burner, graded combustion in decomposing furnace, fuel replacement) with end-ofpipe control (SNCR is the currently available mature technology) of NOx emissions. The new standards also specify new control indicators NH3 and Hg, setting tougher requirements for control of odor and heavy metal pollution. Considering the progress in upgrading denitration and dust removal facilities in established enterprises, and in light of the national policy of adjusting

Strapline Environment and industry news section overcapacity and strengthening air pollution control, new enterprises shall apply the new standards as of March 1, 2014, while established enterprises shall stick with the former standards until July 1, 2015. The co-processing of solid wastes in cement kilns shall apply the standard for pollution control on co-processing of solid wastes in cement kilns (GB 30485-2013), in addition to the emission standard of air pollutants for cement industry (GB 49152013), according to the MEP. In the principle of whole-process pollution control, GB 30485-2013 sets corresponding control requirements for each of the pollution links in the co-processing, which include control of the waste varieties allowed for co-processing, control of batch feeding of toxic elements to the wastes, selection of feeding points, and control of flue gas pollutants. To enable the standards to be more feasible, MEP formulated the supplementary standard environmental protection technical specification for co-processing of solid wastes in cement kiln (HJ 662-2013), which specifies the environmental technical specifications for co-processing of solid wastes in cement kilns. It is estimated that, after enforcing the new standards, PM emissions from the cement industry will be cut by around 770,000 t (30.8−38.5%) from the baseline of 2 million t to 2.5 million t; NOx emissions will be cut by about 980,000 t (44.5−51.6%) from the baseline of 1.9 million t to 2.2 million tonnes, which makes the annual emissions of NOx from this industry less than 1 million tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes,

effectively controlling the pollution load of HCl, HF, heavy metals, and dioxins, and will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Following the emission standards for thermal power industries and the iron and steel industries, the new emission standards of air pollutants for cement industry also specify special emission limits for air pollutants, so do the amendment list of the six emission standards for non-ferrous metal industry, added the MEP. New enterprises based in 47 prefectural cities or above in 19 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government, which belong to the “three regions and ten city clusters” (Beijing-TianjinHebei region, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, city clusters in central Liaoning Province, Shandong Peninsula, Wuhan and surrounding areas, Changsha-ZhuzhouXiangtan, Chengdu-Chongqing, Western Shore of Taiwan Straits, central and northern Shanxi Province, Guanzhong of Shaanxi Province, and Lanzhou-Baiyin), shall apply the special emission limits for air pollutants as of the effective date of the new standards; while local provincial people’s government may extend the scope and set tougher requirements for enforcing the special emission limits, and step up the prevention and control of air pollution in key regions, according to the No.14 Announcement of MEP in 2013. MEP also announced the emission standard of pollutants for the battery industry (GB 30484-2013) and discharge standard of water pollutants for leather and

fur making industries (GB 30486-2013), apart from the aforementioned standards. The two new standards will help substantially control heavy metal pollutants. China is the world’s largest battery producer and exporter. Among others, more than 60% of Zn-MnO2 batteries, over 65% of rechargeable batteries, and more than 90% of solar cells made by China are supplied to overseas markets. The battery industry is a major consumer and discharger of heavy metals. Heavy metal pollution incidents frequently reported of late were mainly caused by battery producers (not least lead-acid batteries). The battery industry follows the general discharge standards formulated in 1996, which set a low bar for industry access and are no longer adequate. Therefore, MEP developed emission standard of pollutants for battery industry (GB 30484-2013), which sets tougher emission standards for lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, manganese, and argentum pollutants discharged by established and new battery producers, as well as the unorganized emission limits of those pollutants at the plant boundary, identifies the indicators for control of specific pollutants of different battery producers, and set special emission limits. The new standards requested local regions to adopt measures including developing and enforcing local standards, raising the bar for environmental impact assessments, strengthening the environmental quality monitoring in sensitive regions, and stipulated that battery producers shall step up the voluntary monitoring and environmental information sharing, in order to substantially improve

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Strapline Environment and industry news section the environmental risk control in the battery industry. China’s leather making industry tops the world in production scale, but there are prominent problems, for example, large pollution loads, mixed contents in wastewater, different pollution management levels, and little effort in promoting cleaner production, said the MEP. The leather making industry generate 160 million tonnes of wastewater every year, which contains about 404,000 tonnes of COD, 16,000 tonnes of ammonia, and 1,280 tonnes of total chromium. The ongoing general emission standards set a low emission limit, and a low bar for industry access, and are not pertinent. Discharge standard of water pollutants for leather and fur making industry (GB 30486-2013) specifies total nitrogen and chlorine ion and other specific pollutants, which are the primary targets for control of industrial wastewater from leather and fur making industry, and based on the technological progress in treatment of water pollutants of this industry, set tougher emission limits and referential discharge indicators. It is estimated that after the new standards are enforced in full swing, the discharge of COD and ammonia may be cut by 11,800 tonnes (57.2%) and 2,380 tonnes (67.4%), respectively. In the meantime, the industrial structure will be optimized, and a batch of small-sized, noncompetitive companies which own outdated production facilities, low-level processes and technologies, and poor environmental pollution treatment facilities will be eliminated. Also, according to the MEP, the amendments to emission standards of air pollutants for coal-burning, oil burning, gas fired boiler (GB 13271-2001) as a supplementary standard for the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution, and standard for pollution control on the municipal solid waste incineration (GB 18485-2001) as a public concern, are in high gear. The draft amendments set lower emission limits for air pollutants and stricter requirements for monitoring. The two amendments have passed technical review and been submitted to MEP for administrative review. In light of the extensive impact of the two standards on local regions, all industries, and the public, MEP decided to solicit public comments on their second draft amendments. SOURCE: Xinhua, 15 January 2014

NEW LONG-LIVED GREENHOUSE GAS DISCOVERED Scientists from University of Toronto’s Department of Chemistry have discovered a novel chemical lurking in the atmosphere that appears to be a long-lived greenhouse gas (LLGHG). The chemical – perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) – is the


most radiatively efficient chemical found to date, breaking all other chemical records for its potential to impact climate. Radiative efficiency describes how effectively a molecule can affect climate. This value is then multiplied by its atmospheric concentration to determine the total climate impact. PFTBA has been in use since the mid-20th century for various applications in electrical equipment and is currently used in thermally and chemically stable liquids marketed for use in electronic testing and as heat transfer agents. It does not occur naturally, that is, it is produced by humans. There are no known processes that would destroy or remove PFTBA in the lower atmosphere so it has a very long lifetime, possibly hundreds of years, and is destroyed in the upper atmosphere. “Global warming potential is a metric used to compare the cumulative effects of different greenhouse gases on climate over a specified time period,” said Cora Young who was part of the U of T team, along with Angela Hong and their supervisor, Scott Mabury. Time is incorporated in the global warming potential metric as different compounds stay in the atmosphere for different lengths of time, which determines how long-lasting the climate impacts are. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used as the baseline for comparison since it is the most important greenhouse gas responsible for humaninduced climate change. “PFTBA is extremely long-lived in the atmosphere and it has a very high radiative efficiency; the result of this is a very high global warming potential. If we release the same mass of PFTBA as CO2, PFTBA is 7100 times as impactful as CO2 over 100 years,” said Hong. SOURCE: University of Toronto, 9 December 2013

GLOBAL WARMING’S BIGGEST OFFENDERS When it comes to global warming, there are seven big contributors: the United States, China, Russia, Brazil, India, Germany and the United Kingdom. A new study published in Environmental Research Letters reveals that these countries were collectively responsible for more than 60% of pre-2005 global warming. Uniquely, it also assigns a temperature-change value to each country that reflects its contribution to observed global warming. The study was conducted at Concordia University under the leadership of Damon Matthews, an associate professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. In a straight ranking, the US is an unambiguous leader, responsible for a global temperature increase of 0.15 °C. That’s close to 20% of the observed warming. China and Russia account for around 8% each; Brazil and India 7%; and Germany and the U.K. around 5% each. Canada comes in tenth place, right after France and Indonesia. Although it may seem

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surprising that less industrialized countries, including Brazil and Indonesia, ranked so highly, their positions reflect carbon dioxide emissions related to deforestation. In the study, the research team used a new methodology to calculate national contributions to global warming. It weighted each type of emission according to the atmospheric lifetime of the temperature change it caused. Using data from 1750 onward, the team accounted for carbon dioxide contributions from fossil fuel burning and land-use change, along with methane, nitrous oxide and sulphate aerosol emissions. Matthews and his colleagues also experimented with scaling the emissions to the size of the corresponding area (see graphic above). Western Europe, the US, Japan and India are hugely expanded, reflecting emissions much greater than would be expected based on their geographic area. Russia, China and Brazil stay the same. Taken in this light, the climate contributions of Brazil and China don’t seem so out of line — they are perfectly proportionate to the countries’ land masses. Canada and Australia become stick thin as their land mass is much larger than their share of the global-warming pie. Meanwhile, dividing each country’s climate contribution by its population paints a different picture. Amongst the 20 largest total emitters, the top seven per capita positions are occupied by developed countries, with Canada falling in third place behind the UK and the US. In this ranking, China and India drop to the bottom of the list. Matthews’s study highlights how much individual countries have contributed to the climate problem, as well as the huge disparity between rich and poor with respect to per-person contributions to global warming. Acknowledging these disparities, and then moving to correct them, may be a fundamental requirement for success in efforts to decrease global greenhouse-gas emissions. SOURCE: Concordia University, 15 January 2013.

UK PARLIAMENT URGED TO RECOGNISE HEALTH COSTS OF COAL New figures on the harm to health in the United Kingdom associated with air pollution from coal-fired power plants have been released today by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). British coal power plants cause 1,600 premature deaths, 68,000 additional days of medication, 363,266 working days lost each year and more than a million incidents of lower respiratory symptoms, according to an expert assessment commissioned by HEAL. The timing of the release coincides with an important debate on the future of coal power generation taking place in the House

Strapline Environment and industry news section of Commons on Wednesday. A vote on the energy bill will decide whether a House of Lords’ amendment is upheld setting targets on greenhouse gas emission reductions for old coal power stations. The setting of carbon emissions standards is needed to hasten the clean-up of plants that are both important polluters and major contributors to climate change. The new figures quantifying the health impact in the UK of coal burning to create electricity were published 2 December as part of a wider project which shows the unpaid burden of coal on public health in Europe. HEAL’s main report published earlier this year entitled, “The Unpaid Health Bill, How coal power plants make us sick” estimated total health costs in the European Union at up to €43 billion per year. The UK health costs were estimated at £1.1 to 3.1 billion (€1.3 to 3.7 billion) per year, ranking number six among EU member states. “Rapidly growing evidence of how coal affects air pollution and our health is pushing this issue onto centre stage in the energy debate,” says Genon Jensen, Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). “Our report has had a great response from energy ministers and health professionals who are increasingly aware that coal is costly for public health. The time is now ripe to bring the health facts and figures into national debates and cost assessments. Wednesday’s vote in the

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Strapline Environment and industry news section UK offers a unique opportunity to cash in huge health co-benefits.” The briefing by HEAL further highlights the contribution of coal to EU carbon emissions, and the urgent need to tackle climate change from a health perspective. Climate change impacts are estimated to be already causing 400,000 deaths each year worldwide. The summer heat wave of 2003, which can be seen as a foretaste of climatic changes in Europe, led to 2,045 excess deaths in England and Wales within two weeks.

advanced transmissions. Consumers have many more high fuel economy choices due to these and other technologies, such as hybrid, diesel, electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Consumers can choose from five times more car models with a combined city/highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or more, and from twice as many SUVs that achieve 25 mpg or more, compared to just five years ago.

SOURCE: HEAL, 2 December 2013



Climate change poses little threat of causing greenhouse gases to gush from the Arctic or the Gulf Stream to slosh to a stop, at least in this century, concludes a report released today by a committee of the National Research Council (NRC). But the uncertainties associated with passing tipping points in the climate system are dangerously large, the NRC committee finds. To remedy that, the committee recommends the creation of an early warning system to alert policymakers to new threats of abrupt change and, of course, further research to reduce those uncertainties. “The time is here to be serious about the threat of tipping points,” the report concludes, “so as to better anticipate and prepare ourselves for the inevitable surprises.” NRC foresees some of those surprises coming from some unconventional quarters. In addition to problems created by sudden climate changes over a few decades or even a few years, the committee points to abruptly developing problems created by a steadily changing climate. Rising sea level could suddenly begin to breach sea walls, for example, and thawing permafrost could cause the sudden collapse of buildings, roads, or pipelines. Some sudden impacts of climate change are already under way, the report notes. Arctic warming has caused a rapid decline in sea ice cover during the past decade that could seriously affect everything from Arctic ecosystems to shipping and oil drilling. And global warming is so rapid—as fast as any warming in the past 65 million years—that species already under pressure from habitat loss and overexploitation are at greater risk of extinction. To better anticipate the next sudden change, the committee recommends the creation of an early warning system and research to better understand the possibilities. “Right now we don’t know what many of these thresholds are,” said committee Chair James White of the University of Colorado, Boulder, in a statement. “But with better information, we will be able to anticipate some major changes before they occur and help reduce the potential consequences.” The committee acknowledges that its ambitions for enhanced monitoring, modeling, and synthesis of the knowledge gained would come with a significant price tag. The monitoring alone “in an

On December 12, the USEPA issued its annual report that tracks the average fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States. The report showed that model year 2012 vehicles achieved an all-time high fuel economy of 23.6 miles per gallon (mpg). This represents a 1.2 mpg increase over the previous year, making it the second largest annual increase in the last 30 years. Fuel economy has now increased in seven of the last eight years. “Today’s new vehicles are cleaner and more fuel efficient than ever, saving American families money at the gas pump and helping to keep the air that we breathe cleaner,” said Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for USEPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Each year new technologies are coming on line to keep driving these positive trends toward greater and greater efficiency.” Fuel economy will continue to improve under the Obama administration’s historic National Clean Car Program standards. The program doubles fuel economy standards by 2025 and cuts vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by half. The standards will save American families $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs, and by 2025 will result in an average fuel savings of more than $8,000 per vehicle. The program will also save 12 billion barrels of oil, and by 2025 will reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day – as much as half of the oil imported from OPEC every day. The large fuel economy improvement in model year 2012 is consistent with longerterm trends. Fuel economy has increased by 2.6 mpg, or 12%, since 2008, and by 4.3 mpg, or 22%, since 2004. The average carbon dioxide emissions of 376 grams per mile in model year 2012 also represented a record low. While the USEPA does not yet have final data for model year 2013, preliminary projections are that fuel economy will rise by 0.4 mpg, and carbon dioxide emissions will decrease by 6 grams per mile in 2013. USEPA’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2013” attributes much of the recent improvement to the rapid adoption of more efficient technologies such as gasoline direct injection engines, turbochargers, and


SOURCE: USEPA, 12 December 2013

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era of budget cuts is an area of concern,” according to the report. Although an early warning system would eventually become a large program, the committee concedes, it “might better be started through the coordination, integration, and expansion of existing and planned smaller programs.” SOURCE: NRC, 3 December 2013

AMMONIA POLLUTION FROM FARMING MAY EXACT HEFTY HEALTH COSTS If the US trade balance has a bright spot, it’s farming. The value of agricultural exports has doubled over the past decade, driven largely by demand from China and other developing countries. But when ships packed with corn, wheat, and pork depart for foreign ports, many kinds of pollution are left behind. One is ammonia, which wafts into the atmosphere from fertilizer used on fields and from urine and manure produced by livestock. Ammonia reacts with other air pollutants to create tiny particles that can lodge deep in the lungs, causing asthma attacks, bronchitis, and heart attacks. A new analysis suggests that ammonia does even more health damage in the United States than was thought. The annual cost—associated with thousands of premature deaths—may even exceed the profit reaped by farmers. Some analysts say the startling numbers highlight the need for greater US regulation of agricultural emissions and a review of farm subsidies. If the pollution caused by farming “makes us worse off, it doesn’t make any sense,” says Robert Mendelsohn, an economist at Yale University. “Ammonia may be the next big frontier in public health protection,” says Paul Miller, chief scientist of Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, an association of air quality agencies, in Boston. Ammonia enters the air mostly from agriculture, although it can also come from vehicles and wildfires. Emissions are growing worldwide and are largely unregulated. When molecules of ammonia react with oxides of nitrogen or sulphur (NOx or SOx) created by burning fossil fuels, they turn into particulate matter less than 2.5 microns wide (PM2.5)—the most dangerous kind, for which there is no known safe level. An extensive study of the burgeoning hog farm industry in North Carolina, completed in 2003, found that ammoniarelated PM2.5 exacted higher health costs than other farm pollutants. “It was striking,” says C. M. Williams of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who led the study. Other researchers have calculated that the average U.S. health cost of ammonia ranges from $10 to $73 per kilogram. To fine-tune such estimates, Fabien Paulot and Daniel Jacob, atmospheric chemists at Harvard University, developed a new model of where and when ammonia is emitted from farming activities. This model is coupled to another, which accounts for temperature, humidity,

Strapline Environment and industry news section and abundance of NOx and SOx. “It is a step forward over much of the modeling that’s been done before,” says air quality modeler Daven Henze of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Paulot and Jacob used their model to calculate how much ammonia and PM2.5 is a result of the food that the United States exports. Next, they used equations developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to calculate the health impact and associated economic costs (calculated by asking people how much they would pay to reduce the risk of premature death). About 5100 people die prematurely each year from PM2.5 exposure associated with the emissions, they reported online on 25 December in Environmental Science & Technology. Although the health toll varies greatly by location, the burden is heaviest in cities, because of the concentration of NOx and people. And the total impact is eye-opening: about $100 per kilogram of ammonia, or $36 billion annually. In contrast, the net value of the exported food is $23.5 billion. Some experts are skeptical of those numbers, pointing out that the new air pollution model has not yet been peerreviewed and that the health effects of various PM2.5 chemistries are still uncertain. “Ammonia emissions do not appear to be


a driver of toxicity,” says Kathy Mathers of the Fertilizer Institute in Washington, D.C. But Nicholas Muller, an economist at Middlebury College in Vermont, fears that farm-related health costs may in fact be even higher if other farm-related air pollutants are included, such as PM2.5 from diesel engines. “This study provides more evidence that, in certain cases, more stringent controls are likely justified,” Muller says. So far, US regulators have neglected ammonia emissions because it has been cheaper and easier to choke off sources of SOx and NOx, such as power plants. As a result, states in the heavily populated northeastern United States are already in compliance with USEPA limits for PM2.5, even though they are downwind of many power plants. But these states are also downwind of major farming areas. If the PM2.5 standards are tightened, which is under discussion, ammonia may be regulators’ next target. The biggest gains could be made by keeping livestock and dairy operations away from cities. Best management practices can also reduce losses from fertilizer and livestock. In North Carolina, Williams says he’s encouraged that many hog farmers are thinking about generating power from manure, which could reduce ammonia emissions. Other research is investigating how to capture ammonia


for use as fertilizer. But with US exports of pork to Asia continuing to rise, it may be a while before emissions in North Carolina and elsewhere start to head down. SOURCE: Science, 17 January 2014

NSW EPA LAUNCHES NEW AIR EMISSIONS WEB-TOOL The NSW Environment Protection Authority ( NSW EPA), on 16 December, launched a new web based tool, ‘Air Emissions In My Community’. NSW EPA Chair and CEO, Barry Buffier said that the new tool uses data from the NSW EPA’s Air Emissions Inventory to help the public develop a better understanding of the sources of common air pollutants and their relative contribution to emissions in local areas. “Understanding where emissions come from, how they are affected by weather, particularly wind and then accurately predicting their effects at a local population level is a complex science,” said Mr Buffier. “The Web-Tool has been developed in consultation with members of the community and key stakeholders to allow information on air emissions to be provided to the community in a user friendly way.” “The NSW EPA’s Air Emissions Inventory is the most comprehensive air pollution



ANSTO have taken delivery of 27 units of our DV8V rotary vane sampling pumps which will replace piston pumps currently in service.


Re sampling pumps for TEOM units. The Piston Pump currently used has the disadvantage that atmospheric air circulated by the cooling fans impinges on the cylinder and if it contains gritty particles it will scratch the cylinder and lead to premature failure. A rotary vane pump does not have this problem. We have tested our Oil Free carbon vane DV8V and it functions very well.


The DV8V has been used at ANSTO for many years on continuous sampling and they get at least a year’s operation before the vanes need changing which takes only a few minutes as it only means undoing 6 Allen screws. Furthermore there are no valves or gaskets in the pump so the vanes can be changed on site.

OIL FREE AIR COMPANY FACTORY 1, BUILDING 3 75 MARY ST or PO BOX 349 ST PETERS NSW 2044 Tel: 02 9358 4414 Fax: 02 9368 0870 Mob: 0419 404 311 Email: Website: ABN 75-000-792.

