Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research
An NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence
We are a virtual centre that brings together more than 40 researchers from around Australia and internationally to pursue collaborative research projects and translate our research into practice. Our research aims to understand the health impacts of air pollution and new energy sources.
Our vision is for a healthier community through cleaner air and cleaner energy sources.
Even Low Levels of Air Pollution Are Harmful to Health
Growing evidence outlined in a newly published position statement from CAR, and led by Professor Graeme Zosky from the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research, shows that even very low levels of air pollution are harmful to our health.
Professor Zosky said this finding has important implications for how air pollution is regulated in Australia.
“It has been firmly established that increases in air pollution are harmful to our health.”
18 June, 2021
Temporal trends in the spatial-scale contributions to black carbon in a
Middle Eastern megacity
Researchers affiliated with CAR have examined the concentrations of black carbon (BC) in Tehran, Iran using high-resolution analysis techniques. They found that exposure to BC is predominantly a result of city-level emissions, even in locations with high-emitting industrial sources. Further analysis determined that city-scale emissions also contribute to expanding pollution plumes.
14 May, 2021
A paradigm shift to combat indoor respiratory infection
A new article that is led by CAR researchers has been published in the prestigious journal, Science. The article calls for a paradigm shift in the way that we manage respiratory infections. Importantly, formal recognition that infections often occur through airborne transmission has significant implications for the way we think about indoor spaces and design buildings. Creating flexible ventilation systems in buildings that can maintain airborne infection risks at acceptable levels is critical. The authors present several recommendations for a practical path forward. Read publication
18 June, 2021
Policy Implications for Protecting Health from the Hazards of Fire Smoke
CAR researchers have published a paper detailing key findings from an expert panel discussion at a symposium on landscape fire smoke held in October 2020. The discussion focused on the efficacy of current health protection interventions, the protection of outdoor workers, and the communication of air quality and health risk. Recommendations with policy implications were presented.
20 April, 2021
How effective are HEPA cleaners during smoke events?
CAR researchers recently assessed the effectiveness of portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners during a prolonged smoke event. HEPA cleaners were installed in the main library in Port Macquarie between August and October 2019. The library contained substantially better air quality compared with outdoor air quality when HEPA cleaners were operating.
18 June, 2021
Green space around primary schools may improve students’ academic performance
CAR researchers have found that urban greenery can improve children's academic performance, while air pollution from traffic can be detrimental. By investigating the average 2018 NAPLAN scores of children from 851 schools across greater Melbourne, the study found that the NAPLAN scores of children from comparable schools were higher in greener areas. Results from the study can help planners to identify the best locations and surrounding environments for future schools.
14 April, 2021
Links between exposure to air pollution and sensitivity to allergens in children
CAR researchers investigated links between exposure to air pollution and sensitivity to common allergens in children. They found that increasing exposure to nitrogen dioxide was associated with greater sensitisation to house dust mites. This is the first national study to evaluate associations between nitrogen dioxide and children's sensitivity to allergies.
15 June, 2021
Strategies and scenarios to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission in
the urban, rural and sustainable neighbourhoods
Recent research published by members of CAR investigated the carbon emissions and energy demand associated with three types of residential neighbourhoods. The study determined that increasing the amount of renewable energy in the energy mix and retrofitting and renovating old buildings presented key opportunities to substantially reduce energy demand and emissions in future.
3 May, 2021
May webinar: Professor Mattheos Santamouris
Dial in and listen to Professor Mattheos Santamouris on 14 May 2021, Scientia Distinguished Professor of High-Performance Architecture at UNSW on research developments in the field of urban overheating, its impact on the city life.
11 November, 2020
November webinar: Identifying smoke plumes
Watch our recording from 20 November, 2020 as we heard from Dr Alexandra Larssen from the USA EPA on a machine learning approach for detecting large fire smoke plumes in new generation satellite imagery.
27 March, 2021
March webinar: Dr Yvonne Scorgie
Watch our recording from 26 March 2021 as we heard from Dr Yvonne Scorgie, Science Leader at the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment.
17 February, 2021
February webinar: Professor Susan Thompson
Watch our recording from 26 February 2021 at 12:00-1:00 pm (Sydney time) to hear from Professor Susan Thompson, Head of City Wellbeing Program at UNSW City Futures Research Centre.