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On this page:
Types of pollutants
Government sets air quality objectives
Measures for ensuring standards are met
Sources of pollution
EPA control programs and future air quality trends
Clean air is made up of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, with traces of other gases such as carbon dioxide.
Air pollutants mainly come from the discharges of gases and particles, mostly from industry, motor vehicles and domestic wood burning. There are also natural sources such as wi...
Last updated on 6 Jan 2016
Protecting Victoria’s air
EPA helps protect Victoria’s air quality through statutory tools including environmental laws, policies and Regulations, and by working in partnership with Victorian communities, including businesses, government, individuals and groups.
Air state environment protection policies
Air quality in Victoria is protected by two state environment protection policies or SEPPs, which are adopted by government to protect Victoria's air environment:
State Environment Protection Policy (Ambie...
Last updated on 15 May 2013
Air quality in the home
There are four major factors to consider when assessing the air quality of a home environment in Victoria:
distance from pollution sources
the effect of sea breezes
indoor air quality.
Apart from bushfire smoke and windblown dust, most of Melbourne's air quality problems are associated with emissions from transport, industry, and commercial and domestic activity. Therefore, living further away from the city will generally improve the quality of your air.
Last updated on 29 Oct 2014
Air Quality For Kids (closed)
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) closed the Air Quality For Kids website on 1 April 2016.
Most of the content that was on the site is now available in the Air section of our website.
For up-to-date monitoring of air quality around Victoria, see EPA AirWatch....
Last updated on 15 Feb 2017
Effects of smoke
On this page:
Air quality impacts from planned burning in Victoria
Assessing the effect of smoke on air quality
Monitoring fine particles
Health categories for fine particles
How to self-assess air quality during smoky conditions
Cautionary health advice
What to do in the event of a bushfire
Smoke from bushfires, planned burns and other sources can impact air quality. Small particles in smoke usually cause the most concern.
Last updated on 12 Apr 2017
Melbourne’s air quality
Melbourne’s air quality has improved since the 1980s. Compared with similar cities in other countries, our air quality is relatively good. Particle pollution is currently the major issue needing attention, although other pollutants such as ozone are also of concern. Air quality is consistently ranked by the community as an important environmental issue.
Measuring improvement in air quality
When EPA began air monitoring in Melbourne and Geelong in 1973, air pollution was getting worse. We s...
Last updated on 7 Jan 2016
Smog is a problem in most large cities. It is caused by emissions from industry, motor vehicles, domestic wood combustion and other sources, accumulating under certain meteorological conditions.
The term smog was first used during the 1950s to describe a mixture of smoke and fog. EPA can forecast days when smog will be a problem, and will issue appropriate alerts when necessary....
Last updated on 20 May 2015
Vehicle emissions and air quality
Motor vehicles are the major source of urban air pollution. In Melbourne in 2006, motor vehicle emissions contributed the following levels of pollutants to the overall air quality:
72 per cent of all carbon monoxide (CO) emissions
70 per cent of all nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions
28 per cent of all volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions
31 per cent of all emissions of particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5)
27 per cent of all emissions of par...
Last updated on 26 Feb 2016
Wood burning and air quality
The smoke from wood heaters and open fireplaces can pollute the air we breathe, especially in autumn and winter. By following some tips you can reduce smoke pollution from your wood heater.
Buying the right wood heater, and using and maintaining it well, is important for the health and safety of you and your family. It may well also be an important issue for your neighbours. It may affect their health and enjoyment of their home and quality of life.
If your neighbour’s wood heater is p...
Last updated on 15 May 2013
The Earth’s climate has changed over the last century. Warming of the climate system is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.
Increases in average temperatures have been seen around the globe and there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed in the last 50 years is due to human activities.
Climate change will alter global and local climates. ...
Last updated on 27 Nov 2012