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Strapline Environment and industry news section inventory in Australia and is one of the key sources of information used to track trends in air pollution, evaluate air quality programs and identify new approaches for improving air quality. However the information is complex and can be hard for a lay person to interpret what the findings mean for their local region.” The Web-Tool takes the emission data from the Inventory and presents it in an interactive format for different geographical areas, ranging from the entire NSW Greater Metropolitan Region (GMR) to postcode level. Emissions of 17 substances from emission sources grouped into 63 activities are included. Mr Buffier said that air quality continues to be a priority area for the NSW EPA as exposure to fine particulate matter can lead to a variety of health impacts. SOURCE: NSW EPA, 16 December 2013

A RISK YOU CAN FIX: PROTECT YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH BY TESTING YOUR HOME FOR RADON GAS IN 2014 / 21 000 RADONRELATED LUNG CANCER DEATHS EACH YEAR As Americans across the country look for ways to improve their health this New Year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is highlighting radon testing and mitigation as a simple and affordable step to significantly reduce the risk for lung cancer. Radon is a natural colorless, odorless radioactive gas, and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, but testing for radon and reducing elevated levels when they are found can make your home healthier and safer. “Testing for radon is an easy and affordable way to protect your family’s health,” said USEPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. ”Radon is a radioactive gas that can be found in homes all across the country; the only way to know if your home has high levels is to test it.” Part of USEPA’s radon action campaign is to remind people to “Test, Fix, Save a Life,” and to recognize every January as radon action month. Test: All homes with or without basements should be tested for radon. Affordable Do-It-Yourself radon test kits are available online and at home improvement and hardware stores, or you can hire a qualified radon tester. Fix: EPA recommends taking action to fix radon levels at or above 4 picoCuries per Liter (pCi/L) and contacting a qualified radonreduction contractor. In most cases, a system with a vent pipe and fan is used to reduce radon. Addressing high radon levels often costs the same as other minor home repairs.
 Save a Life: 21,000 Americans die from radon related lung cancer each year. By fixing elevated levels in your home, you can help prevent lung cancer while creating a healthier home for you and your family. Taking action to test and fix high levels of radon gas is not only a strong investment for your health, but also for your home. Radon test results are a positive selling point for those putting a house on the market and in


many areas is a required part of real estate transactions. In addition, if you are looking to build a new home, there are now safer and healthier radon-resistant construction techniques that home buyers can discuss with builders to prevent this health hazard. SOURCE: USEPA, 6 January 2014

MEP RELEASES AIR QUALITY OF KEY REGIONS AND 74 CITIES IN NOVEMBER The Chinese MEP officially released information on the air quality of key regions and 74 cities in November of 2013, including for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Province, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, municipalities, provincial capitals and cities separately listed on the state plan. According to the monitoring results in November, the ratio of days with up-to-standard air quality among the 74 cities ranged between 3.3% and 100%, with an average of 52.3%. Days with substandard air quality accounted for 47.7% on average, among which days of slight pollution made up 29.1%, intermediate pollution 10.5%, heavy pollution 6.6% and severe pollution 1.5%. In Fuzhou, Haikou and Zhuhai, all days were up to standard. In 9 cities including Lhasa, Kunming and Xiamen, about 80% of the days were up to standard. The percentage of up-to-standard air quality in 26 cities including Dongguan, Guangzhou and Zhoushan was between 50% and 80% and that in 36 cities was less than 50%. Polluted days were mostly caused by PM2.5 and PM10, taking up 73.4% and 22.2%, respectively. Compared with October, the concentration of major pollutants has all increased except O3. The monthly average level of PM2.5, PM10, NO2 and SO2 rose by 3.9%, 7.1%, 12.8% and 45.5%, respectively. The exceeding-standard rate of daily average level of CO grew by 0.6%. According to the assessment of air quality by comprehensive pollution index, the top 10 cities with poor air quality in November were: Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Xingtai, Tangshan, Handan, Jinan, Taiyuan, Langfang, Urumqi, and Hengshui. The top ten cities enjoying good air quality included Haikou, Lhasa, Fuzhou, Guiyang, Zhoushan, Chengde, Huizhou, Dalian, Zhuhai and Zhangjiakou. Compared with the previous month, air quality in Guiyang, Chengde, Huizhou, Dalian and Zhuhai improved dramatically and that of Haikou, Lhasa, Fuzhou, Zhoushan and Zhangjiakou stayed steady. In the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Province, the days with up-to-standard air quality in 13 cities accounted for 3.3−83.3%, averaging 39.1%. Days of substandard air quality accounted for 60.9% on average including 14.9% of the days suffering from heavy pollution and 5.9% severe pollution. Among the 13 cities, days with up-to-standard air quality in Zhangjiakou accounted for 83.3% and the percentage for Chengde, Beijing and Qinhuangdao was between 50% and 80%. Other cities had less than 50% of days meeting air quality standard. PM2.5

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and PM10 were the major culprits of air pollution, resulting in 60.8% and 39.2% of pollution days respectively. Compared with October, the average ratio of up-to-standard days in the 13 cities rose by 1.9%. Among the 25 cities in the Yangtze River Delta, the proportion of up-to-standard days stood at between 26.7% and 93.3%, with an average of 42.5%. The average days with substandard air quality accounted for 57.5%, which included 6.1% heavy pollution days and 0.3% severe pollution. Among the 25 cities, only Lishui enjoyed good air quality with up-to-standard days accounting for 80−100%. Six cities such as Zhoushan, Taizhou and Wenzhou had 50−80% up-to-standard air quality days. 18 cities including Nanjing, Huai’an and Zhenjiang had less than 50% of days with up-to-standard air quality. Air pollution in the Yangtze River Delta was mostly caused by PM2.5, accounting for 80.7% of the total. PM10, the second major pollutant, led to 18.4% of the total pollution days. Compared with October, air quality in the region turned much poorer due to reduction in rainfall and adverse conditions for pollution dispersion. The monthly average level of PM2.5, PM10, SO2 and NO2 jumped by 52.7%, 52.7%, 52.0% and 38.5%, respectively, and the average days with up-to-standard air quality went down by 31.0%. In the nine cities of the Pearl River Delta, around 56.7−100.0% days met air quality standard, bringing the average ratio of up-to-standard days to 75.5%. Polluted days accounted for 24.5% on average. No heavy pollution and severe pollution took place. Among the nine cities, Zhuhai enjoyed up-tostandard air quality throughout the month. Shenzhen and Huizhou had 80−100% days with up-to-standard air quality and up-tostandard days in the other six cities were all between 50−80%. The Pearl River Delta was mainly polluted by PM2.5, which caused 59.1% of the total pollution days. Compared with October, the average days of up-tostandard air quality in the nine cities climbed by 53.3%. SOURCE: Xinhua, 6 January 2014

FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN SHANGHAI Shanghai has made environmental protection a major focus for the city government this year. Mayor Yang Xiong said investment in environmental protection will be maintained at around 3% of the city’s economic output. The city will further reduce energy and carbon intensity, and fulfill the emission reduction targets for major pollutants required by the central government. “It is all the more imperative to break away from the conventional path of development — environmental capacity is strained, and air pollution such as haze has become a pronounced problem,” Yang said. Shanghai is to step up resource conservation and environmental protection

Strapline Environment and industry news section through promoting the use of clean energy such as wind and solar power, and by calling for more distributed energy supply as well as new energy vehicles. “We will pay more attention to the atmospheric environment, especially the treatment of PM2.5,” Yang said, referring to the tiny particles hazardous to health. About 70,000 polluting vehicles will be retired this year, and the treatment of volatile organic compounds and flying dust will be strengthened. Meanwhile, Yang promised the “strictest ever” regulations on arable land protection and land use, and the drawing up of a plan to protect and manage the soil. Last year, Shanghai phased out 660 low-performing facilities and installations, and the 2014 target is to eliminate 500 heavily polluting installations and facilities. SOURCE: Xinhua, 20 January 2014

MORE EMISSION CONTROLS URGED UN program attendees in Beijing cited vehicles’ contribution to dirty air in China
. The government should set higher standards for vehicle emissions while promoting cleaner fuels to deal with the significant contribution of motor vehicles to air pollution, environmental officials and experts said. More than 100 cities were shrouded in thick smog and haze for the first week of December. National alarms for smog and haze that lasted for seven days were not lifted until December 9, according to the National Meteorological Center. “Emissions from motor vehicles contribute a significant part to air pollution, sometimes as high as 50%, especially in such foggy weather when the air is stagnant,” said Lu Shize, air pollution section chief from the Pollution Prevention and Control Department of the Environmental Protection Ministry. Lu was speaking at the International Workshop on Motor Vehicle Fuel Desulphurization, held by the United Nations Environment Programme in Beijing on Monday. Two standards systems, one for emissions and the other for fuel, control the pollution coming from motor vehicles. China should start to prepare for its new China VI emissions standard, which may further reduce the amount of pollutants discharged by motor vehicles by another 40% based on the latest China V standard, said Ding Yan, deputy head of the ministry’s vehicle emission control center. The Beijing government has vowed to implement the new standard by 2016 at the earliest. “There has been criticism of the government for being radical in promoting the development of emissions and fuel standards over the past decade, trying to reach a similar level as developed countries in such a short time,” Ding said. “But seen from the perspective of environmental protection, we are being too slow by following the developed countries’ steps, when their pollution levels are already much lower than China’s.” Research shows that China’s latest fuel standard is behind those of Europe and the United States,

and has much room for improvement. The sulphur content of gasoline was lowered four times in 10 years, with the allowed content dropping from 1,000 microgram per gram to the current 50 mcg per gram. However, the desulphurisation of diesel is occurring at a very slow pace, with its allowed sulphur content reduced to 350 mcg per gram nationwide on July 1 from the previous level of as high as 2,000 mcg per gram, which lasted for more than 10 years. The permitted sulphur level for diesel in the European standard is 10 mcg per gram. “Limits for contents of other pollutants in our gasoline standard, such as olefin and aromatics, are too high, leading to more emissions of toxic particulate matters and complex airborne pollution,” said Tong Li, associate professor at the ministry’s appraisal center for environment and engineering. Tong added that the high vapor pressure limit in the country’s gasoline standard, which is twice the US standard, might cause high emissions of volatile organic pollutants. Setting up stricter emission and fuel standards does not necessarily mean higher costs, according to studies and foreign experience. “Introducing cleaner fuels and vehicles is considered one of the most cost-effective air pollution and climate change interventions, because it has climate and health benefits plus provides major cost savings,” said Zhang Shigang, coordinator of the UNEP China Office. The average per-liter cost to upgrade refineries and produce 10-mcg-per-gram sulphur fuel in China is 0.7 cents for gasoline and 1.7 cents for diesel. This is well below the price increases approved in October 2013 by the National Development and Reform Commission, according to analysis commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation, an international nonprofit research organisation based in Washington. The analysis also found that the long-term benefits of the proposed China VI standards outweigh the costs by at least 7-to-1. The sales volume of motor vehicles in China is expected to reach 22 million in 2013, while the International Council on Clean Transportation predicts the number of vehicles in the nation will reach almost 200 million by 2030, with more than 40% of those in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster, the Yangtze Delta and the Pearl River Delta, the three most polluted areas in China. “Higher emissions and fuel standards help trap 99% of diesel particles, and filters should belong on tailpipes, not people,” said Vance Wagner, senior researcher and China co-lead of the council. SOURCE: China Daily, 10 December 2013

BLACK CARBON: BETTER MONITORING NEEDED TO ASSESS HEALTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS Black carbon is an air pollutant that harms human health and can contribute to climate change – so cutting emissions may have many benefits. The European Environment

Agency (EEA) has published a report on the measurement of black carbon in the air. The EEA report, ‘Status of black carbon monitoring in ambient air in Europe’, looks at the monitoring networks currently measuring black carbon, measurement methodologies and how this data is used. As the effects of this pollutant have become better understood in recent years, it is increasingly seen as an important target of environmental control. Authors of the EEA report hope that the study will encourage more comprehensive monitoring of this pollutant, which is currently patchy. Black carbon is the sooty part of particulate matter (PM) formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. It is mostly emitted by vehicles, non-road mobile machinery such as forestry machines, ships, coal or wood burning stoves in homes. Another important source is open biomass burning including forest fires and agricultural waste burning. Of all air pollutants, PM is the most harmful to health in Europe. The black carbon part of PM is particularly harmful as it represents a mixture of very fine, partly carcinogenic particles, small enough to enter the bloodstream and reach other organs. There is currently a lively debate about whether reducing this pollutant could have significant gains in reducing climate change because black carbon’s effect on the climate is more potent than previously thought. In the atmosphere the carbon-containing pollutant effectively absorbs solar radiation leading to a warming of the atmosphere. When it settles on snow or ice, the darker colour absorbs more heat, accelerating melting. SOURCE: EEA, 10 December 2013

OZONE ACTION LINKED TO HIATUS Climate scientists, who have linked a recent “slow-down” in global warming with 1980s moves to protect the ozone layer, say their findings undermine one of the key arguments put forward by climate skeptics. But fellow scientists have questioned some of the findings, saying the 1980s banning of ozone-depleting substances does not fully account for the warming “hiatus”. A Mexican-led study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, says the Montreal Protocol – which is hailed as the most successful international agreement ever and credited with stopping atmospheric ozone depletion – was also the main cause of decelerating global warming since the 1990s. The Montreal Protocol led to the banning of chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons, widely used as refrigerants and aerosol propellants, because of the damage they did to the protective ozone layer in the stratosphere. The paper says this also put the brakes on global warming, because CFCs are powerful greenhouse gases in their own right. “Although not (the protocol’s) objective, the reductions were large enough to have an impact on radiate forcing of

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Strapline Environment and industry news section greenhouse gases, which slowed the increase in warming,” the paper says. “Paradoxically the recent decrease in warming, presented by global warming sceptics as proof that humankind cannot affect the climate system, is shown to have a direct human origin.” But a companion paper in the same journal says “more conventional” modelling partly contradicts the findings. “Without the reductions in CFC emissions, temperatures today could have been almost 0.1C warmer than they actually are,” says the paper by Oxford University academics. “However, to fully account for the lack of warming that would have been expected between 1998 and 2012, the reduction in radiative forcing from CFCs would have had to be much stronger.” The Oxford paper says volcanic emissions, heat “uptake” by the oceans and variable solar activity are also likely to have contributed to the slow-down. “The explanation of the much-discussed warming hiatus over the past decade and a half is unlikely to be a simple single issue,” it says. The Mexican paper also does not address the contribution to global warming from CFCs’ replacements, hydrofluorocarbons, which are also thought to be significant greenhouse gases. Lead author Francisco Estrada, of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, told The Australian that the contribution of HCFCs so far had been “considerably smaller” than that of CFCs. “(But) it is probably going to become a problem in the future unless another international agreement is achieved,” he said. Alex Sen Gupta, of the University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, said the study highlighted the “many, sometimes competing, factors that can drive changes in global temperatures” and “while greenhouse gases like CO2 act to warm the climate, aerosols from industrial activity or volcanoes can cool the climate by reflecting away energy from the sun, and natural fluctuation can cause oscillations of both cooling and warming. All these influences need to be considered together to really get a handle on temperature changes.” Dr Sen Gupta said any climate benefits from CFC reductions would be short-lived. “In the end the continuing rise in other greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, will keep temperatures marching upwards,” he said. SOURCE: The Australian, 11 November 2013


Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World was held in Monterey, California (September 2012), and attended by 540 experts from 37 countries. The summary was launched at the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Warsaw, 18 November, for the benefit of policymakers. Experts concluded that marine ecosystems and biodiversity are likely to change as a result of ocean acidification, with far-reaching consequences for society. Economic losses from declines in shellfish aquaculture and the degradation of tropical coral reefs may be substantial owing to the sensitivity of molluscs and corals to ocean acidification. One of the lead authors of the summary, and chair of the symposium, Ulf Riebesell of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel said: “What we can now say with high levels of confidence about ocean acidification sends a clear message. Globally we have to be prepared for significant economic and ecosystem service losses. But we also know that reducing the rate of carbon dioxide emissions will slow acidification. That has to be the major message for the COP19 meeting.” One outcome emphasised by experts is that if society continues on the current high emissions trajectory, cold water coral reefs, located in the deep sea, may be unsustainable and tropical coral reef erosion is likely to outpace reef building this century. However, significant emissions reductions to meet the two-degree target by 2100 could ensure that half of surface waters presently occupied by tropical coral reefs remain favourable for their growth. Author Wendy Broadgate, Deputy Director at the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, said: “Emissions reductions may protect some reefs and marine organisms but we know that the ocean is subject to many other stresses such as warming, deoxygenation, pollution and overfishing. Warming and deoxygenation are also caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions, underlining the importance of reducing fossil fuel emissions. Reducing other stressors such as pollution and overfishing, and the introduction of large scale marine protected areas, may help build some resilience to ocean acidification.” The summary for policymakers makes 21 statements about ocean acidification with a range of confidence levels from “very high” to “low”.

In a major new international report, experts concluded that the acidity of the world’s ocean may increase by around 170% by the end of the century bringing significant economic losses. People who rely on the ocean’s ecosystem services – often in developing countries - are especially vulnerable. A group of experts have agreed on ‘levels of confidence’ in relation to ocean acidification statements summarising the state of knowledge. The summary was led by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and results from the world’s largest gathering of experts on ocean acidification ever convened. The


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Very high confidence: • Ocean acidification is caused by carbon dioxide emissions from human activity to the atmosphere that end up in the ocean. • The capacity of the ocean to act as a carbon sink decreases as it acidifies • Reducing carbon dioxide emissions will slow the progress of ocean acidification. • Anthropogenic ocean acidification is currently in progress and is measurable • The legacy of historical fossil fuel emissions on ocean acidification will be felt for centuries.

High confidence: • If carbon dioxide emissions continue on the current trajectory, coral reef erosion is likely to outpace reef building some time this century. • Cold-water coral communities are at risk and may be unsustainable. • Molluscs (such as mussels, oysters and pteropods) are one of the groups most sensitive to ocean acidification. • The varied responses of species to ocean acidification and other stressors are likely to lead to changes in marine ecosystems, but the extent of the impact is difficult to predict. • Multiple stressors compound the effects of ocean acidification.

Medium confidence: • Negative socio-economic impacts on coral reefs are expected, but the scale of the costs is uncertain. • Declines in shellfisheries will lead to economic losses, but the extent of the losses is uncertain. • Ocean acidification may have some direct effects on fish behaviour and physiology.

Strapline Environment and industry news section The shells of marine snails known as pteropods, an important link in the marine food web, are already dissolving. SOURCE: IGBP, 14 November 2013

its water quality is worsening, according to the water authority. SOURCE: MEP, 14 January 2014



Shanghai’s rapidly increasing population is a major challenge for the city’s environment and may be too much for it to bear, a government report said yesterday. Urbanisation has resulted in problems such as inadequate land resources and air pollution in a city that already has 24 million permanent residents, according to the 2008−2012 Shanghai Natural Resources and Ecological Environment Statistics report. Investment in environmental protection, however, has been lagging far behind economic development. “Though the environmental protection fund has increased by 8% annually, its percentage of the city’s GDP has been falling,” the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said in the report. Environmental protection investment accounted for 2.8% of the city’s total output value in 2012, compared with 3% in 2008, the report said. It urged the city government to increase investment to curb environmental pollution since the city had paid a great price for its economic expansion. Residents’ satisfaction with their environment decreased by 4.7% in 2012 compared with that in previous years, the report said. “Local residents have been suffering great disappointment after finding the environment failed to be improved after the city’s hosting of the World Expo 2010,” the report said. The event was expected to greatly improve the city’s environment and infrastructure with its theme of “Better City, Better Life.” However, air pollution, especially the surging density of PM2.5, the tiny particles hazardous to health, has been a major disappointment. Urbanisation has also put pressure on the city’s limited farmland. Agricultural land was less than 2,600 square kilometers by the end of 2012 and the area was continually decreasing along with urban development. However, straw burning is still a problem, with the percentage of straw being properly treated decreasing by 3.8% in 2012 compared to 2011 as farmers continue to burn straw, a process that is part of the reason for the city’s air quality problems. The surging population has also resulted in an increase in the amount of daily wastewater flowing into local rivers and creeks, the report said. “The waste water from residents accounted for 7% of the city’s total sewage discharge in 2012 and the percentage is still increasing,” it said. The report noted that more than half of Shanghai’s rivers and lakes are heavily polluted and much of their soil beds seriously contaminated, according to the city’s first water census in 2013. Downstream Suzhou Creek and some small creeks in suburban areas are the worst polluted, with some of them black and foulsmelling. Dianshan Lake, the city’s biggest lake, is under threat from eutrophication and

