From Australian bushfires to disease transmission: Role of aerosols

In this episode we discuss bushfires in Australia and their impact on air quality. We also discuss the importance of aerosols in disease transmission and implications for public health.

  • Are Australian bushfires linked to climate change and how do they affect outdoor and indoor air quality? What are the health effects of these air pollution episodes?
  • What are some common sources of indoor air pollution?
  • What are the differences between ‘droplets’ and ‘aerosols’ in the context of disease transmission, and the implications for COVID19?
  • How can people with domain expertise contribute to good public policy?

Our guest Prof Lidia Morawska is a Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She is the director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health at QUT, which is a World Health Organization’s collaborating Centre on Air Quality and Health. She conducts fundamental and applied research in the interdisciplinary field of air quality and its impact on human health and the environment, with a specific focus on science of airborne particulate matter. She has authored over six hundred journal papers, book chapters and conference papers. She has been acting as an advisor to the World Health Organization and is a past President of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate.

Our interviewer for this episode is Grace Formentin. Formentin is an Environmental Scientist working in the Perth Air & Noise team at GHD in Perth, Australia. After completing honors research in Air Pollution Meteorology, Formentin started a graduate position at GHD in 2018. She now works on air dispersion modelling assessments for waste to energy plants, road projects, residential planning, mining and other sectors. She also works on indoor air quality monitoring for occupational hygiene reporting and contributes to technical and qualitative assessments.

Episode references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna.

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