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.  

No safe level of air pol FINAL VERSION_P

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.”

see latest review published in the MJA

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.  

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.  

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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.

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25th June 2021

June webinar: Dr Giovanni Di Virgilio

Watch our recording of Dr Giovanni Di Virgilio from 25th June 2021, on climate-resilient planning at local scales: from leveraging real-time observations to next-gen climate modelling.

More info

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.

More info

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. 

More info


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