NASA’s uncrewed Global Hawk research aircraft is in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate. Deployed from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., the Global Hawk landed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam January 16 and will begin science flights Tuesday, January 21. Its mission, the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), is a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign. ATTREX will measure the moisture levels and chemical composition of upper regions of the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, a region where even small changes can significantly impact climate. Scientists will use the data to better understand physical processes occurring in this part of the atmosphere and help make more accurate climate predictions. “We conducted flights in 2013 that studied how the atmosphere works and how humans are affecting it,” said Eric Jensen, ATTREX principal investigator at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “This year, we plan to sample the western Pacific region which is critical for establishing the humidity of the air entering the stratosphere.” Studies show even slight changes in the chemistry and amount of water vapor in the stratosphere, the same region that is home to the ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, can affect climate significantly by absorbing thermal radiation rising from the surface. Predictions of stratospheric humidity changes are uncertain because of gaps in the understanding of the physical processes occurring in the tropical tropopause layer. ATTREX is studying moisture and chemical composition from altitudes of 55,000 feet to 65,000 feet in the tropical tropopause, which is the transition layer between the troposphere, or the lowest part of the atmosphere, and the stratosphere, which extends up to 11 miles above Earth’s surface. Scientists consider the tropical tropopause to be the gateway for water vapor, ozone and other gases that enter the stratosphere. For this mission, the Global Hawk carries instruments that will sample the tropopause near the equator over the Pacific Ocean. ATTREX scientists installed 13 research instruments on NASA’s Global Hawk 872. Some of these instruments capture air samples while others use remote sensing to analyze clouds, temperature, water vapor, gases and solar radiation. “Better understanding of the exchange between the troposphere and stratosphere and how that impacts composition and chemistry of the upper atmosphere helps us better understand how, and to what

degree, the upper atmosphere affects Earth’s climate,” Jensen said. In 2013, for the first time, ATTREX instruments sampled the tropopause region in the Northern Hemisphere during winter, when the region is coldest and extremely dry air enters the stratosphere. Preparations for this mission started in 2011 with engineering test flights to ensure the aircraft and its research instruments operated well in the extremely cold temperatures encountered at high altitudes over the tropics, which can reach minus 115 degrees Fahrenheit. ATTREX conducted six science flights totaling more than 150 hours last year. Jensen and Project Manager Dave Jordan of Ames lead the ATTREX mission. It includes investigators from Ames and three other NASA facilities: Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The team also includes investigators from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, universities and private industry. ATTREX is one of the first research missions of NASA’s new Earth Venture project. These small and targeted science investigations complement NASA’s broader science research satellite missions. The Earth Venture missions are part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program managed by Langley. SOURCE: NASA, 17 January 2014

LESS SEA ICE MEANS MORE CO2 UPTAKE IN THE ARCTIC – BUT NEW RESEARCH INDICATES THE TREND IS NOT CLEAR-CUT A new Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego-led study confirms a hypothesis that a retreat in sea ice could increase the Arctic Ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Sea ice in the Arctic has decreased rapidly over the past three decades. In the summer of 2007, 50% less ice was observed compared to the summer of 1980. This dramatic reduction in ice cover has altered the Arctic ecosystem. The study used model simulations to find that between 1996 and 2007, carbon dioxide taken up by the Arctic Ocean increased by an average of 1.4 megatons per year. The increased carbon uptake mostly occurs in the summer, as ice melts and sunlight can reach the ocean’s surface, creating a habitat for phytoplankton. These marine plants develop through photosynthesis, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. As ice cover recedes, the Arctic Ocean can support larger phytoplankton populations, and carbon absorption increases. When these organisms die, some of their carbon material sinks to the bottom of the ocean, creating a long-term sink, or reservoir, of carbon. Oceanographers call this process of carbon uptake and storage the “biological pump.” Using a combination of models integrating data on temperature, salinity, ocean currents, sea ice, nutrients and carbon transport, study lead author Manfredi Manizza and his co-authors calculated that

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Strapline Environment and industry news section between 1996 and 2007, the Arctic Ocean stored about 58 megatons of carbon per year, and the model results suggest that increased biological activity caused carbon uptake to grow by about 1.4 megatons of carbon each year. These numbers weren’t surprising, as scientists already knew the Arctic Ocean ice shelves to be a large carbon sink. But the authors observed another, more surprising effect of the average 0.04 °C (0.072 °F) warming in the Arctic over this time period. They found that the greatest warming actually resulted in the least carbon uptake. “I was expecting a greater carbon uptake going from 2006 to 2007 given that the reduction in sea-ice was more severe in 2007 than 2005,” said Manizza, a project scientist in Scripps’ Geosciences Research Division, “[but] the model showed the opposite.” Instead, the results showed that a process that scientists call the “solubility pump” had a significant impact on carbon uptake. Carbon dioxide, like all gases, becomes less soluble in water as the water’s temperature increases. As the ocean in some parts of the Arctic became warmer, CO2 began escaping from the ocean into the atmosphere in a process called de-gassing. “This shows that the current hypothesis that less sea-ice area directly corresponds to an increase in ocean carbon uptake in the Arctic Ocean is not always correct,” Manizza said. The study appears in the American Geophysical Union journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles. The findings suggest that the future of carbon cycling in the Arctic will create a balance between the dual effects of warming: less ice cover allowing more photosynthetic activity, and warmer waters being less able to absorb CO2. But the researchers aren’t certain how the balance between these processes will change in the future, and what it will mean for global climate. “We’re just beginning to scratch the surface,” Manizza said. “A large uncertainty is the change of the biological pump in response to climate warming.” Many Arctic scientists believe that nutrient concentrations in the Arctic Ocean will become depleted in the future due to less sea-ice and more nutrient utilization. This would cause a decline in phytoplankton populations, a weaker biological pump, and less ocean carbon uptake. Studies of phytoplankton in other parts of the Arctic have shown that temperature changes can affect communities of these microorganisms, resulting in changes to carbon storage. While Manizza’s work suggests that carbon cycling in the Arctic is already changing, the many uncertainties in the responses of physical, chemical, and biological processes to warming make it hard to reliably predict the future of the Arctic carbon sink. Gathering more data from this region is crucial, Manizza said, to “both inform us about the change in the polar area, and make our models highly reliable for policymaking decisions.” SOURCE: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 6 January 2014


NT EPA APPROVES NEW ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDELINES The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) held its fourth and final meeting for 2013 in Alice Springs from 19th to 21st November. Dr Bill Freeland, Chair of the NT EPA, said the meeting provided an opportunity to approve all 11 new and updated Environmental Guidelines relating to the Environmental Assessment Act and the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act, which were exhibited for public comment in May this year. “All comments received during the public comment period were considered, and the final versions were distinctly improved. I thank all contributors” he said. The approved guidelines listed below are now available on the NT EPA website: • Guidelines for the Preparation of an Economic and Social Impact Assessment; • Environmental Assessment Guidelines on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD); • Guidelines for the Environmental Assessment of Marine Dredging in the Northern Territory; • Guidelines on Environmental Offsets and Associated Approval Conditions; • Guidelines for Assessment of Impacts on Terrestrial Biodiversity; • Environmental Assessment Guidelines – When a Notice of Intent is not required for development proposals submitted under the Planning Act; • Environmental Assessment Guidelines – When a Notice of Intent is not required for land clearing proposals submitted under the Pastoral Lands Act; • Environmental Assessment Guidelines – When a Notice of Intent is not required for mining exploration or production proposals submitted under the Mining Management Act; • Environmental Assessment Guidelines – When a Notice of Intent is not required for onshore petroleum exploration or production proposals submitted under the Petroleum Act; • Guidelines on Conceptual Site Models; and • Guideline for Disposal of Waste by Incineration. Dr Freeland said the first meeting of the NT EPA for 2014 would be held on 29th January 2014. “All NT EPA members agreed that in future, NT EPA meetings would increase in frequency to enable more strategic planning, and more site visits and meeting with stakeholders. “The NT EPA visit to Alice Springs included a site visit for all members to the Mereenie Oil and Gas

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Field operated by Santos Limited and an information session with the Alice Springs community. “The information session enabled the Alice Springs community to put questions to the NT EPA, and importantly, allowed the NT EPA to describe its work and intent to promote ecologically sustainable development throughout the Territory,” Dr Freeland said. SOURCE: NT EPA, 13 December 2013

China Focus: Fresh air returns after smoking ban Fresh air made a welcome return to ongoing annual meetings of local legislatures and political advisory bodies across China thanks to a government smoking ban. Officials attending meetings are banned from smoking in pubic places. Nanchang, capital of east China’s Jiangxi Province, Lanzhou, capital of northwest China’s Gansu Province and Shinan District, Qingdao City of east China’s Shandong Province have all banned smoking at their plenums. According to a circular on December 29, from the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, officials are not allowed to smoke in public areas, including schools, hospitals, sports venues, on public transport vehicles, among other venues. The circular told government officials to “take the lead” in adhering to the ban and kicking the habit. Chinese people are accustomed to images of their government officials holding a cigarette -- usually an expensive one -- between their fingers. Not a single ashtray has been seen in the meeting rooms and hotels where representatives are staying in Nanchang during the plenums, which are taking place from January 8 to 12. A smoking ban notice was put into their file packets. It reads “the central government’s relevant provisions on tobacco control will be strictly implemented.” In Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, there have been fewer cigarette butts scattered on the floor this year, said Xia Lihua, a cleaner at a hotel where delegates are staying. About 20 smoking-ban posters are being displayed in the meeting rooms, lobbies, corridors and rest areas to remind delegates, many of them local officials, not to light up, said Wu Xincai, an official with the Standing Committee of the Nanchang Municipal People’s Congress, the city’s legislature. He Xiaoming, a smoker and a member of the Nanchang Municipal People’s Political Consultative Conference, the city’s political advisory body, did not take any cigarettes to the meeting to support the ban. Officials taking the lead will significantly improve the effectiveness of the smoking ban, he said. Fu Wenjing, a female member of city’s political advisory body, is delighted with the change. “Everyone is more refreshed as the air in the meeting rooms is fresher,” she said. As smoking cessation takes time, it is inevitable there will be some who want to smoke, said Wu. “Our staff will first advise them not to. If persuasion is not effective,

Strapline Environment and industry news section they will lead them to an outdoor area,” he said. China is the world’s largest cigarette producer and consumer. The number of smokers exceeds 300 million, with at least 740 million nonsmokers regularly exposed to secondhand smoke. In 2003, China signed the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and it became effective in January 2006. The framework requires a reduction in tobacco supply as well as consumption. The 12th Five-Year plan (2011-2015) promised to ban smoking in public places. China’s health authorities and local governments have introduced guidelines banning smoking in hotels, restaurants and public transport since 2011, but smokers frequently choose to ignore the ban and punishment is seldom heard of. Some are critical of the government’s efforts, which lags far behind the FCTC standard. Also, there is no national law banning smoking in indoor public places. SOURCE: Xinhua, 10 Jan 2014

CITIZENS OF INDIA DEMAND FOR LIVABLE CITIES Livability of neighborhoods is an impetus for happy citizens. This was the recurring theme of an international workshop in the national capital, which brought together key stakeholders from the civil society to discuss the quality of life missing from India’s urban centers and neighborhoods due to lack of safe and reliable mobility and connectivity. Organized by Clean Air Asia, UN-Habitat and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, the workshop, titled ‘How Liveable is Our Neighbourhood’, held on December 7 focused on a variety of factors like preference for pedestrians, safety for women, school children and the elderly besides care for the disabled on city streets. A safe, affordable and reliable mode of transport was underscored by the participants as the essential element for connecting neighborhoods and citizens to enhance the social experience in a city, but the general consensus emerging from the workshop was that the infrastructure to achieve the same has been found severely lacking. “For a healthy and confident country, we need confident cities which is possible only by making citizens confident” said Parthaa Bosu, Director of Clean Air Asia’s India office. “If a person is not confident enough to walk or pedal to a nearby market because of the risks from a vehicle-filled street without pavements, how will a city grow or transform itself,” Bosu questioned, quoting from a pedestrian survey conducted in the national capital’s Nehru Place commercial district, in which a whopping 96 per cent of the respondents said the pedestrian facilities were “bad and not usable”. “A city is not livable until we address the emotions of the people who are going to live there,” he said, adding city residents are forced to buy vehicles in the absence of

suitable mobility options. “Buying a vehicle should be a choice, not something forced on people,” he said, referring to the survey that said as many as 71 per cent of the respondents preferred owning vehicles to using public transport. All the respondents of a similar survey for cyclist preference conducted in Delhi along with the pedestrian survey said the city’s main arterial, the Ring Road, should have a separate cycle track. Quoting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, SLoCaT’s Cornie Huizenga said: “We need to change the way we plan our cities, the way we move goods and ourselves.” A series of reports is being prepared by Clean Air Asia that includes a ‘toolbox’ of successful non-motorized transportation strategies and measures of cities and countries all over Asia, targeted at policy makers and practitioners of urban development. The report covers the basic elements and varying situations of nonmotorized transportation policies in Asia, and a guide on how to go about in the planning processes with the help of various proven tools and success stories. Dr. Kulwant Singh of UN-Habitat remarked, “The policymakers’ toolbox for non-motorized transportation that is

launched today is designed to help policy makers and local communities deal with growing urban issues like mobility and find workable, lasting solutions.” The forum concluded with a theatrical play in Nehru Place organized by Clean Air Asia and Sakshi as part of Delhi-based NGO PVR Nest’s ‘Steer to Safety’ campaign, an on-site demonstration to deliver a strong message advocating for better and livable cities with safe and comfortable commuter experience of all members of society including children, elderly and people with disabilities. SOURCE: Clean Air Asia, Dec 2013

LEADING CORPORATIONS JOIN FORCES TO TACKLE FREIGHT EMISSIONS IN ASIA Global leading corporations launched Green Freight Asia, a non-profit association of manufacturers, freight logistics companies and carriers to advance green freight efforts that promote greenhouse gas- and fuelefficient freight transportation and decrease air pollution in Asia. Leading logistics service providers, DHL and UPS, global home furnishing retailer IKEA, and technology leaders HP and Lenovo, supported by partners, Green Transformation Lab and

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Strapline Environment and industry news section Clean Air Asia, have joined together as founding members to incorporate Green Freight Asia as a non-profit association in Singapore, emerging from an informal network created in 2011 by Green Transformation Lab and Clean Air Asia, along with 25 shippers, logistics companies and carriers. “Logistics costs as percentage of GDP range from about 14% in India and 18% in China to 24% in Indonesia, compared to about 10% in the US, Europe and Japan. Fuel scarcity and rising fuel prices pose a higher risk to economies in Asia.” explained Stephan Schablinski, newly appointed Executive Director of Green Freight Asia. Robert Earley, Transport Program Manager of Clean Air Asia said: “Only 9% of vehicles in Asia are trucks, but they are responsible for 54% of CO2 emissions and a similar proportion of particulate emissions. By orienting shippers, carriers and other players in the logistics industry to focus on improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions from trucks, Asian countries can help address climate change while also making their economies stronger and the air in cities cleaner.” Green Freight Asia will work with its members to develop and promote tools for measuring and reporting fuel consumption and emissions from road freight and identify what technologies and strategies will be most effective for carriers to reduce fuel consumption, such as low rolling resistance tires, equipment to reduce aerodynamic drag, alternative fuels, fleet management and driver training. A benchmarking scheme will be developed to evaluate and recognize the sustainability efforts of manufacturing companies, freight logistics companies and carriers, and importantly, make these accomplishments visible to consumers and investors. Furthermore, a platform for sharing best practices between member companies will make it easier for others to replicate successes. The association will also focus on working with Asian governments in developing national green freight programs Green Freight Asia will create value for its members by helping them to achieve increased fuel efficiency that saves costs and increases business competitiveness, and to recognize the sustainability efforts that are being made, to inform consumers about members’ level of commitment to more sustainable transport -- all with the objective of decreasing air pollution and GHG emissions in Asia. Green Freight Asia is open for companies to join as members, and is also hoping to attract other partner organizations who share the same vision to enable methods and partnerships for industry to accelerate the adoption of sustainable supply chain practices across Asia.

BICYCLE SHARING LAUNCHED IN PASIG CITY Pasig City now hosts a Tutubi bicycle-sharing station which was launched in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and Clean Air Asia. 30 September 2013, Pasig City -Residents of Pasig will soon be pedaling dragonflies around the city. Tutubi (or dragonfly) is a metaphor for the way people will fly around the city on the proposed future city-wide bicycle sharing network. Bicycle sharing is a network of stations where a person can pick up a bicycle at one station, use it and drop it off at any other station in the network. It is a system that allows the public short-term access to bicycles as a transportation option for practically free. The Tutubi bike-sharing system is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It is a demonstration project launched by the Asian Development Bank, funded by the Japanese Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) and managed by Clean Air Asia. The demonstration project was introduced by Mayor Maribel Eusebio in Pasig City today during the flag-raising ceremony. “We are thankful to the ADB and the Japanese government for selecting our city as a pilot area because this project will complement our different non-motorized transport initiatives such as our Bike to Work Loan Program for city hall and barangay employees,” says Mayor Eusebio who is also an avid cyclist. The demonstration project in Pasig City will start with one station. The station has a terminal which resembles an ATM and 10 bicycles with docks that secures them when they are not in use. The station is located at the Pasig City Hall and the bikes are only accessed by a card system available initially to city hall employees. Bike sharing systems have become an affordable, sustainable and fashionable means of mobility that has seen tremendous growth in cities throughout the world. The tipping point of bike-sharing systems happened in Paris (Vélib’) and Hangzhou, China (Hangzhou Public Bicycle), with 20,000 and 66,500 bikes respectively.

SOURCE: Clean Air Asia, 17 Oct 2013


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Now there are over 500 systems in every region around the world. The application of technology allows users to swipe a card to unlock a bicycle and to ride the bike from one station to another for a free amount of time usually 30min to 1hr. The technology as well as a deposit mechanism ensures the system is secure against theft. The Tutubi bikes may only be used via access cards that will be distributed initially to city employees only. “Bicycle-sharing is recognized by cities as a means of travelling on short trips that are too long to walk, and a way to close the gaps between public transport and a commuter’s final destination – otherwise known as the last-mile issue,” says CheeAnne Roño, Program Officer of Clean Air Asia. The bike-sharing demonstration project in Pasig City, which is expected to last for three months, aims to make the Tutubi bikes a familiar and accessible means of mobility to the city’s employees. “There is no doubt that introducing a bike-sharing system in Metro Manila could be challenging,” added Roño. “The main obstacle to the success lies in the mindset of people, where certain stigma against cycling remain entrenched, ranging from perceived dangers in cycle commuting to belief that cycling is only for the poor. But we have seen steady growth of bike commuters around the metro in the past years and this is encouraging.” Mayor Eusebio of Pasig City recognized the support of the Asian Development Bank and Clean Air Asia during the launching ceremony. The Asian Development Bank promotes bicycle sharing through its Sustainable Transport Initiative. Both the Asian Development Bank and Clean Air Asia have worked in partnership with Pasig City to launch a number of sustainable transport initiatives including the car free sundays. The bicycle-sharing system demonstration project will be complemented by the Ortigas Greenways project in creating a more sustainable and walkable Pasig City. Pasig City, the host city for this bike sharing program, has launched a Green City Program in 2007 and has since initiated various efforts to promote eco-mobility such as passing a city ordinance allowing bike plans (instead of car plans) as a benefit for city and barangay employees and closing off three public roads (F. Ortigas, Jr. Avenue in Ortigas Center, Caruncho Avenue near Pasig City Hall and MRR Road along the Pasig River) every Sunday to give space for children to play and cycle. “To succeed in promoting bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation, people’s participation must be secured through leadership by example and provision of incentives,” says Mayor Eusebio. SOURCE: Clean Air Asia, September 2013.

Improving estimates of non-exhaust particulate matter emissions

Improving estimates of non-exhaust particulate matter emissions from motor vehicles S. Xie and P. Davy

ABSTRACT Effectively reducing particulate matter (PM) emissions from motor vehicles requires accurate estimates of both exhaust (tailpipe) and non-exhaust (suspended road dust and brake/tyre/body wear) emissions. It is particularly challenging to quantify nonexhaust emissions. Source apportionment studies can be used to provide robust information about motor vehicle source chemical profiles and their contribution to ambient PM concentrations. This paper presents the results of the tracer component method (TCM), which has been used to separate exhaust and non-exhaust emissions from the entire source profile for motor vehicles in Auckland by using chemical markers. TCM was applied to ambient PM data collected in Auckland by taking the concentration of black carbon as the lower limit of the exhaust component and the concentration of crustal elements as the lower limit of the non-exhaust component. For PM2.5, the non-exhaust components and the ratios of non-exhaust to total vehicle components (NT ratio) were higher at Queen Street and Khyber Pass (busy traffic sites in the city centre) than at Takapuna and Penrose (outside the city centre). For PM10, the non-exhaust components were also higher at Queen Street and Khyber Pass but the NT ratios were similar across all sites. TCM estimated that the NT ratios were approximately 18.6% and 30.2% for PM2.5 and PM10, respectively, which was higher than those in the Auckland vehicle emissions inventory which consisted of exhaust emissions and brake/tyre wear only. In literature, studies have not been found to separate exhaust from non-exhaust components of the entire source profile of motor vehicles. TCM provides useful information about the ratio of non-exhaust to exhaust emissions, which can be used for improving the non-exhaust emission estimates in the Auckland vehicle emissions inventory.

advances in control technologies and fuel efficiency, including better combustion chamber design, more efficient fuel injection, better catalysts, improved electronics and engine management systems, better fuel quality and better fuel economy. These have been formalised within US and EU standards, which have been adopted in Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and through NZ legislations. However, non-exhaust emissions have not reduced to the same extent and remain a significant contributor to ambient particulate matter (PM) concentrations. Accurate estimates of exhaust (tailpipe) and non-exhaust (resuspended road dust and brake/tyre/body wear) emissions are critical in order to identify practical options to reduce vehicle emissions and improve urban air quality. Several techniques have been developed for directly measuring exhaust emissions, notably laboratory chassis dynamometer testing and road-side remote sensing. However, quantifying non-exhaust emissions is more complicated since they vary as a function of vehicle movements, road conditions and weather. Various methods have been applied for quantification of the road traffic contribution, including tunnel/ roadway measurements, twin site studies, use of vehicle-specific tracers and the

application of receptor modelling. After reviewing the available methods, it was concluded that further research is needed to improve these methods for quantification of the contributions of non-exhaust emissions (Thorpe and Harrison 2008; Pant and Harrison 2013). Like most other cities, Auckland suffers poor air quality at times due to motor vehicle emissions. Since 2006 a multi-site, multi-year source apportionment study in Auckland has been undertaken based on the multivariate analysis of the chemical composition of particulates, accumulating a large dataset (Petersen et al. 2009; Davy et al. 2011a). Davy et al. (2011a) estimated the contribution of road dust as the difference between the PM10 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10μm) and PM2.5 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5μm) motor vehicle source profiles. However, this approach assumes all motor vehicle PM2.5 emisisons arise from the exhaust only. Air emissions inventories estimate emissions amounts from various sources and are a vital tool for air quality management. In the Auckland vehicle emissions inventory, non-exhaust emissions include brake/tyre wear only and are estimated using traffic data from traffic models together with emission factors (Jones

KEYWORDS: Source apportionment, chemical compositions, emissions inventory, tracer component method

INTRODUCTION Emissions from motor vehicles are the biggest air pollution source in many cities. Exhaust emissions from motor vehicles have been reduced substantially, largely through

Figure 1. Locations of the six Auckland monitoring sites.

