This note, originally published in November 2000, was reviewed by John Todd in August 2005. This summary page includes recent updates to the topic since publication.
Air pollution in the sprawling Australian suburbs and many rural cities occasionally reaches levels that may adversely affect our health. Fine particles, polluting gases and a complex cocktail of organic chemicals are in the air we breathe. The two most significant urban sources of air pollution are motor vehicles and home heating using firewood. Other sources include gas heating, evaporation from paints and cleaning fluids, aerosol sprays, backyard burning and lawn mowers. Building and urban design professionals can significantly reduce air pollution through careful design and specification.