Brisbane's air pollution is caused by motor vehicles, electricity generation, bushfires and large-scale vegetation burning, domestic heating for example wood heaters, paint fumes and industry.
Read about what you can do to lower pollution in the home, car and at work.
Motor vehicles are responsible for more than 70% of smog in Brisbane. Through population growth by 2026, it's estimated there will be an over 30% increase in vehicle kilometres travelled annually.
It is also estimated that by servicing and tuning the worst 20% of all cars, an 80% reduction in pollution will occur. If you must drive, ensure the car is maintained.
Smart travel choices
Consider different travel options:
- take public transport
- buy the smallest needs-suitable car
Automotive impacts that affect air quality include:
- fuel type
- vehicle and engine size
- vehicle age
- vehicle maintenance
- how efficiently the car is driven
Report vehicles blowing smoke for over 10 seconds to the Department of Transport and Main Roads smoky vehicle hotline on 132 019.
Indoor air quality
Pollutants can affect air quality inside the home. We spend 90% of the day indoors, so residential and office air quality is important to health and well-being.
Indoor pollutants can pose health risks, including:
- headaches and migraines
- coughing and sneezing
- dizziness and tired eyes
- nose and throat irritations
- skin rashes
Protect the home's air quality by:
- ventilating the home
- ensuring gas heaters and stoves are properly flued
- choosing low or no solvent products (for example, linseed oil, water and beeswax polish)
- selecting a particle board or medium-density fibreboard made with low-formaldehyde glue
- using low toxic interior paints and finishes (for example, low or zero volatile organic compounds)
Choosing clean energy
Electricity that comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas not only releases greenhouse gas, but also contributes to air pollution that impacts on health. Choosing electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind, helps to improve air quality and minimise greenhouse gas emissions.
Brisbane industries emit a large proportion of nitrogen oxides, particles and volatile organic compounds, which can affect our health. These local industries include:
- service stations
- concrete manufacturing
- petroleum refining
- port operations
Managing bushfires and planned burning
Planned burning is important to manage the bushfire threat to homes and air quality. Council uses weather and air quality forecasts to determine the best day for each prescribed burn.
Residents near burn areas will be notified of the burn-off by letterbox drop.
Find out more information about planned burns across Brisbane.