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Improving estimates of non-exhaust particulate matter emissions

Figure 2. Source profiles of motor vehicles at Queen Street (2006 - 2009) for PM2.5 (Top) and PM10 (Bottom) (Davy et al. 2011a).

et al. 2011; Wickham et al. 2012). There is some uncertainty with these methods, so there is a need to improve non-exhaust emission estimtes in Auckland. In this paper, an approach called tracer component method (TCM) was proposed and used to separate exhaust and nonexhaust emissions from the entire source profile for motor vehicles in Auckland by using chemical markers. The non-exhaust PM10 components from TCM were compared to the road dust component of the coarse particles PM10-2.5 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter between 2.5μm and 10μm) at Kingsland to understand the uncertainty of TCM. The spatial variations of non-exhaust components were also analysed. The TCM results were compared to those of the Johnstone’s Hill road tunnel study and used to improve the estimates of nonexhaust emissions in the Auckland vehicle emissions inventory. As far as we know, no studies have been carried out to distinguish exhaust from non-exhaust components of the motor vehcle source profile. TCM provides useful information about the ratio of non-exhaust to exhaust emissions. This study represents a significant step forward by providing a better tool for road traffic pollution management.


METHODS Source apportionment datasets

PM samples have been collected on filters at several monitoring sites in Auckland for elemental analysis and source apportionment studies. Figure 1 shows the six monitoring sites used in this study. PM2.5 and PM10 were sampled at Queen Street, Khyber Pass and Penrose from 2006 to 2009. At Takapuna, PM2.5 was sampled from 2007 to 2009, and PM10 from 2006 to 2009. PM10 only was sampled at Henderson from 2007 to 2009. At Kingsland, PM2.5 and PM10 were sampled from 2006 to 2007 only. Of the six sites, Queen Street (in a street canyon in the city centre) and Khyber Pass (immediately adjacent to an arterial road in the city centre) were most affected by motor vehicle emissions. Other sites were located outside the city centre. Ion beam analysis (IBA) was used to provide the elemental composition of the PM samples. The black carbon concentration was measured by light reflection/absorption. Two receptor modelling approaches were combined to provide a robust understanding of the primary sources and relative source contributions. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was used to provide an initial indication of the number of contributing

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sources. Positive Matrix Factorisation (PMF) was then used to apportion mass contributions and determine relative uncertainties and closeness of fit of the model to the data. Davy et al. (2011a) have reported the detailed analysis results at the six monitoring sites from 2006 to 2009, which included approximately 5000 samples of PM2.5 and PM10. The primary sources included biomass burning, motor vehicles, secondary sulfate, marine aerosol and soil. Secondary sulfate is derived from precursor gases such as sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide or dimethyl sulfide after the gas-toparticle reaction process in the atmosphere. In Auckland, the precursor gases could come from shipping, industrial processes, volcanic activities or oceanic phytoplankton activities (Davy et al. 2011a). Data from Takapuna, Queen Street, Khyber Pass, Penrose and Henderson provide the longest continuous records. The results of the dataset from 2006 to 2009 for these sites were used to analyse the spatial variations of non-exhaust components in the Auckland urban area. At Kingsland, source apportionment has been performed for the coarse particles PM10-2.5 dataset (by subtracting the PM2.5 dataset from the PM10 dataset), resulting in a road dust source factor (Davy et al. 2009).

Improving estimates of non-exhaust particulate matter emissions

Figure 3. Non-exhaust PM2.5 components from motor vehicles at various sites.

Figure 5. Non-exhaust PM10 components from motor vehicles at various sites.

Figure 4. Proportion of non-exhaust PM2.5 components in total vehicle PM2.5 components at various sites.

Figure 6. Proportion of non-exhaust PM10 components in total vehicle PM10 components at various sites.

This independently calculated road dust contribution was compared to the nonexhaust component estimated by TCM. In June 2010, PM2.5 and PM10-2.5 were collected in the north-bound tunnel of the twin Johnstone’s Hill road tunnels on State Highway 1 (SH1), north of Auckland, for elemental analysis and source apportionment studies (Davy et al. 2011b). The elemental composition and the black carbon concentration were also measured by IBA and light reflection/absorption, respectively. PCA and PMF were then used for source apportionment, resulting in six primary sources of PM10: light duty vehicles; heavy commercial vehicles; smoky vehicles; re-suspended road dust; biomass (wood) burning; and marine aerosol (sea salt). The results showed a 41.8% road dust contribution to the total motor vehicle PM10. Despite the short sampling period, vehicle fleet composition and driving conditions in a road tunnel, this result provides an indicative estimate of the non-exhaust contribution to the total motor vehicle PM10 in Auckland, which can be compared to the TCM result. Tracer component method (TCM) Vehicle exhaust PM emissions arise primarily from incomplete combustion of fuels and oils and mainly consist of elemental carbon. Non-exhaust PM emissions come from suspended road dust and brake/tyre/ body wear, which are primarily comprised of crustal elements (aluminosilicate minerals)

along with iron, copper and zinc. Based on the PM chemical profile for motor vehicles derived from source apportionment studies, by using the markers of exhaust and nonexhaust emissions, the exhaust and nonexhaust components can be estimated. This proposed approach is based on the signature components of the exhaust and non-exhaust emissions. The ratio of nonexhaust to total vehicle components (NT ratio) from TCM can be used to quantify the non-exhaust emissions using the estimated exhaust emissions in the inventory. This could improve the estimates of non-exhaust emissions since generally they are not well quantified in the Auckland inventory. Here the exhaust emissions in the inventory are assumed to be correct and assigned no uncertainty, while the non-exhaust emissions are perturbed only. A study has been undertaken to evaluate the accuracy and uncertainty of the exhaust emissions in the Auckland inventory by using the road-side remote sensing of vehicle emissions database (Bluett et al. 2013). In the future, this result can be incorporated to further improve the estimates of both the exhaust and the nonexhaust emissions in the inventory. From the elemental constituents of the motor vehicle source profiles derived for the Auckland sites, it can be seen that the source profiles are dominated by black carbon with trace components of other elements. As an example, Figure 2 shows the source profiles

of motor vehicles at the Queen Street site. Some of these trace elements are associated with fuel and oil formulation (e.g., S, Si, Zn, Ca, Mg, Na), while others are associated with engine mechanical wear (Fe) or with abrasion of brake linings and road surfaces (e.g., Si, Al, Fe, Cu, Zn, Ca. Mg, K, Ti and Mn) (Amato et al. 2009; Friend et al. 2013). Non-exhaust emissions (tyre/brake/body wear and road dust) are generally in the coarse size fraction (PM10-2.5). Source profiles of PM10 from motor vehicles contain higher concentrations of crustal matter elemental components from road surface abrasion (e.g., Si, Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, K, Ti) and components of brake linings (particularly Cu) are present. By using the concentration of black carbon as the lower limit of the exhaust components (excluding trace elements in the exhaust emissions) (i.e., the upper limit of the non-exhaust components), and soil/ dust elements (i.e., Si, Al, Cl and Na) as the lower limit of the non-exhaust components (excluding other trace elements in the nonexhaust emissions) (i.e., the upper limit of the exhaust components), the range or the midpoint (average of the upper limit and the lower limit) of the exhaust and non-exhaust components are then estimated. Due to a high proportion of sea salt in Auckland’s air, 20.8% for PM2.5 and 40.1% for PM10 on average (Davy et al. 2011a), Cl and Na are also included in the signature of non-exhaust emissions (considered as re-suspended sea

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Improving estimates of non-exhaust particulate matter emissions Table 1. Improvement of estimates of non-exhaust emissions from vehicles in Auckland for 2006.







Inventory (t/y)




Update (t/y)








Inventory (t/y)




Update (t/y)









* Includes brake/tyre wear only in the inventory. Table 2. Improvement of estimates of non-exhaust emissions from vehicles in Auckland for 2011.







Inventory (t/y)




Update (t/y)








Inventory (t/y)




Update (t/y)









* Includes brake/tyre wear only in the inventory. salt previously deposited as road dust). To exclude the possible non-sea salt (e.g., fuel and oil) Na contribution, the maximum Na concentration included is 64.8% of Cl (Na/ Cl weight). The estimated exhaust and nonexhaust components represent the averages of the period for which the measured data are used to derive the source profile of motor vehicles. PM2.5 and PM10 samples were collected at Kingsland from May 2006 to September 2007. A source profile of road dust (source profile mass 1.3 μg m-3) was determined from the PMF receptor modelling analysis of the PM10-2.5 elemental composition (Davy et al. 2009). The non-exhaust PM10 components from TCM were estimated in the range of 0.8 μg m-3 and 1.9 μg m-3 with a midpoint of 1.4 μg m-3, very close to the 1.3 μg m-3 road dust PM10-2.5 of the PMF result. This comparison demonstrates that TCM is able to reasonably quantify nonexhaust particulate emissions from motor vehicles. As discussed earlier, accurate estimates of exhaust and non-exhaust emissions are critical to reduce vehicle emissions effectively. There is a large uncertainty in exhaust emissions estimates, and quantifying nonexhaust discharges is more challenging as they are related to vehicle movements, road conditions and weather. Current available methods to estimate non-exhaust emissions need to improve (Thorpe and Harrison 2008; Pant and Harrison 2013). The proposed TCM is easy to use and the results appear realistic.


Therefore TCM represents a significant step forward for better estimates of non-exhaust emissions from motor vehicles.

RESULTS Spatial variations of non-exhaust components from motor vehicles

Figure 3 shows that non-exhaust PM2.5 components from motor vehicles are relatively high at busy traffic sites (up to 1.6 μg m-3 at Queen Street and 1.2 μg m-3 at Khyber Pass). At Takapuna and Penrose, the non-exhaust PM2.5 components are 0.1 μg m-3 or less. The NT ratios for PM2.5 demonstrate a similar spatial pattern (Figure 4) up to 36.8% at Queen Street and 27.6% at Khyber Pass versus 3.6% or less at Takapuna and 1.6% or less at Penrose. Non-exhaust PM10 components from motor vehicles are also relatively high at busy traffic sites (see Figure 5), up to 2.2 μg m-3 at Takapuna, 2.4 μg m-3 at Queen Street, and 3.6 μg m-3 at Khyber Pass, versus up to 2.2 μg m-3 at Penrose and 1.3 μg m-3 at Henderson. Interestingly, the NT ratios for PM10 are similar across the sites (Figure 6), with 7.0% to 58.2% at Takapuna, 12.3% to 42.7% at Queen Street, 6.9% to 52.5% at Khyber Pass, 9.1% to 53.3% at Penrose and 6.1% to 53.8% at Henderson. The reason for the greater spatial variability in PM2.5 NT ratios may be related to uncertainty in the Al and Si (also Na) data in the PM2.5 size fraction as their concentrations are generally much lower. This will be explored in future

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work as the datasets are extended over a much longer time-series. The average NT ratio for PM10 over the midpoints of all the sites is 30.2%. This compares well to the 41.8% road dust contribution to the total vehicle PM10 in the Johnstone’s Hill tunnel in Auckland (Davy et al. 2011b), despite the different sampling periods, different vehicle fleets and different driving conditions of the two studies. This comparison suggests that the TCM results are realistic. In general, non-exhaust components and NT ratios for PM10 are higher than for PM2.5, particularly at less-trafficked sites. This is because non-exhaust emissions mainly consist of coarse particles (larger than PM2.5). Our results are broadly comparable with the findings for a number of European cities showing that the contributions of nonexhaust sources were variable and as much as half of total traffic-related emissions of PM (Querol et al. 2004; Thorpe and Harrison 2008; Pant and Harrison 2013).

Improvement of non-exhaust emissions estimations of the Auckland vehicle emissions inventory

Air emissions inventories provide emission estimates from various sources. Only brake/ tyre wear of non-exhaust emissions are estimated in the Auckland vehicle emissions inventory, which accounts for 9.4% and 16.1% of total vehicle PM2.5 and PM10 emissions, respectively, for 2006; and 11.9% and 19.9% of total vehicle PM2.5 and PM10 emissions, respectively, for 2011 (Jones et al. 2011; Wickham et al. 2012). TCM can be used to improve estimates of non-exhaust PM emissions, as illustrated in Tables 1 and 2. In the tables, updated non-exhaust emissions are calculated by using the exhaust emissions from the inventory and the NT ratios from Figures 4 and 6 (18.6% for PM2.5 average of midpoints at Queen Street and Khyber Pass, and 30.2% for PM10 average of midpoints at all the sites). The NT ratios for PM2.5 at Takapuna and Penrose are not used in the updated calculation since their values are low and of high uncertainty. Table 1 shows the results for 2006. The calculated non-exhaust emissions are more than double of the brake/tyre wear discharges from the inventory, resulting in 11.3% and 20.2% increase of total PM2.5 and PM10 vehicle emissions, respectively. The calculations for the 2011 data (Table 2) result in 70.2% (for PM2.5) and 74.5% (for PM10) increase in non-exhaust emissions, and 8.3% (for PM2.5) and 14.8% (for PM10) increase in total vehicle emissions, in comparison to the inventory. The higher emissions in the update are likely due to the road dust contribution. Based on the exhaust emissions estimated from the road-side remote sensing database (Bluett et al. 2013), the uncertainty of the exhaust emissions in the inventory can be considered to further improve the estimates of both the exhaust and the nonexhaust emissions in the future.

Improving estimates of non-exhaust particulate matter emissions CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION Quantifying non-exhaust emissions is challenging since they depend on vehicle movements, road conditions and weather. This paper proposes a method to separate exhaust and non-exhaust emissions from the entire source profile for motor vehicles by using chemical markers and presents the results for Auckland. From 2006 to 2009, for PM2.5, the non-exhaust components and the NT ratios were higher at Queen Street and Khyber Pass than at Takapuna and Penrose. For PM10, non-exhaust components were also higher at Queen Street and Khyber Pass but the NT ratios were similar across all sites. TCM estimated that the NT ratios were approximately 18.6% and 30.2% for PM2.5 and PM10, respectively, higher than those in the Auckland vehicle emissions inventory which did not include road dust or vehicle body wear. Based on the TCM results, Auckland vehicle emissions could be 11.3% and 20.2% higher respectively for PM2.5 and PM10 for 2006, whereas for 2011 the increases would be 8.3% and 14.8% respectively for PM2.5 and PM10. There is uncertainty in the source profile of motor vehicles. Elements included in the source profile are dependent on measurement, data analysis and receptor modelling and elements where concentrations are poorly modelled are excluded. In addition, there is uncertainty in black carbon and elemental measurements. TCM could improve with more detailed source apportionment studies, e.g., for coarse particles PM10-2.5, with higher temporal resolution sampling (e.g., hourly). A better understanding of the elemental signatures of non-exhaust sources will also reduce the uncertainty of TCM. Both the exhaust and the non-exhaust emissions in the inventory can also be better estimated by incorporating the uncertainty of the exhaust emissions. Source apportionment studies based on the multivariate analysis of the chemical composition of PM provide robust information about source profiles and source contributions to the measured PM from various sources, including motor vehicles. Separating exhaust from nonexhaust components of the motor vehicle source profile provides useful information on the ratios of exhaust to non-exhaust emissions. Methods to distinguish exhaust from non-exhaust components of the source profile of motor vehicles have not been found in literature. TCM provides a simple, practical and reasonable solution to the difficult problem of estimating nonexhaust emissions from motor vehicles. In particular, the uncertainty of the estimates is greatly reduced by using a reliable major component of exhaust emissions, i.e., black carbon, to set an upper limit of non-exhaust components. TCM can be applied to improve

a motor vehicle emissions inventory with a more realistic estimation of non-exhaust emissions. This study represents a significant step forward by providing a better tool for road traffic pollution management.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research was funded by Auckland Council. Gerda Kuschel (Emission Impossible Limited), Janet Petersen (Auckland Council) and Iain McGlinchy (Ministry of Transport) provided valuable feedback on the draft of this paper. The comments of the anonymous reviewers were very helpful.

REFERENCES Amato, F., Pandolfi, M., Viana, M., Querol, X., Alastuey, A. & Moreno, T., 2009, Spatial and chemical patterns of PM10 in road dust deposited in urban environment. Atmospheric Environment, 43, 1650-1659. Bluett J., Kuschel G., Xie S., Unwin M. & Metcalfe J., 2013, The development, use and value of a longterm on-road vehicle emission database in New Zealand. Air Quality and Climate Change, 47(3), 17-23. Davy, P., Trompetter, B. & Markwitz, A., 2009, Source apportionment of airborne particles in the Auckland region: 2008 Update. GNS Science Consultancy Report 2009/165 for Auckland Council. Davy, P., Trompetter, B. & Markwitz, A., 2011a, Source apportionment of airborne particles in the Auckland region: 2010 Analysis. GNS Science Consultancy Report 2010/262 for Auckland Council.

Petersen, J., Davy, P., Trompetter, B. & Markwitz, A. 2009, A multi-site, multi-year source apportionment study of particulate matter in Auckland. Proc. 19th Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand (CASANZ) 2009, Perth, Australia. Querol, X., Alastuey, A., Ruiz, C.R., Artinano, B., Hansson, H.C., Harrison, R.M., Buringh, E., ten Brink, H.M., Lutz, M., & Bruckmann, P., 2004, Speciation and origin of PM10 and PM2.5 in selected European cities. Atmospheric Environment, 38, 6547–6555. Thorpe. A., & Harrison, R. M., 2008, Sources and properties of non-exhaust particulate matter from road traffic: A review. Science of The Total Environment, 400, 270−282. Wickham, L., Sridhar, S., & Metcalfe, J., 2012, Auckland motor vehicle emissions inventory projections 2016-2041. Prepared by Emission Impossible Ltd for Auckland Council (in draft).

AUTHOR DETAILS Dr Shanju Xie Scientist Air Quality Auckland Council, New Zealand Dr Perry Davy Senior Scientist GNS Science Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Davy, P., Trompetter, B. & Markwitz, A., 2011b, Concentration, composition and sources of particulate matter in the Johnstone’s Hill Tunnel, Auckland. GNS Science Consultancy Report 2010/296 for New Zealand Transport Agency. Friend, A.J., Ayoko, G.A. & Kokot, S., 2013, Source apportionment of airborne particulate matter: an overview of Australia and New Zealand studies. Air Quality and Climate Change, 47(2), 13-19. Jones, K., Graham, M., Elder, S. & Raine, R., 2011, Vehicle emissions prediction model (VEPM) version 5.0 development and user information report. Report prepared for NZTA and Auckland Council. University of Auckland Project No. 20659.002. Pant, P., Harrison, R. M., 2013, Estimation of the contribution of road traffic emissions to particulate matter concentrations from field measurements: A review. Atmospheric Environment, 77, 78-97.

