New research suggests there is no safe level of air pollution


Sydney city with bushfire smoke
The sky over Downtown of Sydney was covered by heavy red smoke from bushfires.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has established guidelines on air pollution levels which are used around the world to set standards and measure air quality.

The WHO recognises air pollution as the single biggest environmental threat to human health. Exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause 7 million premature deaths.

In 2021 the WHO reevaluated their guidelines and new Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) were developed following clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on human health, at even lower concentrations than previously understood.

By world standards, Australia’s air is considered ‘good’.  However the Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR) has released a new initiative to help improve air quality – Cleaner Air for Australians. 

“We have shown that a reduction in air pollution levels – even by a relatively small amount – will yield many substantial health benefits.” says Professor Guy Marks at UNSW Sydney.

COVID-19 has highlighted the dangers of the ‘invisibles’ in our air. The guidelines provided by the initiative focus on targeting the run-of-the mill air pollutions which have significant health impacts on Australians.

CAR has found the heath impacts of air pollution costs Australians $6.2 billion every year.

Here are the six actions from the Cleaner Air for Australians policy plan:

Cleaner Air for Australians



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