Hearth attacks the real killer

HOGSBACK reckons coal is being unfairly targeted by the environmental groups as being the big air polluter in the Hunter Valley. The New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority has found the true culprit are actually fireplaces.
Hearth attacks the real killer Hearth attacks the real killer Hearth attacks the real killer Hearth attacks the real killer Hearth attacks the real killer

Wood smoke from home wood heaters is the major contributor to fine particle pollution.

The EPA and NSW Health sponsored researchers from the Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Health Research and the CSIRO to conduct an independent assessment of the health impacts caused by human-made, fine particle pollution in 2010-11.

The study used airshed modelling to perform a full health impact pathway assessment of emissions from four major particle sources, with on-road vehicles and off-road vehicles and equipment each split into three further sub-sources.

Wood heaters were responsible for the single largest health impact, estimated to contribute to 100 deaths in 2010-11, followed by on-road vehicles, off-road vehicles and power stations.

"Wood smoke from home wood heaters is the major contributor to fine particle pollution and air pollution impacts on community health in Sydney and many NSW regional centres," the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment says in its NSW Clean Air Strategy 2021-30 draft report.

"It has local impacts on the communities where it is emitted and increases regional pollution affecting larger populations."

Wood heaters contribute 0.96 micrograms per cubic metre on average, but in cold months up to 3μg/cu.m of PM2.5 [fine particle] exposure in Sydney and about 1μg/cu.m in Newcastle.

Although they account for 23% of total human-made primary PM2.5 emissions, they contribute 42% to human-made exposure and 18% of total PM2.5 exposure.

It is amazing what real empirical data can show up.

Wood heaters are killing people 100 a year in the Hunter, yet there are no protests in Macquarie Street or Martin Place in Sydney calling for the hearth bans.

The draft report recommends the NSW DPIE and the EPA work with the coal mining and extraction industries to further reduce dust emissions and maintain strong compliance campaigns to ensure emissions are minimised.

"Further work will also be done to research, develop and trial innovative compliance assurance tools and emission reduction programs," it states.

The DPIE is already using drones to spy on Hunter Valley coal mines to ensure they are complying with the dust regulations. 

This is despite dust creation levels at the mines found to be at all-time lows.

Hogsback fears what other dystopian surveillance technologies the environment regulators will use to target coal mining while blatantly ignoring the more pressing health damage caused by fireplaces.