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Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building energy

Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building energy-efficiency for climate change mitigation K.L. Walls, G.P. Benke and S.P. Kingham ABSTRACT The health risks associated with exposure to radon are variously described across different jurisdictions but the exposure-risk scenario may change as buildings are better sealed to make them more energy efficient as a climate change mitigation strategy. Radon which is ubiquitous in the air and often concentrated inside buildings may become more concentrated with better sealed buildings. Some countries such as the UK and the US currently have radon mitigation design standards and building codes which they use for the design and construction of buildings, whereas some other countries such as Australia and New Zealand presently take little or no cognisance of the potential problem of radon exposure in buildings. The increasing awareness of constructing well sealed and insulated buildings that are more energy-efficient is likely to result in increased radon concentrations in buildings. Radon is a known carcinogen that is a significant cause of lung cancer, and greater concentrations of radon in buildings are likely to result in increased levels of lung cancer. Better sealed energy-efficient buildings are undoubtedly required as a climate change mitigation strategy but there needs to be a greater awareness of the potential problem of increased radon concentrations so that buildings are also designed and constructed to address this. Keywords: Radon, Indoor Air, Climate Change

INTRODUCTION Radon (²²²Rn) is a naturally occurring gas emitted from the ground (Radford 1985; Australian Government 2001; Darby et al. 2005; Krewski et al. 2005; Ministry of Health 2011) and a known carcinogen (Lubin and Boice 1997; Krewski et al. 2005; Ministry of Health 2011). Exposure to radioactive radon and its decay products has been shown to be associated with increased risk of lung cancer (Lubin and Boice 1997; Krewski et al. 2005; Ministry of Health 2011). Air pollution caused by radon is ubiquitous in our environments; particularly our indoor environments (Radford 1985; Australian Government 2001; Darby et al. 2005; Krewski et al. 2005; Ministry of Health 2011) and radon can accumulate inside buildings, especially if they are poorly ventilated. As governments in the developed world


mandate for better insulated and sealed buildings as an energy-saving measure to mitigate the effects of climate change, the associated changes could result in increased levels of radon in homes and workplaces, exposing occupants to additional health risks. Most modern buildings in temperate and northern latitudes in the developed world are relatively airtight and with changes to improve energy efficiency they are likely to become increasingly so. However unless carefully designed, these moves towards more energy efficient buildings could be at the expense of indoor air quality (ECA 1996). There is currently widespread awareness that asthma and allergies are associated with indoor air quality, but less awareness of the association of indoor air quality with radon exposure. Such radon exposure is due to ubiquitous underground radon emissions. Some building materials, such as concrete and stone, are also themselves sources of radon emissions (Radford 1985; BEIR 2006; UNSCEAR 2006; Elzain 2011). Ventilation is, alongside indoor air pollution sources such as dust, animal dander and chemical vapours from some elements of the building and furnishings (such as formaldehyde), a key factor in relation to air quality. Airtight buildings lead to reduced ventilation, by way of reduced air circulation and air changes within living areas. The aim of this paper is to assess the potential impacts of policies requiring better sealed buildings (with our focus on houses) and their resultant potential increase in indoor radon exposure, and discuss natural radon ground emissions and radon exposure in Australia and New Zealand. There are potentially greater concentrations of radon in indoor environments as improvements are made in building insulation and airtightness.

DEFINING RADON Radon is a radioactive gas derived from uranium and radium in rocks and soils (US Geological Survey 2011), including thorium (Matthews 1996; EPA 2012) and potassium isotopes (Matthews 1996). More specifically, radium-226, the main isotope of radium, is a decay product of uranium-238 and it decays into radon-222 (Tuniz 2012). Radium is found in almost all soil, rock and water in small quantities (EPA 2012). Consequently, radon is found throughout the world, especially in areas with significant igneous rock formations (de Nevers 2000). Below ground, uranium breaks down into radium

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and then further into radon, a gas which easily travels up through the ground. In so doing, it contaminates ground water (Belin 1959; World Health Organization 2009) (especially water from natural hot springs) (Song et al. 2011), enters the atmosphere, and can be drawn into buildings, sometimes in high concentrations (Matthews 1996; USEPA 2001; Tuniz 2012). Radon enters buildings through soil, permeable to gas, and from there into crawl spaces, floor slabs and basements through cracks, holes, plumbing penetrations and sumps in buildings. Such migration of radon is encouraged by differential air pressure between the basement or crawl space and the surrounding soil, drawing radon into the building (USEPA 2001). In enclosed environments (such as buildings) in contact with the ground, radon in the air, when unable to disperse, can accumulate to levels orders of magnitude higher than outdoor levels (BEIR 1998; Elzain 2011). Radon enters buildings from the ground, but it also originates from (in smaller quantities) free ground water and piped water supplies. The presence of radon in water is due to the dissolution of radon underground, and there is a correlation between radon in water supplies and radon in indoor air. The rate of release of radon from water is increased by aeration or heating. The maximum acceptable value (MAV) in New Zealand of 100 Bq/L water is based on consideration of inhalation and ingestion (Matthews 1996). The presence of radon can only be detected by testing for it, as it is invisible, odourless (BEIR 2006) and tasteless (USEPA 2001). The most basic testing uses alpha-track cups (radon detectors), which are placed in test buildings for at least three months. More sophisticated radon measurement uses a portable battery- or netoperated monitor with high storage capacity. As well as detecting radon concentration in air, this instrument can also measure and record ambient temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure with integrated sensors (Pang 2011). Radon concentrations vary from season to season, day to day, and even from hour to hour, rendering it prudent to regularly conduct measurements for estimating annual average concentrations for longer than three months (USEPA 2001) (although twelve months is better to eliminate any seasonal bias anticipated in radon concentrations (World Health Organization 2009).

Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building eNERGY Table 1. Summary of radioactivity measurements

Unit of measurement

Unit type

Various limits/thresholds

Picocuries/litre of air (pCi/L)

Non-SI (US)

0.4 average outdoor radon in US 1.3 national average indoor radon in US 4.0 max. indoor threshold

Becquerel/m³ (Bq/m³)


100 threshold limit for indoor air (WHO)

200 acceptable indoor limit in Australia and many other countries 300 compromise indoor limit (WHO) = 10 mSv/y Millisieverts/year (mSv/y)

SI - Biological dose

20 “safe” dose for Fukushima in 2011 1.0 standard for Japan 1.0 after Chernobyl in that region 1.0 acceptable level in New Zealand and Australia 10.0 acceptable level in France

A common measure of radon levels in the US is picocuries per litre of air (pCi/L) – a non-SI unit of radioactivity – where a picocurie is a measure of radioactivity (USEPA 2001). Outside of the US, many countries use the SI-derived measure of radioactivity based on the Becquerel (Bq), where 2.7 pCi/L = 100 Bq m-³ (Pershagen et al. 1994). Radon in water is measured in becquerels per litre, where 1 Bq equals = 1 nuclear transformation per second. Biological dose (the amount of radiation energy absorbed by the body) also has a non-SI unit of measurement termed the rem (Roentgen Equivalent Man), which is used in the US and the SI unit of measurement, the Sievert (Sv), where 1 mSv equals 100 millirems (EPA 2012). Table 1 describes the units of measurement and various tolerated limits of exposure to radioactivity. In the US the national average indoor radon level in houses is approximately 1.3 pC/L. Average outdoor radon levels where radon is diluted are approximately 0.4 pCi/L. The EPA recommends taking action to reduce levels above 4.0 pCi/L. (There are limited data for Australia and New Zealand). Surveys (compiled from four different sources) conducted to determine the distribution of residential radon concentrations in most of the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have produced an estimated worldwide average indoor radon concentration of 39 Bq/m³ (World Health Organization 2009). ‘Safe’ levels of radon are variably defined (there are in fact no known safe levels of radon) (Gray et al. 2009). For instance, the acceptable level used in France is 10 mSv/y (McCurry 2011) – the biological dose of radiation (refer to Table 1) whereas in New

Zealand and Australia it is 1 mSv/y per year. The people of Fukushima in Japan (home of the nuclear power plant damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami) have been advised that the safe level of radiation is 20 mSv/y – when the standard (there is no safe level) for people in the rest of Japan is 1 mSv/y. After the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the maximum accepted threshold in that region was 1 mSv/y (McCurry 2011). The WHO suggests a limit of 100 Bq m-³ to minimize health hazards due to indoor radon exposure, but for those countries having difficulty with keeping below this level they suggest a compromise limit of 300 Bq m-³ which corresponds to approximately 10 mSv/y (biological dose – refer to Table 1). Due to the dose-response relationship between radon exposure and lung cancer (BEIR 1998; Darby et al. 2005; Gray et al. 2009; World Health Organization 2009), even lower levels of radon exposure such as 200 Bq m-³ – the radon concentration at which action is currently advocated in many countries (World Health Organization 2009) – are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. This is the case in Australia where 200 Bq m-³ is the recommended level at which action should be taken to reduce radon concentration in dwellings (ARPANSA 2002) and the same level applies in the United Kingdom (Gray et al. 2009; The Radon Council 2009). In the United Kingdom over 85% of radon-related deaths relate to radon levels where subjects have been exposed to under 100 Bq m-³ and have been active cigarette smokers (Gray et al. 2009). Underground public facilities are likely in some countries to be at risk of high levels of air contamination by radon. In Korea, for example, radon concentrations of underground water in some regions and air

of some Seoul subway stations have been found to be higher than action guideline levels of other countries (Ahn and Lee 2005), based on the allowable levels discussed above for indoor/enclosed environments. Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain is an example of a volcanic island where high radon levels are expected (due to its volcanism) and investigations found very high indoor radon levels commonly at around 5,000 Bq m-³ and up to 30,000 Bq/ m³ (Vinas et al. 2012). Many developed countries have well established procedures to address radon exposure. Many have developed national maps of average radon exposure based on indoor measurements (World Health Organization 2009; Barazza et al. 2012) and construction guidance documents aimed at reducing indoor radon exposure (Angell 2012). In the United Kingdom, for example, radon protection measures for all new houses were first introduced in parts of Devon and Cornwall as interim guidance in 1988 (BRE 2001). Based on a report in 2009, greater than 5% of new houses in the United Kingdom were found to exceed the action level of 200 Bq m-³ (Angell 2012). The radon concerns are addressed by a design manual for residential buildings (BRE 1999). The US has radon risk zones (zones 1 – 3) throughout the country as a guide to the building process (USEPA 2001).

HEALTH EFFECTS OF RADON The static charges of the radioactive particles of which radon is comprised attracts them to particles in the air, particles that get trapped in the lungs when inhaled. As they break down further these particles release bursts of energy (alpha radiation) which can damage the DNA in lung tissue. Such damaged DNA, if not repaired by the lung tissue, can cause lung cancer (BEIR 1998; USEPA 2001; Darby et al. 2005; Krewski et al. 2005; World Health Organization 2009; ARPANSA 2011). Radon is one of the most extensively investigated human carcinogens (BEIR 1998). Worldwide, it is the second cause of lung cancer in the general population after smoking (Woloshin et al. 2002; USEPA 2012). In the US, radon is responsible for approximately 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year (USEPA 2001), second to cigarette smoking which causes an estimated 160,000 cancer deaths annually (USEPA 2012). Residential radon exposure is responsible for 10 – 15% of the 157,400 lung cancer deaths occurring annually in the United States (Krewski et al. 2005). Radon is responsible for an estimated 2% of all deaths from cancer in Europe (Darby et al. 2005). Smokers who have radon in their homes are at an elevated risk of contracting radoninduced lung cancer (BEIR 1998; USEPA 2001; Darby et al. 2005; World Health Organization 2009), based on a synergistic effect (BEIR 1998; Darby et al. 2005; Gray et al. 2009; World Health Organization 2009). In the UK there are an estimated 1,100 deaths from lung cancer annually

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Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building energy which are considered to be related to radon in the home (3.3% of all deaths from lung cancer), mostly caused by the synergistic effects of radon and smoking (Gray et al. 2009). Of the deaths that can be attributed to radon (both independently and through joint action with smoking), BEIR 1998 believe that perhaps one-third could be avoided by reducing radon in homes where it is above the “action guideline level” of 148 Bq m-³ (4 pCi/L) to below the action levels recommended by the EPA (BEIR 1998). High indoor radon levels have been found in every state of the United States (USEPA 2001). The incidence of high radon levels would lead to radon being a significant cause of lung cancer in Europe, North America and Asia (World Health Organization 2009) and probably elsewhere. Levels less than 2.7pCi/L (100 Bq m-³) contribute to lung cancer in the UK (Gray et al. 2009). These estimates of lung cancer deaths due to radon by various commentators vary but serve the purpose of highlighting the significance that radon plays as an invisible and ubiquitous agent of adverse public health.

RADON PRESENCE IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND Radon accumulation in buildings in Australia and New Zealand is currently thought to be insignificant. Radon levels in New Zealand homes are reportedly low compared with uraniferous areas of other countries, such as Devon and Cornwall in England where radon levels exceeding 1,000 Bq/m³ have been recorded (Matthews 1996) and where radon-mitigating design of houses has been used since the 1980s. However in contradiction to this, isolated measurements of natural radiation in New Zealand suggest considerably higher natural levels of radon, similar to other more high-radon countries (Robertson et al. 1988; National Radiation Laboratory 2012). Furthermore, New Zealand comprises significant areas of rocks of igneous origin, which would ordinarily be expected to emit radon as is the case in many other countries who take precautionary measures against radon buildup in houses. The National Radiation Laboratory 2012 reiterated the general findings of Robertson et al. 1988 acknowledging similar concentrations of radon in New Zealand to “those found in most localities overseas” but advising “that there was no evidence of any “hot spots” with very high concentrations such as have been found overseas”. They added that “New Zealand soils only contain traces of uranium and radium, the source of radon” (National Radiation Laboratory 2012). However both Australia and New Zealand have uranium deposits. Australia has the largest known uranium resources in the world, with 31% of the world’s total (World Nuclear Association 2012), and is one of the world’s largest uranium exporters. New Zealand has some uranium deposits,


especially on the West Coast of the South Island, in up to about six locations, but which are considered uneconomical to mine. Some fiords and beaches of the South Island reveal uranium in beach sands (Priestley 2012). The geothermal area of Rotorua was an attraction up to the 1950s for its radon water which was seen as having many therapeutic qualities (Priestley 2012). The radon found in a geothermal steam at Wairakei, with levels of 11 – 19,500 Bq/L “does not cause toxic concentrations in air”, according to Whitehead et al. 2007. Radon has also been found in fumaroles and pools situated along the Rotorua-Taupo graben, with greater radioactive discharge from acid igneous regions than from intermediate igneous regions. It is thought that steam or water brought the radioactive gases to the earth’s surface (Belin 1959). Whitehead 1980 also found significant radon emissions at geothermal areas at Wairakei, Broadlands and Ngawha in New Zealand. Radon has also been found in a number of tourist caves in both Australia (Solomon et al. 1996) and New Zealand (Lyons et al. 1999). From 67 caves in the Australian study, 14 caves (21%) exceeded the time-weighted yearly average of 1,000 Bq m-³ which was the proposed action level. The measured radon ranged from less than 20 Bq m-³ to over 9,000 Bq m-³. There was large intercave and seasonal variation (Solomon et al. 1996). In the New Zealand study, radon levels at 112 sites in 22 tourist caves were tested, and 36% of sites exceeded the 1,000 Bq m-³ action level, with a radon range of less than 100 Bq m-³ to 10,000 Bq m-³. There were also large seasonal variations (Lyons et al. 1999). Lyons et al. 1999 even found high levels of radon in limestone caves in New Zealand where the host rock is relatively low in the parent uranium. In New Zealand, where the MAV in drinking water is 100 Bq/L, radon concentrations of up to 270 Bq/L have been recorded in the mid-1990s in farm water supplies in the Papakura area (Matthews 1996). In the 1920s Christchurch’s artesian water supply had radon concentrations of 10 – 20 times higher than other New Zealand water samples that were tested (Priestley 2012). Whitehead et al. 2007 found readings in Wairakei geothermal steam of 11 – 19,500 Bq/kg (Bq/L of water) for ²²²Rn and 25 – 16,700 Bq/kg (Bq/L of water) for ²²°Rn. Gray et al. 2009 advised that the distribution of indoor radon concentrations is highly skewed, with a small proportion of houses having much higher concentrations than the mean and that most cases of lung cancer related to radon are mostly caused by lower levels of radon levels (below 100 Bq/ m³) experienced by most of the population. About 2,000 – 3,000 homes in Australia would be expected to exceed the action level of 200 Bq m-³ for radon based on studies carried out in the 1990s (Australian Government 2001), but this could be out of date due to more recent construction

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methods leading to relatively airtight buildings, especially in moderate climes. Robertson et al. 1988 report relatively low concentrations of radon in New Zealand because there is a higher proportion of wooden houses than in most other countries which have been surveyed: implying a great significance of types of building materials. While this may be relevant, a much more significant factor, in our view, is the fact that such houses in New Zealand, especially up to 1988, are relatively drafty; thereby providing for a higher level of ventilation on a reasonably consistent basis. They concluded that there is no evidence of any high radon level concentrations in New Zealand houses (Robertson et al. 1988). Robertson et al. 1988 emphasised the significance of potentially greater emissions of radon from concrete buildings with reference to concrete post office buildings as a factor in increasing radiation on transit dosemeters while they were temporarily stored in such buildings. They surmised that part of the unexplained increase in radon could have been due to the soft x-ray examination of mail bags (which was denied by the Post Office, in New Zealand) and a cosmic ray component from mail sent by air. They also suggested a strong correlation with concrete floors and brick internal walls with higher radon levels (Robertson et al. 1988). Robertson et al. 1988 seemed to dismiss as an aberration high readings that were, in their view, unrelated to radon in houses. Given their concerns in relation to concrete post office buildings and acknowledgement of the radiological influence of different building materials, it is surprising that they did not initiate radon testing in concrete basements of houses and in solid brick houses in New Zealand. Human radiation exposure in Australia and New Zealand arises predominantly from natural sources, although levels from such sources are claimed to be relatively low (McEwan 1999). Table 2, however, shows that the 1.0 mSv/y acceptable level is exceeded in both New Zealand and Australia.

THE EFFECT OF BUILDING MATERIALS AND DESIGN ON RADON CONCENTRATIONS Building material types significantly affect radon levels in buildings (Radford 1985). Despite a common view that concrete structures can almost seal off radon, diffusion through concrete can be a significant mechanism for radon entry into dwellings due to use of poor quality concrete which is more porous in floor slabs compared with that of industrial concrete (UNSCEAR 2006). Building materials themselves also have radiological significance (ie that they emit radon themselves) (BEIR 2006; Elzain 2011), including marl, blast furnace slag, fly ash, Portland clinker, and anhydrate (in the cement industry) and clay (in the ceramics industry) (UNSCEAR 2006) and concrete, as discussed above in relation to the findings of Robertson et al. 1988.

Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building eNERGY Table 2. Natural radiation exposure sources and levels in Australia and New Zealand.

Source (NZ)

Radiation range (mSv/y) - NZ

Terrestrial (soil and rocks

0 – 0.6

(mean 0.14)

Other factors (NZ)

Source (Australia)

Radiation range (mSv/y) Australia

Terrestrial (soil and rocks)

0.6 (26%)

Radon in homes (mainly from underlying soil)

0.1 – 3.7 (mean 0.3)

Contributing on average about half of total natural radiation exposure or about 1 mSv/y.

Radon progeny

0.2 (9%)

Cosmic radiation from outer space

0.3 at sea level

Doubles with every 3,000 metres of altitude.

Cosmic rays

0.3 (13%)

Internal irradiation from naturally occurring radionuclides ingested or contained in human body

0.4 (mean)

Particularly from potassium-40 in the body.

Uranium / Thorium in the body

0.2 (8%)

Potassium-40 in the body

0.2 (9%)

Medical diagnostic (artificial)

0.8 (35%)

Medical diagnostic (artificial) – not included Total average (NZ)

1.8 + medical diagnostic

In other areas of the world Total average (Australia) levels could be at least one order of magnitude greater than the levels measured in New Zealand


Adapted from Matthews 1996 (for New Zealand) and ARPANSA 2012 (for Australia) The use of uranium-rich alum shale concrete as a building material is an important source of indoor radon in Sweden and was widely used until 1975 (Pershagen et al. 1994). Also in Sweden certain kinds of phosphate gypsum used as wallboard were found to be high in radium. Stones and brick used for house walls sometimes contain radium, resulting in higher radon indoors than frame houses. Radon in basements is generally two to three times higher than elsewhere in houses and “rocks used for heat storage in basements of homes with solar energy systems or other energy conservation measures have been found to contribute increased radon unless sealed off from living spaces” (Radford 1985). Radon exposure in buildings constructed of wood may be comparable to outdoor exposures (UNSCEAR 2006) because the more drafty (less sealed) nature of these houses prevents high accumulations of indoor radon. Conversely, this is likely to change as modern houses are built to be better sealed and more airtight. Absorbed dose rates of radon in air inside dwellings are said to be lowest in New Zealand, Iceland and the United States, which probably reflects the preponderance of wood-frame houses. The highest values are reported to be in Hungary, Malaysia, China, Albania, Portugal, Australia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Iran, which reflect wide use of stone or masonry materials in buildings (UNSCEAR 2006). In apparent contradiction, ARPANSA 2011 claims that radon levels in homes in Australia are generally lower than in other countries, but that there is a range of from 1-2 Bq/m³ to over 400 Bq/m³ (ARPANSA 2011), exceeding the action level.

Construction and ventilation characteristics are key factors in reducing indoor radon concentrations (Radford 1985; World Health Organization 2009). In 2001 there were about 200,000 radon-resistant homes being built annually in the US, comprising about 17% of total new homes. This increases to about 33% in areas known to be high in radon (USEPA 2001). The USEPA 2001 also recommends that all new homes be tested for radon, as all buildings have the potential for high levels of radon. Air leakage and ventilation are well known to mitigate radon concentrations in buildings. Under current climate change mitigation strategies there is a move towards more airtight houses in order to reduce energy consumption, with a consistent increase in air tightness across all regions of Canada and in Sweden and with over 200% reduction in the mean ACH50 of houses built before 1940 and those that were built in 1976–88 (Sherman and Chan 2004). To clarify the situation, there are two main factors to consider in reducing indoor radon concentrations – awareness of and the judicious use of building materials that themselves emit radon and ventilation and radon-control measures to allow radon from the ground to disperse without concentrating to high levels indoors. The combination of these studies reported on by Sherman and Chan 2004 (as shown in Table 3) tends to support the view that homes around much of the world are being constructed increasingly more airtight. This is likely to increase as energy efficiency strategies escalate as part of climate change mitigation. Maximum allowable air leakage for new dwellings is incorporated into the

building code in Sweden, which shows improvement in airtightness over time. This is because in countries with severe climate, including Norway and Canada, houses are built to be more airtight to conserve energy and maintain thermal comfort (Sherman and Chan 2004). Drafty houses have lower levels of radon than less drafty ones (Radford 1985) and there can be a ten-fold difference between the leakiest and tightest dwellings (Sherman and Chan 2004). By using relatively simple means of construction and judicious use of building materials homes can be made safer from the effects of radon (USEPA 2001). A Building Research Establishment (BRE) study of airtightness in 471 UK dwellings found no apparent systemic differences between houses built at different times (Sherman and Chan 2004). We believe that this is because relatively airtight buildings have been achieved in the UK over some decades and their building practices have remained relatively static, generally with load-bearing masonry walls with timber battens to support interior lining. As a response to widespread ‘leaky homes’ in New Zealand (Hunn et al. 2002) it has been a requirement over recent years to use building wrap, caulking and seals to prevent homes leaking through holes and gaps in the building envelope due to differential pressure between outside air and indoor air. Many homes also have an additional rigid air barrier (RAB) board installed behind cavities, which forms part of a drained and ventilated cavity or rainscreen system. This assists in equalizing the wind pressures within a cavity to that experienced on a building façade. As a result recently-

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Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building energy Table 3. A synthesis of air change data in dwellings over time.

