Health impacts of air quality
This report card is primarily focused on tracking air quality against the national environmental standard for carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone. Although localised studies on air quality are able to provide more detailed information on the human health effects of air pollution, this report card does not report on or quantify the specific human health effects of poor air quality at a national scale.
Furthermore, this report card does not show the effects from exposure to two or more air pollutants in the environment. This is relevant because most combustion processes give rise to several pollutants simultaneously.
Variations in weather and climate
This report card presents information on the state of air quality over time, but does not allow for the influence of variations in weather and climate from year-to-year. This makes it difficult to assess whether changes in air quality are caused by changing environmental pressures – for example, a reduction in the emission of air pollutants – or meteorological variations, such as changes in wind patterns.