Skip links and keyboard navigation

Parameters

We’d like to hear about your experience with this new trial service.
Please assist us by providing some quick feedback (new window).

Air quality

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas formed when substances containing carbon (such as petrol, gas, coal and wood) are burned with an insufficient supply of air. It has serious health impacts on humans and animals, especially those with cardiovascular disease. More information

Abbreviation
CO
Measured in
parts per million (ppm)
Standard
9ppm (8hr avg)

Nitrogen dioxide

Nitrogen dioxide is an acidic and highly corrosive gas. Nitrogen oxides are critical components of photochemical smog. Long-term exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide can cause chronic lung disease and affect the senses. More information

Abbreviation
NO₂
Measured in
parts per million (ppm)
Standard
0.12ppm (1hr avg)

Ozone

Ozone is a colourless, highly reactive gas with a distinctive odour. The upper atmosphere ozone layer (at altitudes of 15–35km) protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The ozone layer reduction represents a global atmosphere issue. More information

Abbreviation
O₃
Measured in
parts per million (ppm)
Standard
0.1ppm (1hr avg)

Sulfur dioxide

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a colourless gas with a sharp, irritating odour. It is produced by burning fossil fuels and by the smelting of mineral ores that contain sulfur. More information

Abbreviation
SO₂
Measured in
parts per million (ppm)
Standard
0.2ppm (1hr avg)

Particles TSP

Airborne particles up to about 100 micrometres in diameter are referred to as TSP (total suspended particles). These particles are generated by combustion and non-combustion processes, including windblown dust, sea salt, earthworks, mining activities, industrial processes, motor vehicle engines and fires. More information

Abbreviation
TSP
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
80µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Particle PM10

Airborne particles less than 10 micrometres in diameter, referred to as PM10, can be hazardous to human health or cause a nuisance when present in the air at elevated levels. They are capable of penetrating the lower airways of humans and can cause possible negative health effects. More information

Abbreviation
PM10
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
50µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Particle PM2.5

Airborne particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, referred to as PM2.5, can be hazardous to human health or cause a nuisance when present in the air at elevated levels. They are capable of penetrating the lower airways of humans and can cause possible negative health effects. More information

Abbreviation
PM2.5
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
25µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Visibility

Aerosols and fine particles can reduce visibility. Smoke from fires or haze are common causes of poor visibility. More information

Abbreviation
Bsp
Measured in
inverse megametres (Mm⁻¹)
Standard
235Mm⁻¹ (1hr avg)

Meteorological

Wind direction

When high pollutant concentrations occur at a monitoring station, wind data records can determine the general direction and area of the emissions. Identifying the sources means planning to reduce the impacts on air quality can take place. More information

Abbreviation
WD
Measured in
degrees (deg)

Wind speed

When high pollutant concentrations occur at a monitoring station, wind data records can determine the general direction and area of the emissions. Identifying the sources means planning to reduce the impacts on air quality can take place. More information

Abbreviation
WS
Measured in
metres per second (m/s)

Humidity

Like temperature and solar radiation, water vapour plays an important role in many thermal and photochemical reactions in the atmosphere. More information

Abbreviation
Hum
Measured in
percentage (%)

Temperature

Measuring temperature supports air quality assessment, air quality modelling and forecasting activities. More information

Abbreviation
Temp
Measured in
degrees Celsius (°C)

Solar radiation

Measuring solar radiation is beneficial for modelling photochemical smog events, as the intensity of sunlight has an important influence on the rate of the chemical reactions that produce the smog. The cloudiness of the sky, time of day and geographic location all affect sunlight intensity. More information

Abbreviation
Rad
Measured in
W/m²

Rainfall

Rain has a ‘scavenging’ effect when it washes particulate matter out of the atmosphere and dissolves gaseous pollutants. Removing particles improves visibility. Where there is frequent high rainfall, air quality is generally better. More information

Abbreviation
Rainfall
Measured in
mm

Organics

Benzene

Benzene is an organic compound occurring naturally in fossil fuels and entering the atmosphere from both natural processes and human activities that involve the combustion of organic matter. Long-term exposure results in an increased incidence of blood and immune system disorders, including anaemia and leukaemia. More information

Abbreviation
Benz
Measured in
parts per billion (ppb)
Standard
250ppb (24hr avg)

Toluene

Toluene is a colourless organic liquid. Burning organic matter, such as wood, coal and petroleum products generates toluene, and it occurs naturally in crude oil. Motor vehicle emissions are the main source of toluene in the urban air environment, although evaporative losses from fuel storage facilities and service stations, as well as the use of toluene-based solvents and thinners are other contributors. More information

Abbreviation
Tol
Measured in
parts per billion (ppb)
Standard
1000ppb (24hr avg)

Xylene

Burning organic matter, such as wood, coal and petroleum products generates xylene, and it also occurs naturally in crude oil. Motor vehicle emissions are the predominant source of xylene in the urban air environment. More information

Abbreviation
Xyl
Measured in
parts per billion (ppb)
Standard
250ppb (24hr avg)

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde in its normal state is a colourless gas. Low levels of formaldehyde are part of naturally occurring decomposition processes. In urban environments formaldehyde emission sources include motor vehicle exhaust, domestic solid fuel and gas combustion, goods manufactured with formaldehyde-based glues and resins and tobacco smoke. More information

Abbreviation
Formald
Measured in
parts per billion (ppb)
Standard
40ppb (24hr avg)

Metals

Lead

Lead is commonly used in manufacturing products like batteries and solders. The major emission source is from the mining, smelting and processing of mineral ores. Inhaling or consuming lead and its compounds can affect the human body, particularly the nervous system, and may result in growth and developmental problems in children. More information

Abbreviation
Pb
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
2µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Arsenic

Elemental arsenic does not occur naturally but its compounds are widespread, often occurring with metal-bearing ores and released during processing. It is widely used in timber preservatives and pesticides, and is well-documented as an occupational hazard. More information

Abbreviation
As
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
0.3µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Cadmium

Cadmium compounds occur naturally in the environment, particularly in areas of mineralisation. The major emission source is the processing of metal ores for lead, zinc and copper, where cadmium is a valuable by-product. More information

Abbreviation
Cd
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
2µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Copper

Copper is one of a number of essential metals, and a small daily intake is required to maintain a healthy life. However, ingesting high levels of the element can lead to adverse health effects, as some of its compounds are toxic. More information

Abbreviation
Cu
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
50µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Zinc

Zinc occurs widely in nature, and is another metal essential in trace quantities for good health. Exposure to elevated levels is more likely through occupational exposure in industry such as mining and smelting and processing of metal ores. Insufficient zinc intake has a detrimental effect on growth, and immune and reproductive system development. Adverse health effects generally only occur where the exposure is high. More information

Abbreviation
Zn
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
120µg/m³ (24hr avg)

Nickel

More information

Abbreviation
Ni
Measured in
micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)
Standard
0.12µg/m³ (24hr avg)
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
19 February 2019
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.