Year of report


Cohort size

Reported results





>200% reduction in mean ACH50 of houses built before 1940 and those that were built in 1976-1988

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time.




Consistent increase in air tightness across all regions of Canada.

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time.




No apparent systemic differences between houses built at different times

Does not support the trend of more modern houses being more airtight




Clear decrease in air leakage from oldest constructions to those that were built around 1980. After that, air leakage is fairly constant with year built.

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time (until 1980).


New Zealand


Influence of building geometry on air tightness envelope area normalized air flow rate at 50 Pa increases as the geometry of the envelope gets more complex (Bassett 2001).




Consistent regional difference in air leakage of houses built from different period of time. Houses more airtight and more energy-efficient.

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time.


Different countries

Not stated

Up to two to three-fold differences in mean ACH50 among ten countries. Not adjusted for year of construction - dwellings in more severe climate are more air tight.

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time.



Not stated

New energy-efficient houses are built more airtight than other new conventional houses.

Supports trend of increasing airtightness with new energyefficient houses.



Not stated

Energy efficient R-2000* houses are at least twice as airtight as new conventional houses in most regions of the country. But the gap between the two is narrowing as builders and house buyers become more aware of the problems associated with excessive air leakage.

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time.



47 energy-efficient

50 nearby conventional houses as controls

“The two groups have similar standard deviations”, probably meaning that there were no discernible airtightness characteristics between the two groups of buildings.

This goes against the trend of better airtightness in energy-efficient houses, as there are inconsistencies in construction practices.



6 low energy houses

Values ranged from 3.8 to 4.9 ACH50. These values are half of those from conventional Belgian dwellings.

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time.


New Zealand


Airtightness values of 5 ACH50 (“airtight”) to 15 ACH50 (“leaky”) for a cohort of post-1960 houses. All pre-1960 houses with strip flooring and timber windows produced values of 20 ACH50 (“draughty”) (38).

Houses built before 1960 are less airtight probably due to their floor construction. 2011

New Zealand

Homes from the 1950s to 1970s have a marked increase in airtightness due to the use of aluminium joinery and particle board flooring replacing strip flooring (Quaglia & McNeil 2011).

Supports trend of increasing airtightness over time.

* R-2000 is a program offered by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, which encourages and certifies the building of energy efficient houses according to certain criteria. [Adapted from Sherman and Chan 2004].


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Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building eNERGY built homes in New Zealand are now much more airtight than they were prior to about 2004. Changing building technology is leading to new houses becoming increasingly airtight (Quaglia and McNeil 2011). The use of polyethylene air barrier or similar building wraps is a common practice to effectively reduce air leakage at walls and houses built with a floor slab-on-grade have much less floor leakage (Sherman and Chan 2004) which is also reflected in relatively recent changes to building construction in New Zealand.

POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF MAKING HOUSES MORE AIRTIGHT Energy efficiency is important for addressing climate change, and an important part of this is to ensure that houses are well insulated and well sealed. This is to ensure that the minimum amount of energy is used in heating (and cooling) houses satisfactorily for the comfort of occupants. Those that are sealed to a lesser degree lead to more air infiltration and drafty interiors (Sherman and Chan 2004). The corollary of this is that they will also prevent high concentrations of air pollutants, including radon, but which counters the notion of a good energy efficient design and construction. The construction of airtight homes has been increasing in recent years in many countries as an energy efficiency drive. We therefore have a future unrecognised dilemma emerging whereby strives for energy efficiency will increase the potential for additional radon exposure. While the risks and dangers of radon are well recognised around the world and in many developed countries there is an established regime of radon monitoring and design to mitigate radon concentrations in houses, under building codes of various countries, the current thinking in Australia and New Zealand (Robertson et al 1988) is that radon concentration is not a significant problem in its houses; based on research carried out in the 1990s and 1980s, respectively. Given that all soils emit radon (Radford 1985; Australian Government 2001; Darby et al. 2005; Krewski et al. 2005; Ministry of Health 2011) and both of these countries have geological features that are recognised radon sources, it seems incongruous that the status quo in relation to building design and construction policies should remain unquestioned. Both countries are now constructing well insulated and well sealed houses (as required by their respective building codes) in order to make them energy efficient for the purposes of dealing with adverse climate change effects, and such methods of construction are forming cohorts of housing stock which are different from those built up to the 1980s and 1990s. In contrast to earlier houses which are more drafty, particularly in relation to New Zealand’s housing stock, modern houses are now much more airtight in order to reduce energy to heat them. A collateral effect of much more airtight houses is that they also have the potential to lead to higher

concentrations of moisture and toxins, including radon, unless specific countermeasures are allowed for. Moves towards energy-efficient buildings for climate change mitigation are of great importance, but in so doing, we need to ensure that the design and construction of buildings does not pose unnecessary exposure of occupants to radon. It is important that prudent radon-mitigation practice is continued and it is recommended that some countries which believe there is not a significant radon problem in buildings, such as Australia and New Zealand, review their approach in order to ensure that a collateral effect of their energy efficiency initiatives is not an increase in lung cancer. Prudent radon-mitigation practice requires implementation since the extent of increased radon-induced lung cancers due to energy efficiency measures for climate change are as yet unknown.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors acknowledge the assistance of Dr Helen Walls, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health and the Australian National University, in the preparation of this paper.

REFERENCES Ahn, G.H., Lee, J.K., 2005, Construction of an environmental radon monitoring system using CR-39 nuclear track detectors. Nuclear Engineering and Technology, 37(4), 395-400. Angell, W., 2012, Radon control in new homes: A meta-analysis of 25 years of research. The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST). US. ARPANSA, 2002, Recommendations for limiting exposure to ionizing radiation. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Australian Government. ARPANSA, 2011, Radon in homes. Fact sheet 5. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Australian Government. ARPANSA, 2012, Understanding radiation. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Australian Government, Available from: radiationprotection/basics/understand.cfm. Australian Government, 2001, Air toxics and indoor air quality in Australia. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities. Barazza, F., Gfeller, W., Murith, C., Palacios, M., 2012, The assessment of the radon problems in Switzerland and the new National Radon Action Plan 2012-2020”. The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), US. Bassett, M., 2001, Naturally ventilated houses in New Zealand: Simplified air infiltration prediction. Wellington, New Zealand: CIB World Building Congress.

BEIR VI (Sixth Committee on Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation), 1998, Health effects of exposure to radon: Committee on health risks of exposure to radon. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. US. BEIR VII (Seventh Committee on Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation), 2006, Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BIER VII – Phase 2. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. US. Belin, R., 1959, Radon in the New Zealand geothermal regions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 16(1-3),181-186. BRE, 2001, Radon questions and answers. Building Research Establishment Ltd, United Kingdom. BRE, 1999, Radon - Guidance on protective measures for new dwellings. Building Research Establishment Ltd, United Kingdom. Darby, S., Hill, D., Auvinen, A., Barros-Dios, J.M., Baysson, H., Bochicchio, F., Deo, H., Falk, R., Forastiere, F., Hakama, M., Heid, I., Kreienbrock, L., Kreuzer, M., Lagarde, F., Mäkeläinen, I., Muirhead, C., Oberaigner, W., Pershagen, G., Ruano-Ravina, A., Ruosteenoja, E., Schaffrath Rosario, A., Tirmarche, M., Tomásek, Whitley, E., Wichmann, H.E., Doll, R., 2005, Radon in homes and risk of lung cancer: collaborative analysis of individual data from 13 European case-control studies. British Medical Journal, 330(7485), 223. de Nevers, N., 2000. Air Pollution Control Engineering: McGraw Hill. US. ECA (European Collaborative Action) “Indoor air quality and its impact on man”, 1996, Indoor air quality and the use of energy in buildings. Report No. 17. EUR 16367 EN. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Community. Elzain, A.E., 2011, Seasonal variation of radon-222 concentration in shops and pharmacies of Alzarqa Town – Jordan. The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST). US. EPA, 2012, Radium” radiation/radionuclides/radium.html. US. EPA, 2012, Radiation dose in perspective http:// html. US. Gray, A., Read, S., McGale, P., Darby, S., 2009, Lung cancer deaths from indoor radon and the cost effectiveness and potential of policies to reduce them. British Medical Journal, 338, a3110. Hunn, D., Bond, I., Kernohan, D., 2002, Leaky buildings. New Zealand Parliamentary Library. Krewski, D., Lubin, J.H., Zielinski, J.M., Alavanja, M., Catalan, V.S., Field, R.W., Klotz, J.B., Létourneau, E.G., Lynch, C.F., Lyon, J.I., Sandler, D.P., Schoenberg, J.B., Steck, D.J., Stolwijk, J.A., Weinberg, C., Wilcox, H.B., 2005, Residential Radon and Risk of Lung Cancer: A Combined Analysis of 7 North American Case-Control Studies. Epidemiology, 16(2), 137-145.

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Potential increased radon exposure due to greater building energy Lagarde, F., Mellander, H., Svartengren, M., Swedjemark, G.A., 1994, Residential radon exposure and lung cancer in Sweden. New England Journal of Medicine, 330, 159-64. Lubin, J.H., Boice, J.D., 1997, Lung Cancer Risk From Residential Radon: Meta-analysis of Eight Epidemiologic Studies. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 89(1), 49-57. Lyons, R., Solomon, S., Langroo, R., Peggie, J., 1999, Radon in New Zealand tourist caves. Occupational Health and Safety Group, Worksafe. 243-251. Matthews, M., 1996, Radon in drinking water: Risks and remedies. Water & Wastes in NZ. 20-23. McCurry, J., 2011, Anxiety over radiation exposure remains high in Japan. The Lancet, 378, 1061-1062. McEwan, A., 1999, Exposures to ionising radiations in New Zealand. New Zealand Public Health Report, 6 (11/12). Ministry of Health, 2011, Radiation situation in Japan - Information for health providers. No. 1. Ministry of Health, New Zealand. National Radiation Laboratory, 2012, Radiation in the home; Available from: http://www.nrl. New Zealand. Pang, R., 2011, Personal email communication to K L Walls (author). Global Medical Solutions (NZ) Ltd. New Zealand. Pershagen, G., Akerblom, G., Axelson, O., Clavensjo, B., Damber, L., Desai, G., Enflo, A., Lagarde, F., Mellander, H., Svartengren, M., Swedjemark, G.A., 1994. Residential radon exposure and lung cancer in Sweden. New England Journal of Medicine, 330, 159-164. Priestley, R., 2012, Mad on radium - New Zealand in the atomic age. Auckland University Press. New Zealand. Quaglia, L., McNeil, S., 2011, Changing the air indoors, BUILD 127, 48-49, BRANZ. New Zealand.


Radford, E., 1985, Potential Health Effects of Indoor Radon Exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives, 62, 281-287. Robertson, M., Randle, M., Tucker, L., 1988, Natural radiation in New Zealand houses. 1988/6 NRL Report, National Radiation Laboratory, Ministry of Health, New Zealand. Sherman, M., Chan, R., 2004, Building Airtightness: Research and Practice. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Report No. LBNL53356. US. Solomon, S., Langroo, R., Peggie, J., Lyons, R., James, J., 1996, Occupational exposure to radon in Australian tourist caves: An Australiawide study of radon levels. Australian Radiation Laboratory, Victoria, Australia. Song, G., Wang, X., Chen, D., Chen, Y., 2011, Contribution of ²²²Rn-bearing water to indoor radon and indoor air quality assessment in hot spring hotels of Guangdong, China. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 102, 400-406. The Radon Council. 2009. Updated guidance for the management and remediation of radon gas in buildings. United Kingdom. Tuniz, C., 2012, Radioactivity – A very short introduction. Oxford University Press. United Kingdom. UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation), 2006, Annex B - Exposures from natural radiation sources, UN. US Geological Survey, 2011, The geology of radon. Available from: gov/radon/georadon/3.html. US. USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), 2001, Building radon out: A stepby-step guide on how to build radon-resistant homes. USEPA EPA 402-K-001-002, 2001. USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), 2012, Radon (Rn) health risks. Available from: healthrisks.html.

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Vinas, R., Eff-Darwich, A., Rodriguez-Losada, J.A., Hernández, L.E., 2012, A regional scale radon monitoring network in the volcanic island of Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain). The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST). US. Whitehead, N.E., 1980, Radon measurements at three New Zealand geothermal areas. Geothermics, 9, 3-4. Whitehead, N.E., Barry, B. J., Ditchburn, R.G., Morris, C.J., Stewart, M.K., 2007, Systematics of radon at the Wairakei geothermal region, New Zealand. Journal of Enviromental Radioactivity, 92(1), 16-29. Woloshin, S., Schwartz, L.M., Welch, H.G., 2002, Tobacco money: up in smoke? The Lancet, 359(9323), 2108-2111. World Health Organization, 2009, WHO handbook on indoor radon: A public health perspective. Geneva, Switzerland. World Nuclear Association, 2012, Australia’s uranium. Available on Australia.

AUTHORS Dr Kelvin L Walls, Building Code Consultants Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand. Dr Geza P Benke, Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Dr Simon P Kingham, Professor of Geography and Director of the GeoHealth Laboratory, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Corresponding author – Dr Kelvin Walls,


Field odour assessments for estimating odour concentrations David Pitt

ABSTRACT The management of odorous emissions to air from industrial, agricultural and waste management processes is one of the most difficult in the field of air quality. One of the reasons for this is the absence of reliable methods for measuring ambient odour concentrations. This paper provides a description of an approach for estimating ambient odour concentrations based on a form of the VDI3882.1 intensity scale, and some results of from two studies using this approach. It was found that the inter-assessor repeatability of concentrations estimated from field assessments was: • for concentrations less than 0.5 ou, the 95% confidence level is about 100%; • for concentrations between 0.5 and 1.5 ou, the 95% confidence level is about 60%; and • for concentrations above 1.5 ou, the 95% confidence level is 10 to 50%. Estimates of ambient odour concentrations which are reasonably repeatable and accurate are possible when odour intensities at the distinct level (or slightly stronger) are present for more than 15% of the time during the assessment period. KEYWORDS: field odour assessments, odour concentrations, odour intensity, VDI3882.1

INTRODUCTION For the last 15 years, the author has undertaken periodic field odour assessments based on concepts described in the German VDI 3882.1 (1992) and VDI 3940 (1993) “standards” primarily to quantify odour levels in ambient air for the comparison to dispersion modelling predictions. Such predictions use odour emission rates derived from sampling and analysis based on the AS/ NZS 4323.3:2001 Standard – “Stationary source emissions – Part 3: Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry”. To date, few other examples of similar work in Australia or internationally appear to have been presented. This is surprising because: • the ability to achieve good correlations between odour concentrations from field assessments and those predicted using (non-Gaussian) models have been reported in Ormerod et al. (2002),


Feliubadaló et al. (2009), Henry et al. (2010), Robim et al. (2011) and Galvin et al. (2011); • most Australian State jurisdictions have adopted an odour criterion based on odour concentrations determined using dispersion modelling, hence the desire to validate such predictions as reasonably as possible is obvious; and • there seems to be a general lack of awareness that for many environmental odour circumstances, this can be done reliably by simply using people to “sniff” the air. This paper seeks to promote greater use of field odour assessments to estimate ambient odour concentrations by providing additional supporting data and describing aspects of the method considered useful for the improvement of results. The paper: • summarises important aspects of the VDI 3882.1 standard, • examines the inter-assessor repeatability of field assessments from a large study undertaken for an alumina refinery; • investigates the accuracy of odour concentrations determined from field odour assessments using data from a German tracer study; and • suggests improvements for the method of using field odour assessments for the comparison to dispersion modelling predictions.

VDI 3882.1 AND ODOUR INTENSITY VDI 3882.1 was published in 1992. It describes a method for relating the concentration of an odorant to its perception of “strength”, referred to as “intensity”. The native language of the VDI standards is German. The standards are available with an English translation, however the grammar can be a little “stilted” and not always easy to follow.

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The purpose of VDI 3882.1 was based on the recognition that the odour sensory response varied for different substances or mixtures in ways that could not be adequately described by concentrations alone. The foundation of VDI 3882.1 was to define a range of intensity categories as follows: Odour intensities were then rated using these categories and correlated against known odorant concentrations using an olfactometer. The purpose of establishing such correlations was to assist odour management, viz., “the investigation of the odour intensity of individual concentration levels using an olfactometer makes it possible to assess it under field conditions” (VDI 3882.1 pg 3). VDI 3882.1 included the results of testing five odorants. The plotted experimental data are shown in Figure 1. The form of the best-fit straight line relationships recommended in VDI 3882.1 is log linear between odorant concentration and intensity category: I = m Log(C) + b Equation 1 or C = 10 [ (I – b) / m] Equation 2 Where I = Numerical rating of odour intensity category (Intensity units). m = Odorant-specific slope referred to as the Weber-Fechner constant (Intensity unit/ Concentration unit). C = Odour concentration (Concentration unit). b = Intercept (Intensity unit/ Concentration unit) which by definition should pass through I=0.5 and the odour detection threshold.


Intensity level

Extremely strong


Very strong








Very weak


Not perceptible



Figure 1. Odour intensity relationships in VDI 3882.1

Table 1 DOCs determined using intensity analysis for some environmental odorants


DOC (ou)


Alumina Refinery Calciner (Average of 3 calciners from 3 refineries)


Jiang et al. (2006)

Alumina Refinery Liquor Burner


Jiang et al. (2006)

Alumina Refinery Slurry Vent


Jiang et al. (2006)

WWTP Scrubber Inlet


Jiang et al. (2006)

WWTP Clarifiers


Jiang et al. (2006)



DEC (2002)

Pig Shed


ENVALL Watsons Foods (2001)



ENVALL Watsons Foods (2001)

Hydrogen sulphide


VDI 3882.1

Bitumen hot mix (stack)


ENVALL Asphalt Surfaces (2001)

Bitumen tank


ENVALL Asphalt Surfaces (2001)

For the experimental data in Figure 1, the x-axis can be redefined in odour units (ou) simply by dividing the concentrations by the concentration at I=0.5, which is by definition, the odour threshold or 1 ou. This standardises the intensity concentration relationships by relating each intensity category to odour units, which are typically used in regulatory odour criteria. A more convenient way to interpret the intensity/concentration relationships is simply to refer to the “Distinct Odour Concentration” (DOC), which is simply the odour concentration in ou corresponding an intensity ranking of “distinct”. Table 1 shows some DOCs determined using an intensity analysis for some environmental odorants that may be familiar to environmental practitioners. For reasons discussed in the next Section, these values probably have uncertainties around the factor of two level and they should not be interpreted too literally. It is, however, reasonable to consider that the DOC for most of the common “problem”

environmental odours ranges from approximately 3 to 12 ou. This appears consistent with most of the recent literature descriptions of generalised ambient odour concentrations. For example, the UK “Odour Guidance for Local Authorities” (UK DEFRA 2010 pg 10) states: 1 ouE m-3 is the point of detection. As a very approximate guide: • 1-5 ouE m-3 the odour is recognisable; • 5 ouE m-3 is a faint odour; • 10 ouE m-3 is a distinct odour. The values for normal background odours such as from traffic, grass cutting, plants, etc, amount to anything from 5 to 40 ouE m-3. Therefore, for a comparison to dispersion modelling of emissions presented as odour concentrations, an assumption of DOC=10 ou would probably be a reasonable, and possibly slightly conservative, estimate, even without having performed an intensity analysis for the odorant in question1.

