In the two biggest New Zealand cities, Auckland and Christchurch, the mass concentration of the PM10 atmospheric aerosol can exceed the 50 μg m-3 24 h health guideline in winter. This high pollution level is thought to be caused mainly by old-fashioned domestic heating systems based on wood combustion. Therefore the chemistry of the carbonaceous aerosol has been investigated in several high-pollution level urban situations in order to assess the origin of the pollution. All the high concentration organic tracers, including levoglucosan and dehydroabietic acid, were characteristic for biomass burning. The findings have confirmed via advanced chemical analytical methods that domestic heating can be the main contributor to the high level of wintertime pollution, especially in Christchurch. The results are of great importance in supporting the ambition of authorities and environmental associations to change the domestic heating regimes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis