Air quality is a measure of the suitability of air for breathing by people, for plants and for animals.
It affects the health of the community and directly influences the sustainability of our lifestyles and production methods.
Potentially, air pollutants can be found in air anywhere - outdoors and indoors. The NSW Environment Protection Authority monitors air quality across NSW and the results can be found on their website. Air quality in NSW is generally good by international standards and has been steadily improving over time.
Goals for air quality are outlined in the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (AAQ NEPM), which guides policy formulation to protect of human health and wellbeing. The high level of industry and population growth of the City of Botany Bay also impacts the quality of our air.
The Botany Bay City Council has participated in the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) Fine Particle Aerosol Sampling Project since 1999. This provides an effective measurement of the level of air pollution in the atmosphere. Participation in this project has enabled Council to develop an understanding of the factors affecting air quality and measure the level of particles in the air. Through air sampling the Council can identify fine particle sources such as sea-spray, wind-blown soil, automobiles, jet planes and smoke. Council has noted a gradual improvement in the air quality in recent years. This is related to the reduction in the use of lead fuelled cars and the reduction in the number of heavy industry businesses that are located in this area.