An important issue relating laboratory to field intensity ratings is whether there is a similar interpretation of a “distinct” odour strength between laboratory panellists and field assessors. The basis and justification of the VDI 3882.1 intensity categories considering different psychometric methods is described in Appendix A1 of the document. It is important to understand that the “category scaling” approach is based on “the assignment of sensation intensities to verbal intensity categories” (pg 22, underline inserted). Therefore, a key issue in the application of VDI 3882.1 is the interpretation of “distinct”, since the categories containing the “weak” and “strong” descriptors are only relative. Initial experiences with field odour assessments in the late 1990s indicated that the simple VDI category descriptors were somewhat ambiguous and prone to different interpretations by different assessors. Table 2 shows various definitions of “distinct” or deutlich (German). The author’s opinion of the intended interpretation of deutlich is that for an odour intensity to be rated at this level, it should be strong enough to be clearly recognised from its character as being of a specific type or from a specific source, without any doubt. In order to improve the consistency with which odour intensities (strengths) were interpreted by different assessors, a guidance note as shown in Table 3 was developed in 2003 for use in our work, and has been used since. The guidance makes it clear that an intensity of 3 corresponds to an odorant concentration at which the odour is clearly recognisable to an assessor familiar with that type of odour – while not being at a higher concentration that leads to a cognitive response of “unpleasantness” for an offensive odorant or “pleasantness” for a pleasing odorant. Put simply, the odour is simply considered to “clearly recognisable” but no more. This definition seeks to establish an intensity of 3 as an absolute benchmark for a person with a normal sense of smell rating odour strength around which other relative judgements can be made. In practice, assessors are also requested to assign an odour “character” to each intensity observation ≥ 3. The odour character is “what the odour smells like”. At an intensity of 3, the odour is, by definition, recognisable. Assessors could also optionally assign a character to an intensity observation < 3. It is not suggested that the guidelines in the Table are the best that could be developed, however the intent must be to follow the basis of the VDI 3882.1 categorisations - that is, the use of verbal descriptions to achieve repeatable categorisations by different assessors (with a normal sense of smell) assuming a common understanding of a sensory perception.

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Deutlich (German)

Google Translate (23/12/2013)

Note: Bar next to each entry indicates how commonly that particular translation used on the Web. Distinct (English)

“…the assessor must test the air for a definitely recognisable odour. The odour is definitely recognised if the assessor is capable of definitely identifying its quality. Note: It is a characteristic of the olfactory sense that the subject only perceived the presence of an odour when its concentration is above a certain level, called the odour threshold. As the concentration rises further, the subject is still only able to say that there is an odour, without being able to identify it (odour perception threshold). Only after further raising the concentration is it possible also to identify the type of odour (recognition threshold). The recognition threshold may be from three to ten times higher than the perception threshold”.

VDI 3940 (1993) page 11

Distinct (English)

Recognition threshold exceeded. The facility odour is clearly identified from its quality (character) and there is no uncertainty or guessing involved.

VDI 3940.3 (2010) page 19


1. easily sensed or understood; clear; precise 2. not the same (as); separate (from); distinguished (from) 3. not alike; different 4. sharp; clear 5. recognisable; definite: a distinct improvement 6. explicit; unequivocal

English dictionary (Collins) definition

IS THE PERCEPTION OF ODOUR INTENSITY IN THE LABORATORY THE SAME AS IS THE FIELD? In studies of the sensory effect of stimuli, odour perception is often related to sound perception, along with the acknowledgment that sound perception and interpretation in humans is much more highly developed. Nevertheless, using sound as an analogy, the perception of supra-threshold sound strength as “loudness” does not change with the elimination of background noise. Tests of loudness perception are typically carried out in quiet rooms or sound-proof laboratories, with the results assumed to apply to environmental situations outside the room or laboratory. Similarly, there should really be no reason to expect that the perception of supra-threshold odour strengths in the environment should change with the elimination of background odours when sniffing in an odour laboratory, assuming the circumstances of the presentation of the odour are similar.


Experience with field assessments shows that this is usually the case. Odours are typically assessed outside the boundary of the odour-emitting facility at distances up to and including sensitive receptor locations (eg residences). In most circumstances, the odour levels will fluctuate considerably with numerous observations of no odour between the observations of odour at times strong enough to be clearly recognised as being from the source in question. Moreover, an issue often overlooked is that a field assessor would typically undertake as a minimum, some eight to nine 10 minute assessments over a 2-h period. This represents some 480 to 540 sniffs of fluctuating odour. As with most human endeavours, the ability to perform a task improves with practice. It is the author’s experience that field assessors quickly become remarkably skilled at discriminating small changes in odour strengths. In contrast, for numerous practical reasons, a panellist performing an intensity analysis of an environmental odour sample in

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the laboratory might be limited to some two to three rounds of some six to eight sniffs of ascending concentrations of the odour sample i.e. only some 16 to 24 sniffs per sample. Another factor cited against being able to reliably estimate odour strengths from field intensity assessments is “adaptation” due to olfactory fatigue. There is no doubt that continuous exposure to strong odour reduces the ability to perceive the strength of that odour. This type of exposure is however, rare in a field situation where the location is typically outside the boundary of the odouremitting premises and the odour intensity fluctuates significantly. In any case, the placement of the field assessment locations can be designed to avoid this problem in most cases. There is every reason to expect that the ability of the field assessor to categorise supra-threshold odour strength is no worse than that of the laboratory panellist, assuming the absence of external confounding odours.

FIELD ODOUR ASSESSMENTS FOR ESTIMATING ODOUR CONCENTRATIONS Table 3 Field guidance notes used for rating odour strength

Perceived odour strength

Intensity level rating


Extremely strong


In normal circumstances, this should be very rare in a field situation. For an offensive type of odour, the reaction would be to mitigate against further exposure. This remains the dominant thought and motivation until the exposure level is reduced. The odour cannot be tolerated.

Very strong


The odour character is clearly recognisable. For an offensive type of odour, exposure to this level is considered unpleasant/undesirable to the point that action to mitigate against further exposure is considered or taken.



The odour character is clearly recognisable. For an offensive type of odour, exposure to this level would be considered unpleasant/undesirable.



The odour character is clearly recognisable. Note that this must still apply even if in a different context or situation - for example, not knowing or expecting what type of odour may be present. The odour is tolerable – even for an offensive odour.



The assessor is reasonably sure that odour is present but not 100% sure of the odour character. For example, at the “weak” level, suspended gravel dust is similar to the wet cement odour.

Very weak


The odour character is not recognisable. There is probably some doubt whether the odour is actually present. A useful strategy where the odour is borderline between “not perceptible” and “very weak” is to alternate such observations between 0 and 1.

Not perceptible


No odour.

Figure 2. 95% confidence levels for relative standard error of odour concentrations from large program

FIELD ODOUR ASSESSMENTS OUTSIDE ALUMINA REFINERY An extensive field odour survey program was undertaken around an alumina refinery during the winter-spring period of 2006. This included a total of 1,089 field odour assessments of 10 minutes each.

The odour concentrations were calculated from the field intensity observations attributable to the alumina refinery using Equation 2. The DOCs for the odours released from different sources within the refinery ranged from 4.8 to 9.2 ou. As it was not possible to familiarise most of the

assessors with the different types of refinery odours beforehand, the odour intensity/ concentration relationship for the “weighted average” refinery odour emissions was used. This had a DOC of 7.2 ou.

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Figure 3. Estimated 10-minute average odour concentrations compared to hourly means

Figure 4. Comparison of field estimated odour concentrations with modelling predictions


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Figure. 5 Correlation between odour concentrations from field assessments of intensity and SF6 dilution ratio assuming DOC = 7.5 ou

Repeatability Of Estimated Odour Concentrations From Field Assessments

In response to an independent peer review of the methodology for estimating the odour concentrations from field assessments beforehand (Luhar, 2003), throughout the study, assessors were randomly paired with other assessors at the same location and requested to perform their assessments independently over the same time period. The repeatability of calculated concentrations from field assessments was estimated from the paired assessment results. The analysis assumes that the mean of the two estimated concentrations from each paired assessment (C1, C2) is the “true” concentration (C). The relative standard error (RSE) for each paired assessment is defined as: RSE = |C – C1|/C

Equation 3

Note that because C = (C1 + C2)/2, then |C – C1| = |C – C2| and so either C1 or C2 can be used in the calculation of RSE. Figure 2 shows the average percentage RSE values as a function of the odour concentrations aggregated into various concentration intervals in order to allow a confidence limit to be calculated. This shows that the 95% confidence limit for the RSEs improves with increasing concentration, viz.: • for concentrations less than 0.5 ou, the 95% confidence level is about 100%;

• for concentrations between 0.5 and 1.5 ou, the 95% confidence level is about 60%; and • for concentrations above 1.5 ou, the 95% confidence level is 10 to 50%.

Comparison With Modelling Predictions

The estimated odour concentrations were subsequently compared to modelling predictions as part of a wide-ranging study of the same alumina refinery facility, in Hibberd (2008). Some typical results over a 6-h period are shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4. Figure 32 simply illustrates the variation in hourly mean concentrations (open circles) derived from the 10-minute averages (solid diamonds). Figure 43 shows the 10-minute fieldestimated odour concentrations (solid diamonds) against 1-hourly modelling predictions (solid line) at a downwind distance of 1 kilometre. Allowing for the scatter arising from the comparison of 10-minute field-estimated, to hourly average modelled, concentrations, it is clear that the correspondence is quite reasonable. Moreover for this project, the odour emissions measurements, odour intensity analysis, meteorological data provision, dispersion modelling and field odour assessments were all performed by different consultants acting independently of each other. This implies a sense of robustness regarding the underlying methodology, data used and results.

1. PIG SHED EMISSIONS TRACER EXPERIMENT In 2001, the German State of BadenWürttemberg sponsored the development of an odour dispersion modelling validation data set as part of a joint research project – “Providing validation data for odor dispersion models – field measurements”4 (Bächlin et al., 2002). In brief, field odour assessments using the VDI 3882.1 categories were undertaken in a traverse downwind of a pig barn. The barn’s ventilation was modified such that odour emissions were from a single exhaust stack. SF6 was added to the exhaust flow as a tracer. The following were measured from the exhaust stack: • Volume flow rate; • SF6 injection rate; and • Odour concentration from sampling. At each downwind assessment location, odour intensities were recorded every 10 seconds for 10 minutes by typically 12 assessors. SF6 was continuously sampled adjacent to each assessor. The final data included: • measured odour concentrations and SF6 concentrations in the stack emission; and • downwind ambient intensity observations and corresponding SF6 concentrations over 10 minutes at each downwind assessment location (total of 72 data pairs).

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Figure 6. Correlation between odour concentrations from field assessments of intensity and SF6 dilution ratio assuming DOC = 10 ou

Figure 7. Correlation between (Odour DR:SF6 DR) and number of observations where intensity â&#x2030;Ľ 3 assuming DOC = 10 ou


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FIELD ODOUR ASSESSMENTS FOR ESTIMATING ODOUR CONCENTRATIONS The actual plume dilution is therefore known at each field assessment location from the SF6 dilution. The “true” odour concentration is the odour emission concentration divided by the SF6 Dilution Ratio (DR) – defined here as the ratio of the emission concentration to the ambient concentration. A comparison of the 10-minute average field odour concentrations estimated using the intensity concentration relationship for DOC = 7.5 ou as measured for pig sheds (Table 1) with the “true” odour concentrations is shown in Figure 5. The unconstrained line of best fit passes through y = 0.97 indicating the estimated odour concentration at low odour levels was too high. A likely reason for this is the uncertainty of field-estimated odour concentrations for low odour levels as described in the previous section. The line of best fit constrained to pass through the origin, as theoretically required, gives a slope of 0.79 indicating that the fieldestimated concentrations are approximately 20% too low. This is still a good correspondence particularly when the validity of an underlying assumption – that the pig barn odours in the German study were the same as those measured from a Western Australian pig shed, is unknown, and that the intensity analysis used (DOC=7.5 ou) was derived from a single sample. The correlation using a revised intensity/ concentration relationship assuming a DOC of 10 ou is shown in Figure 6. The constrained line of best fit is very close to the 1:1 ratio of exact correspondence, which demonstrates that this would be a more appropriate relationship to use. To reinforce the point that field estimated concentrations become more reliable when there are more odour observations around the “distinct” level, the ratios of the 10-minute field-estimated odour concentrations to the true dilutions were calculated. A perfect match would be at a ratio of 1 (i.e. the field-estimated odour concentrations derived from the intensity observations would be exactly correct). The ratios were plotted against the number of observations within the assessment period where the intensity was ≥ 3, and are shown in Figure 7. The scatter at the low end of the x-axis indicates the uncertainty of the field estimated concentrations for low odours. As the frequency of “distinct” observations exceeds 9 to 10 times, which is 15 to 17% of the observations, there is a marked and consistent improvement in the accuracy of the field-estimated concentrations.

A MODIFIED ODOUR INTENSITY PROCEDURE FOR AUSTRALIA The previous sections have reviewed the importance of a common understanding of “distinct” when scaling odour according to the VDI 3882.1 categories and shown that the repeatability and accuracy of field-estimated odour concentrations are improved when assessors are presented with odour concentrations at this level upwards of

15% of the time in a 10-minute assessment period. An inconsistency arises in the intensity analysis of an odour sample in Australia in that the determination of the odour threshold concentration using the VDI 3882.1 method is different, and less accurate, than that determined using AS/NZS 4323.3:2001. The determination of the odour threshold concentration using the VDI 3882.1 method is essentially through interpolation between the average of the panellists detection of an odour as “very weak” and no odour5. The “forced choice certainty” criterion used in AS/NZS 4323.3:2001 for the lowest positive detection of the odour most likely represents a higher standard of certainty of the first odour detection in the ascending concentration series. This implies the odour threshold may be found at a higher odorant concentration (i.e. lower dilution of the sample) than from the VDI 3882.1 method. On this assumption 2 ou say, from VDI 3882.1, might be equivalent to 1 ou from AS/NZS 4323.3:2001. There are, however, other factors that may influence the odour detection threshold determined from the alternative methods but suffice to say, they are likely to be different. It is proposed that the odour intensity analysis in Australia should be done by: • determining the odour detection threshold as per AS/NZS 4323.3:2001 – that is, the dilution ratio of odour-free air with sample (DRODT=1ou) which by definition is at I = 0.5, • performing the intensity analysis of supra threshold odour concentrations to determine the dilution ratio for “distinct” odour (DRDOC), the interpretation of which is fully explained to panellists - this corresponds by definition to I = 3; and • determining the intensity relationship from the straight line relationship in Equation 1 – that is the log of the dilution ratios on the x-axis and the linear intensity categories on the y-axis. As described previously, since the odour detection threshold is defined as 1 ou, the relationship is more conveniently presented simply with ou on the x-axis and: • the odour detection threshold of 1 ou intersecting at I = 0.5; and • the ratio of the dilution ratios DRODT=1ou / DRDOC which gives the odour concentration in ou, intersecting at I = 3. This would then fully reconcile the intensity relationship with the odour detection threshold defined by AS/NZS 4323.3:2001. Another benefit of the approach is that the integrity of intensity analysis may become less dependent on whether the varying odour sample strengths are presented randomly or in ascending order, as long as the panellists have a clear understanding of what is meant by the interpretation of a “distinct” odour. The intensity analysis becomes essentially the determination of the DOC.

REVISIONS TO VDI 3940 SERIES More recent revisions of the VDI 3940 series for hedonic tone rescale the VDI3882.1 intensity categories for compatibility with existing German regulations “GOAA” Guideline on Odour in Ambient Air6. The German GOAA is based on criteria using “odour hours”, where an “odourhour” is derived from the frequency of odour levels that are at least clearly recognisable from a facility during a 10-minute period. While this may well, in practice, coincide with the “distinct” intensity level, the German regulatory approach does not incorporate the scaling of intensities. More recent changes to the GOAA from 2008 have incorporated hedonic tone into the odour-hour calculation. While more could be said on this issue, the regulatory approach to odour management in Germany - particularly the more recent directions, is fundamentally very different to that followed in Australian State jurisdictions. For field odour assessments in Australia where the purpose is to determine VDI 3882.1 intensity categories either per se or for estimating ambient odour concentrations, the original VDI 3940 (1993) standard presents a clearer methodology for doing this (scaling the intensity categories) than the subsequent versions.

CONCLUSION This paper presents a methodology for using field odour assessments to compare against modelling predictions where the emission measurements are based on AS/NZS 4323.3:2001. Estimates of odour concentrations which are reasonably repeatable and accurate can be made where: • Assessors have a clear understanding of the intensity categories, particularly the interpretation of the “distinct” odour level; • Assessments are undertaken at locations where odour levels fluctuate between no odour and the distinct level (or slightly stronger); • Odour intensities at the distinct level (or slightly stronger) are present for more than 15% of the time; and • The intensity/concentration relationship for the odour being assessed is properly established. Where, however, the latter is not available, an assumption of DOC = 10 ou (m = 2.5, b = 0.5 in Equation 2) should be a reasonable-to-conservative estimate of odour concentrations. It would be highly desirable for the field odour assessment methodology to be more formalised for use in Australia. An obvious option is through the development of Australian Standards, however other possibilities are regulatory jurisdictions or the CASANZ Odour SIG.

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FIELD ODOUR ASSESSMENTS FOR ESTIMATING ODOUR CONCENTRATIONS REFERENCES Bächlin, W., Rühling, A., Lohmeyer, A., 2002, “Bereitstellung Von Validierungsdaten Für Geruchsausbreitungsmodelle – Naturmessungen”, Ingenieurbüro Lohmeyer Karlsruhe und Dresden Förderkennzeichen: BWE 20003, Juni 2002. (Translation using Google Translate below): Bächlin, W., Rühling, A., Lohmeyer, A., 2002, “Provision Of Validation Data For Odor Dispersion Models - Nature Measurements”, Engineer Lohmeyer Karlsruhe and Dresden grant number: BWE 20003, June 2002. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), 2002, “Odour Methodology Guideline”, March 2002. Environmental Alliances, 2007, “Alcoa Wagerup Refinery - Field Odour Surveys Winter 2006”, March 2007. European Committee for Standardization (CEN), “European Standard EN 13725 Air quality – Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry”. Feliubadaló, J., Van Harreveld, A.P, and Ormerod, R., 2009, “Odour impact of a waste management plant in the Barcelona area, characterised by VDI3940 field observations, Gaussian ISCST modelling and CALPUFF modelling”, Water Practice & Technology (on-line publication). Galvin, G., Starke, G., Ormerod, R. and Henry, C., 2011, “Application Of Field Odour Surveys For Validating Odour Modelling For A Poultry Farm”, Clean Air Conference, Auckland. Henry, C., D’Abreton, P., Ormerod, R., Galvin, G., Hoff, S., Jacobson, L., Shulte, D. and Billesbach, D., 2010, “Ground Truthing CALPUFF and AERMOD For Odor Dispersion From Swine Barns Using Ambient Odor Assessment Techniques”, International Symposium on Air Quality and Manure Management for Agriculture, DoubleTree Hotel, Dallas Texas. Publication date, 13 September 2010, ASABE Publication Number 711P0510cd.

Hibberd, M.F., 2008, “Evaluation of TAPM performance for Wagerup III ERMP using data from Winter 2006 Field Studies Phase C: Analysis of Case Study Days”, Prepared for Department of Environment & Conservation Western Australia, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, FINAL REPORT, 13 October 2008. Jiang, J., Coffey, P. and, Toohey, B., 2005, “Odour Intensity Measurement For Wastewater And Alumina Industries”, 17th International Clean Air and Environment Conference, 3-6 May, Hobart Tasmania, 2005. Luhar, A., 2003 Air Quality at Wagerup Refinery: Part 1 – Review of Odour Modelling and Assessment Work”, Prepared for Alcoa World Alumina Australia, Western Australia By CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Report C/0726-I, February 2003. Ormerod, R.J., D’Abreton,P.C. and Grocott, S.C., 2002, “Development of Site-Specific Odour Criteria and Compliance Assessments Using Odour Intensity Observations and Modelling”, Proc. 2002 Biennial Conference of the Clean Air Society of Australia & New Zealand, Christchurch, August 2002.

Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI), 1993, “VDI 3940 – Determination of Odorants in Ambient Air by Field Inspections”, October 1993. Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI), 2010, “VDI 3940.3 - Measurement of odour impact by field inspection - Determination of odour intensity and hedonic odour tone”, January 2010.

Acknowledgments The author appreciates the cooperation of clients who have consented to the results from various studies undertaken for them to be used for the purposes of this paper and the assistance of the reviewers of this paper.

AUTHOR David Pitt is a consultant specialising in air quality assessments and dispersion modelling. He is the Director of ENVALL. Tel: (08) 9343 0554 Fax: (08) 9343 0079 E-mail:

Robim, T., Cabral, P., Santos, L., Domingues, R.,·la Pagans, E., van Harreveld, A.P., 2011, “Odour Impact Of A Municipal Solid Waste Landfill In The Municipality Of Seixal, Characterised By Vdi/Din3940 Field Observations, Calpuff Modelling And Belgian Plume Methodology”, Water Practice & Technology. Standards Australia, 2001, “AS/NZS 4323.3:2001 Stationary source emissions – Part 3: Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry”. UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2010, “Odour Guidance for Local Authorities”, March 2010. Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI), 1992, “VDI 3882.1 - Olfactometry – Determination of Odour Intensity”, October 1992.

Footnotes 1.  Note that results based on the European Standard EN 13725 in ouE m-3 are assumed to be synonymous with results obtained using AS/NZS 4323.3:2001 in ou. 2.  Labelled as Figure 8 in the original document. 3.  Labelled as Figure 8 in the original document. 4. accessed 2/12/2013. Note that only data from Experiments J-O have been used since it is not clear that other exhausts from the shed were blocked in Experiments A-I. 5.  The treatment of the experimental data in VDI 3882.1 is actually somewhat more complex than a direct correlation of paired intensity versus concentration data however this is the net outcome. 6.  See accessed 12/12/2013.


