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Major air pollutants

Key finding

The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) tracks air pollutant emissions for industrial sources across Australia. The NPI results for industrial sources in Queensland show that several pollutants generally have trended upwards for the past five years. Increases in industrial emissions for a few key air pollutants reflect increased demand in commodities.

The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) contains emission estimates for 93 pollutants that are emitted to the environment, predominantly from industrial sources.

In 2016, 892 Queensland facilities from 108 industry sectors were among the 4,165 facilities reporting emissions to the NPI nationally.

Across the state, the main sources of industrial air pollutants were from the primary metal manufacturing, coal mining and electricity supply sectors.

The normalised annual emission chart for industrial sources in Queensland indicates rising levels from some pollutants over the past seven years. Specifically, the sulphur dioxide (SO2) trend is driven by the primary metal manufacturing sector and particulate matter up to 10 micrometres (PM10) by the coal mining sector. Increases in both these substances reflect increased demand in commodities.

Totals for the selected industrial pollutant release in Queensland for 2010 were:

  • CO: 133,645 tonne/annum
  • VOCs: 20,813 tonne/annum
  • NOx: 246,388 tonne/annum
  • PM2.5: 10,969 tonne/annum
  • PM10: 207,417 tonne/annum
  • Benzene: 76 tonne/annum
  • Toluene: 166 tonne/annum
  • Xylenes: 156 tonne/annum
  • Formaldehyde: 346 tonne/annum
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (Benzo(a)pyrene-equivalents): 3.6 tonne/annum.

More information:

Indicator: Emissions for major air pollutants

Change in emissions for major air pollutants extracted from the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) for 2010-2016.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 12 February 2020