Dangerous ozone levels in Sydney

Issue 

Dangerous ozone levels in Sydney

SYDNEY — Two sweltering days in Sydney on January 22-23 combined with car and industrial emissions to produce pollution levels exceeding the State Pollution Control Commission's health standards. In the south-western Sydney suburb of Camden, ozone levels reached 18.3 parts per hundred million (pphm), 8 pphm above the average, prompting an SPCC smog alert.

People were urged to exercise with care and to stop exercising if they experienced difficulties in breathing or had chest pains. Those with respiratory conditions such as asthma were urged to stay indoors.

According to Greenpeace air pollution campaigners Karla Bell and Lynne Goldsworthy, dramatic reductions in air pollution and greenhouse emissions would be achievable in Sydney if more environmentally sound policies in land use and transport were implemented. A Greenpeace report released in December, incorporating research by transport expert Dr Peter Newman, outlines the necessary policies in detail.

Karla Bell said: "The Roads and Traffic Authority wants to spend around $5-15 billion on freeways over the next 10 years. Yet to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, NSW must urgently change direction away from freeway building towards public transport and decreased vehicle use."

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