The annual average concentrations of organic air toxics measured in this study, which were generally representative of urban parts of the Sydney-Newcastle-Wollongong area, were very low. Many of the commonly recognised organic air toxics were not detected in any samples.
The measured levels of those organic air toxics which have current international goals met those goals.
While the results of this study are reassuring about the presence of organic air toxics in major NSW regional areas, the data does not allow for complacency on benzene and 1,3-butadiene. International agencies recognise benzene as a human carcinogen and 1,3-butadiene is categorised as a probable human carcinogen. Health-based recommendations from these agencies suggest that current goals may need to be reduced further to control the risks posed by these two substances.
Page last updated: 26 February 2011