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ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF WILDFIRE EMISSIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGING CLIMATES Simin D. Malenkia Abstract The annual release of greenhouse gases and toxic compounds contributed to wildfires are estimated in the range of gigatons. Changing climates and global warming impact the release of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at ambient conditions and further influence the growth of vegetation and plants with substantial impact on their emissions in the events of wildfires. Studies of the interactive role of CO2 and temperature on tree responses are becoming increasingly important in relation to carbon balance and planetary emissions. This study examined the impact of changing climates on pyrolysis emissions of both slow (E. sideroxylon) and fast growing (E. saligna) eucalypts grown in a naturally lit glasshouse at two temperature treatments of ambient and elevated (ambient +4°C) and three [CO2] treatments of sub-ambient at 280, ambient at 400 and elevated at 640 μL/L. Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry of leaf and wood samples identified planttissue specific VOCs that were correlated with cellulose and lignin content of biomass. Eucalypts adapted accordingly to climate conditions of each chamber and were distinguished based on their pyrolytic products. Keywords: air quality, volatile pollutants, climate change, biomass emission modelling.

Introduction Changing climates and global warming are widely expected to alter the frequency and duration of wildfires worldwide. It is well documented that wildfires release greenhouse gases annually in the range of gigatons, and contribute to a specific group of toxic compounds resulting from pyrolysis of plant oils and fibre (Crutzen and Andreae 1990; IPCC 2007). Pollutants from wildfires significantly impact the chemistry and physical composition of the atmosphere (Kesselmeier and Staudt 1999; Atkinson and Arey 2003; Goldstein and Galbally 2007; Galbally et al. 2007), pose significant health risk (Swiston et al. 2008), and also effect agriculture through deposition on crops often long-distances from the source (Maleknia and Adams 2008). Wildfires are to some extent inevitable, and whilst better management is an

important priority, considerable recent efforts are underway to better estimate the quantity and types of biogenic emissions and their distributions into the environment. Satellite monitoring provides a new era for continuous monitoring of greenhouse gases. For example, the Greenhouse Observing SATellite, GOSAT, was launched in early 2009 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and its orbit at altitudes of 670km provides an overview of greenhouse gases (CO2 and methane) across the planet, which gives much better spatial coverage compared to data compiled by the limited number of climate monitoring stations. Other studies focus to improve measurements on the planet’s surface by analyzing the quantity and types of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from ambient to high wildfire temperatures (Guenther et al. 2000; Karl et al. 2007; Maleknia et al. 2007, 2009; Maleknia 2012). Advanced mass spectrometry methods including proton-transfer reaction (PTR-MS), Direct Analysis in Real-Time (DART-MS) and pyrolysis gas chromatography (GC-MS) have enabled the analysis of trace level biogenics from the Australian eucalypt forest and temperature-dependent release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the combustion of plant tissues (Maleknia et al. 2007, 2009; Maleknia 2012). Toxic compounds identified from the combustion of stemwood and leaf tissues were further correlated with the presence of varying content of cellulose and lignin (Font et al. 2003; Maleknia and Adams 2008; Maleknia 2012). These studies enabled mass spectral subtyping of biogenic VOCs and their temperature-dependent subtyping from ambient to wildfire temperatures: (1) isoprene and hydrocarbons from ambient to ~ 100 °C, (2) plant specific isoprenoids up to the onset of pyrolysis, and (3) compounds from pyrolysis of plant fibers at >300 °C (Maleknia et al. 2007, 2009). This paper reports preliminary results on how pyrolysis mass spectrometry approaches combined with the principal component analysis (PCA) could reveal changes in biomass emissions as a function of changing climates. The impact of climate change in terms of the interactive role of CO2 and temperature on tree architecture and growth were examined for both slow and fast growing eucalypts species in a naturally lit glasshouse at two temperature treatments

(ambient and ambient +4 deg C) and three [CO2] treatments from pre-industrial and ambient to the projected levels of 600 μL/L within this century.


Materials and methods


Plant growth conditions

Eucalypts were grown in a naturally lit glasshouse at the Hawkesbury Campus of the University of Western Sydney in Richmond, NSW, and details of the growth conditions have been reported earlier (Ghannoum et al. 2009). Briefly, the glasshouse consisted of six adjacent rooms identical in size (3m wide x 3m long x 3.5m height). Three rooms were programmed at 26/18°C (day/night) to simulate ambient daily temperature fluctuations during the months of November through May based on 30 years records available from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The other three rooms were set at 30/22°C (day/night) for ambient +4 °C temperature studies. Three CO2 treatments of sub-ambient at 280 μL/L, ambient at 400 μL/L and elevated at 640 μL/L were programmed for each temperature conditions. The rooms had a relative humidity average of 70%, and the plants were watered on a daily basis. The plants were started from seeds and there were 27 pots of each species in each climate chamber. At 30, 120 and 135 days after planting (DAP), pots were treated with a commercial fertiliser.

Figure 1: Eucalyptus saligna before harvest grown under six climate conditions.

Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014


ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF WILDFIRE EMISSIONS The samples for this study were from a destructive harvest at 150 DAP and consisted of both the leaf and wood tissues collected for two types of eucalypts (E. saligna (fast growing) and E. sideroxylon (slow growing)). During the harvest, the length of the main stem and diameter at stem base were measured. The harvested materials were separated into stem (including branches and

petioles) and leaf blades. The shoot tips and roots were removed separately and were not included in this study. The E. saligna (fast growing) before the harvest under six different climate conditions is shown in Figure 1. Both eucalypts showed some species dependent growth in terms of the effects of climate conditions. The response of the slow growing E. sideroxylon to elevated

[CO2] was more pronounced than elevated temperature, whilst E. saligna responded similarly to elevated [CO2] and temperature (Ghannoum et al. 2009).

2.1.1 Pyrolysis GC-MS and Principal Component Analysis (PCA)

Plant materials were dried at 80°C for 48 hours and were subsequently coarsely ground and stored at room temperature. The samples were cryomilled to a fine powder prior to pyrolysis GC-MS, and the general method has been well established for the analysis of plant materials (Klingberg et al. 2005). The samples were measured at approximately 100 μg portions and were analyzed in triplicate sets. A double-shot micro furnace pyrolyzer (Py-2020iD, Frontier Laboratories Ltd., Japan) equipped with an autosampler was interfaced to a GC-MS system (6890/5973N Agilent Technologies, USA). The pyrograms in Figure 2 from leaf and wood materials of E. Maculata shown as an example reveal that VOCs are tissuedependent. Similar patterns were observed for the E. Saligna and E. Sideroxylon. Electron ionization mass spectra from pyrolysis products of the plant materials were identified through NIST library searches. In addition, compounds were confirmed through the use of a plant-based library developed at the University of Hamburg (Faix, et al. 1990 and 1991). Mass spectral data were then quantified and normalized based on their accurate micro-gram weights. Quantified and normalized peak areas associated with a few signature ions (m/z values) from each compound were selected for principal component analysis (PCA, Unscrambler, CAMO Software).

3 Figure 2: Pyrograms of leaf and wood materials from Eucalyptus maculata reveal plant tissue-specific VOCs.

Figure 3: Pyrolysis GC-MS and PCA of leaf samples reveal grouping of the two eucalypts (E. sid and E. sal) grown at [CO2] 280 μL/L and Tday/night 26/18°C (R3), and [CO2] 640 μL/L and Tday/night 30/22°C (R7).


Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014

Results and Discussion

Mass spectra revealed pyrolytic compounds (data not shown) that are common to both the leaf and wood samples in addition to compounds that are specific to each plant tissue type. These were classified in three groups consisting of non-specific and planttissue specific compounds (Maleknia 2012). The non-specific compounds could also be found in pyrolysis products of a wide range of materials from natural to synthetic polymers. Plant tissue specific compounds were classified into two main groups arising from pyrolysis of lignin and cellulose (Faix, et al. 1990 and 1991). Lignin is a heteropolymer comprising predominantly of three monolignols of para-coumaryl alcohol, coniferyl alcohol and sinapyl alcohol, which upon pyrolysis generate specific VOCs containing hydroxybenzene (H), guaiacyl (G) and syringyl (S) moieties. On the other hand, cellulose and hemicellulose are composed of polysaccharides (PS). Cellulose is comprised of a linear chain of β(1→4) linked D-glucose, and hemicellulose has a random structure containing a range of sugar monomers (i.e. mannose, xylose, galactose, rhamnose and arabionose). Pyrolysis products of these polysaccharides (PS) include ketones,

ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF WILDFIRE EMISSIONS aldehydes and furan derivatives. Leaf materials in general contain a higher component of cellulose in comparison to wood, and vice versa, plant tissues from wood typically have higher percentage of lignin. Therefore, pyrograms of leaf and wood differ as shown in Figure 2. Both leaf and wood samples of the two eucalypts grown in six different climate conditions were analyzed by pyrolysis GC-MS. Some 100 compounds were identified (data not shown) and correlated with cellulose and lignin content of the samples (Faix, et al. 1990 and 1991; Maleknia 2012). Figure 3 shows preliminary results on differentiation of the leaf samples by the principal component (PCs). Grouping of the samples by species is revealed by PC1, and the effect of temperature and [CO2] by PC2 for climate chambers R7 and R3. In this example, 55 pyrolysis products (i.e. GC-MS peaks) common to both the leaf and wood samples were selected. This analysis revealed a greater proportion of cellulose content for E. saligna (fast growing species) with a pronounced effect in the R7 samples with the highest level of [CO2] at 640 μL/L and temperature of Tday/night 30/22°C. These PCA results are being repeated while randomizing the number of variables (i.e. compounds based on GC-MS peaks) for a more comprehensive interpretation of data (Jorge et al. 2001).


Conclusion and Future Work

Studies of the interactive role of CO2 and temperature on tree responses are important in terms of physiological responses, and in relation to carbon balance and planetary emissions. This study examined the impact of changing climates for both slow (E. sideroxylon) and fast growing (E. saligna) eucalypts in a naturally lit glasshouse at two temperature treatments of ambient Tday/ night 26/18°C and elevated (ambient +4°C) and three [CO2] treatments of sub-ambient at 280, ambient at 400 and elevated at 640 μL/L. Pyrolysis mass spectrometry identified plant tissue-specific VOCs that were correlated with cellulose and lignin content of biomass. Both leaf and wood samples of the two eucalypts were examined at six different climate conditions. This preliminary study revealed eucalypts adapted accordingly to the environmental conditions of each chamber such that each group showed specific ratios of pyrolytic compounds associated with their growth. This study further supports that wildfire pollutants could more accurately be estimated by the ratio of cellulose to lignin content of biomass. A record of diverse range of vegetation around the globe could be generated by aerial maps with an estimate of the cellulose and lignin content for selected areas. This data could then be used in modelling wildfire emissions to estimate the range of compounds released in the environment associated with wildfire events (Figure 4).

Modelling Wildfire Emissions

Galbally IE, Lawson SJ, Weeks IA, Bentley ST, Gillett RW, Meyer M, Goldstein A.H. 2007, ‘Volatile organic compounds in marine air at Cape Grim, Australia’, Environmental Chemistry, 4: 178-182. Ghannoum O, Phillips N, Conroy J, Smith RA, Attard RD, Woodfield R, Logan BA, Lewis JD, Tissue DT. 2009, ‘Exposure to preindustrial, current and future atmospheric CO2 and temperature differentially affects growth and photosynthesis in Eucalyptus, Global Change Biology 16: 303-319. Goldstein AH, Galbally IE. 2007, ‘Known and Unexplored Organic Constituents in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Environmental Science & Technology, 1515-1521.

obtain aerial maps before & after wildfire events

correlate biomass with cellulose / lignin content

estimate quantity & types of VOCs released in atmosphere / environment Figure 4: Modelling wildfire emissions by correlating VOCs with cellulose and lignin content of biomass.

Acknowledgments The samples for this study were provided by D. Tissue of the University of Western Sdyney. Pyrolysis GC-MS were conducted at the University of Hamburg in collaboration with J. Odermatt and A. Klingberg.

References Atkinson R, Arey J. 2003, ‘Atmospheric degradation of volatile organic compounds’, Chemical Reviews, 103: 4605-4638. Crutzen PJ, Andreae MO. 1990, ‘Biomass Burning in the Tropics: Impact on Atmospheric Chemistry and Biogeochemical Cycles’, Science 250(4988): 1669-1678. Faix O, Meier D, Fortmann I. 1990, ‘Thermal degradation products of wood. Gas chromatographic separation and mass spectrometric characterization of monomeric lignin derived products. Hols als Roh- und Wekstoff, 48: 281-285. Faix O, Fortmann I, Bremer J, Meier, D. 1991, Thermal degradation products of wood. Gas chromatographic separation and mass spectrometric characterization of polysaccharide derived products. Hols als Roh- und Wekstoff, 49: 213-219. Font F, Esperanza M, Garcia AN. 2003, ‘Toxic by-products from the combustion of kraft lignin’, Chemosphere, 52 (6): 1047-1058.

Guenther A, Geron C, Pierce T, Lamb B, Harley P, Fall R. 2000, ‘Natural emission of non methane volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen from north America’, Atmospheric Environment 34: 2205–2230. IPCC. 2007. Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Jorge F, Cadima CL, Jolliffe IT. 2001, ‘Variable selection and the interpretation of principal subspaces’, Journal of Agriculture, Biological, and Environmental Statistics, 6(1): 62-79. Karl T, Guenther A, Yokelson RJ, Greenberg J, Potosnak M, Blake DR, Artaxo P. 2007, ‘The tropical forest and fire emissions experiment: Emission, chemistry, and transport of biogenic volatile organic compounds in the lower atmosphere over Amazonia’, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112: D18302. Kesselmeier J, Staudt M. 1999, ‘Biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC): An overview on emission, physiology and ecology’, Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 33: 23-88. Klingberg A, Odermatt J, Meier D. 2005, ‘Influence of parameters on pyrolysisGC/MS of lignin in the presence of tetramethylammonium hydroxide’, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 74: 104109. Maleknia SD, Bell TL, Adams MA. 2007, ‘Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) of Reference and Plant-Emitted Volatile Organic Compounds’, International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 206: 203-210. Maleknia SD, Adams MA. 2008, ‘Impact of Volatile Organic Compounds from Wildfires on Crop Production and Quality’, Aspects of Applied Biology, 88: 93-97. Maleknia SD, Bell TL, Adams MA. 2009a, ‘Eucalypt smoke and wildfires: temperature dependent emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds’, International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 279: 126-133.

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ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS / Future Conferences and short courses Maleknia SD, Vail TM, Cody RB, Sparkman DO, Bell TL, Adams MA. 2009b, ‘Temperature dependent release of volatile organic compounds of eucalypts by Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Mass Spectrometry’, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 23:2241-2246. Maleknia SD. 2012, ‘Mass spectrometry’s role in studies of volatile organic pollutants’, pp.

239-261, In Comprehensive Environmental Mass Spectrometry, (A Lebedev, editor), ILM Publications, UK. Swiston JR, Davidson W, Attridge S, Li GT, Brauer M, van Eeden SF. 2008, ‘Wood smoke exposure induces a pulmonary and systemic inflammatory response in firefighters’, European Respiratory Journal, 32: 129-138.

Author Dr Simin D. Malenkia School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Future Conferences and Short Courses 6−10 April 2014

20−22 May 2014

13−16 April 2014

31 May−3 June 2014

46th North American Air Pollution Workshop, Guadalajara, Mexico. To exchange information and ideas on current and future air quality (including greenhouse gases and climate change) and its effects on food production, natural resources and the urban landscape, including humans.

11th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality in Heritage and Historic Environments, Prague, Czech Republic. The International Conference on Indoor Air Quality in Heritage and Historic Environments, held in Prague, is the 11th in the series of meetings and conferences on this topic. Having commenced in 1998, the previous conferences were devoted to various aspects of Indoor Air Pollution: namely air quality monitoring, standards and guidelines and mitigation of pollutants. The main topic of the IAQ 2014 conference will be pollutants in the indoor environment, including synergies between pollutants and other parameters such as T, RH and light in relation to the corrosion and degradation of cultural heritage buildings. Besides environmental monitoring, contributions on preventative modelling, simulations of sources and pollutant behaviour in the indoor environment, and pollution-induced corrosion and degradation mechanisms are welcomed.

12−16 May 2014

The 4th iLEAPS Science Conference – Terrestrial Ecosystems, atmosphere, and people in the Earth system, Nanjing, China. Conference themes:
· Dynamic processes in the land-atmosphere-society continuum
· Sustainable management of human-dominated environments
· Topical regions: high latitudes and developing countries
· Multidisciplinary observations and modelling of land-atmosphere-society interactions

12−16 May 2014

Climate Adaptation Futures. Fortaleza Brazil. This conference follows on the success of the pioneering Climate Adaptation Futures Conference, co-hosted by Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship in Australia in 2010, and the Adaptation Futures 2012 International Conference on Climate Adaptation in Arizona in 2012.

13−16 May 2014

3rd Workplace and Indoor Aerosols Conference, Wroclaw, Poland. The conference aims to provide a forum for aerosol researchers and students to meet, to integrate the scientific research community and to create opportunities to update and improve knowledge behind observed health effects from exposure to airborne particles. Focus is also on the development of prevention strategies in public places, homes and working environments.

14–16 May 2014

The 11th International Conference & Exhibition on Emissions Monitoring (CEM) 2014. Istanbul, Turkey. Emissions monitoring and assessment.

IGAC/SPARC Chemsistry-Climate Model Initiative Workshop, Lancaster, UK. The aim of this workshop is to investigate and understand the historical and projected evolution of stratospheric and tropospheric composition and chemistry, including the links between those domains, and feedbacks with the physical climate.

Odors and Air Pollutants 2014, Miami, Florida This conference brings together environmental professionals from around the world for a showcase on odors and air pollutants management.

1−6 June 2014

DUST2014, Castellaneta Marina (Taranto), Italy. The main themes of the meeting are: Transport & Deposition, Modelling & Field Studies, Instrumentation and Measurements, Chemical & Mineralogical Studies, Impact on Health & Environment and Extraterrestrial Provenance.

10−11 June 2014

16th GEIA Conference, Boulder Colorado. GEIA’s 16th Conference aims to enhance connections among individuals and groups working on emissions research, regulatory, policy, and assessment.

12−15 June 2014

Urban Environmental Pollution 2014, Toronto, Canada. The aim of Urban Environmental Pollution 2014 (UEP2014) is to provide an international forum to continue to explore and characterise urban environments and how they affect human health and well-being.

15−19 June 2014

The 8th International Symposium on Modern Principles for Air Monitoring and Biomonitoring, Marseille, France. The goals of the symposium are to provide a forum at which recent progress in exposure assessment strategies and analytical air sampling methodologies can be discussed.

24−27 June 2014

2014 A&WMA Annual Conference & Exhibition, Long Beach, California. “Navigating Environmental Crossroads”. All air pollution topics associated with transport including a special mini-symposium on the ”Impacts of Transportation Hubs & Ports” as well as, the critical review topic “Determining Which Components of Particulate Matter May be Most Harmful”.

29 June−July 4 2014

Biogenic Hydrocarbons & the Atmosphere, Giron, Spain. The 2014 Biogenic Hydrocarbons and the Atmosphere Gordon Research Conference will present cutting-edge research of the emission and fate of hydrocarbons released by vegetation. aspx?year=2014&program=biogenic

19−22 May 2014

7th World Congress on Particle Technology (WCPT7), Beijing, China. WCPT7 is intended to stimulate discussions at the forefront of particle science and technology.


Air Quality and Climate Change Volume 48 No. 1. February 2014

7−12 July 2014

Indoor Air 2014, Hong Kong. The triennial Indoor Air conference series was started in 1978 in Copenhagen to promote the science of indoor air quality and climate, to provide a venue for presentation, collaboration and generation of new ideas related to indoor environment. Indoor Air is the official conference of the International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate, ISIAQ.

7−9 July 2014

22nd International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution. Opatija, Croatia. The goal of this conference is to bring together researchers who are active in the study of air contaminants and to exchange information through the presentation and discussion of papers dealing with the wide variety of topics listed.

14−17 July

7th International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle, The Hague, the Netherlands. The increasing demand for fresh water and the impacts of climate change on water availability and extreme events highlight why water is a current major global concern. The Conference will celebrate 25 years of GEWEX research and set the stage for the next phase of research addressing the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenges on water resources, extremes, and climate sensitivity through observations and data sets, their analyses, process studies, model development and exploitation, applications, technology transfer to operational results and research capacity development and training for the next generation of scientists.

11−14 August 2014

National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference, Atlanta, Georgia. This conference provides training on air monitoring topics. The goal is to provide air quality managers with the skills and information necessary to prepare for future challenges in air monitoring. flyer.pdf

21 August−5 September 2014

International Aerosol Conference 2014, Busan, Republic of Korea. Covering all aspects of aerosol science and research.

17−19 September 2014

ENVIRO’14, Adelaide, South Australia. Pathways for better business, covering a wide range of environmental areas including air quality and odour.

22−26 September 2014

3th Quadrennial iCACGP Symposium and 13th IGAC Open Science. Natal, Brazil. Changing Chemistry in a Changing World. Covering all aspects of atmospheric chemistry.

5−7 November 2014

7th International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases (NCGG7), Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The scope of NCGG7 will be the innovations in the science, technology and policy aspects of controlling non-CO2 greenhouse gas and precursor emissions.

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