Atmosphere

A Status Report to the Community: Living Cities – Air Toxics Program

Environment Australia, June 2002
ISBN 0 6425 4738 6

Foreword

Australians value their blue skies and clear air and understand the link between their health, their quality of life – and the quality of the air they breathe. The time is right to look at what can be done to achieve standards for outdoor air- and to improve the quality of indoor air.

The Living Cities program is the latest in a series of Commonwealth Government initiatives to examine the factors that influence the quality of our urban environment. The Living Cities – Air Toxics Program pays special attention to a wide range of air pollutants and highlights indoor air quality as an emerging issue for all of us. I am pleased to report to the community on the progress made in this important area of public interest.

The work undertaken by the Air Toxics Program has helped to inform a decision taken by the Environment Ministers from all Australian Governments on 29 June 2001 to commence development of a National Environment Protection Measure for Air Toxics. As a result, a wider range of air pollutants will be covered by national management actions to ensure that all Australians enjoy improved air quality. In addition, the Government is committed to developing a strategy to address indoor air quality and provide ongoing information to consumers and institutions on the toxicity of a range of products and items we use indoors.

This booklet provides practical advice on the steps that each of us can take to help improve the quality of air in our homes and outdoors. I hope that it will also encourage readers to become more informed on these issues, to make thoughtful decisions about their purchases and actions and to have a positive impact on the quality of the air.

Dr David Kemp
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

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