Air quality in Sunshine Coast

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Sunshine Coast

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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Weather

What is the current weather in Sunshine Coast?

Weather icon
WeatherBroken clouds
Temperature82.4°C
Humidity76%
Wind4 mp/h
Pressure1012 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time Australia city ranking

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#cityUS AQI
1 Coonabarabran, New South Wales

80

2 Wallsend, New South Wales

55

3 Muswellbrook, New South Wales

51

4 Portland, New South Wales

50

5 Carrington, New South Wales

47

6 Springwood, Queensland

41

7 Churchill, Victoria

39

8 The Gap, Queensland

36

9 Woolloongabba, Queensland

36

10 Armidale, New South Wales

35

(local time)

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live Sunshine Coast aqi ranking

Real-time Sunshine Coast air quality ranking

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City AQI based on satellite data. No ground level station currently available in Sunshine Coast.

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US AQI

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Good

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Overview

What is the current air quality in Sunshine Coast?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 9 US AQIPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
2.1 µg/m³

PM2.5 concentration in Sunshine Coast air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Sunshine Coast?

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Forecast

Sunshine Coast air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Saturday, Jan 15

  US AQI

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Sunday, Jan 16

  US AQI

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Monday, Jan 17

  US AQI

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Tuesday, Jan 18

  US AQI

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Today

Good 9 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon82.4°71.6°
Wind rotating 91 degree

6.7 mp/h

Thursday, Jan 20

Good 13 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon73.4°69.8°
Wind rotating 161 degree

17.9 mp/h

Friday, Jan 21

Good 9 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon78.8°69.8°
Wind rotating 142 degree

20.1 mp/h

Saturday, Jan 22

Good 5 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon78.8°68°
Wind rotating 143 degree

13.4 mp/h

Sunday, Jan 23

Good 8 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon78.8°68°
Wind rotating 147 degree

13.4 mp/h

Monday, Jan 24

Good 8 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon78.8°66.2°
Wind rotating 138 degree

8.9 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Sunshine Coast

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Sunshine Coast

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Sunshine Coast

How bad is air pollution in Sunshine Coast?

The Sunshine Coast represents a peri-urban area approximately 100 kilometres north of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane, and stands as the state’s 3rd most populous city, after Brisbane and the Gold Coast respectively. The Sunshine Coast, like the rest of Queensland and Australia, experiences relatively healthy air quality year-round, in comparison to global locations. However, Australia and the Sunshine Coast are vulnerable to experiencing short-term, extreme air pollution events, most often in the form of dust storms and bushfires, which can cause air pollution to reach very high levels, posing significant health risks. The most significant pollutants of concern within Sunshine Coast’s state of Queensland is particulate matter: this describes tiny airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 or 10 microns in diameter, abbreviated as PM2.5 and PM10 respectively. These pollutants are deemed to pose Queensland’s most significant air quality issue for two key reasons. Firstly, particulate matter (PM) pollution is particularly hazardous to human health, because these particles’ tiny size enables them to travel deep into the human system, even entering the bloodstream (in the case of PM2.5), causing a range of health effects. Secondly, within Queensland, PM pollution is the pollutant which most frequently exceeds the Australian national air quality standards, known as the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (Air NEPM).1 These standards are designed to limit the health impacts from air pollution on Queenslanders, therefore exceedances by a particular pollutant represent heightened hazard to human health.

Who monitors the air quality in Sunshine Coast?

While the Queensland government runs a network of air quality monitors to track ambientQueensland air pollution levels across the state, there is one government sensor located within the Sunshine Coast region, measuring theair quality at Mountain Creek. Mountain Creek is a suburb of Buderim within the Sunshine Coast region. Additionally, the Sunshine Coast region also benefits from somecommunity-deployed air quality sensors, which add additional information on real-time, localised air quality data measured at ground level. These data sources are displayed within the Sunshine Coast air quality map at the top of this page, which is further complemented by satellite air pollution data on the IQAir platform. This information, along with wildfire updates and a 7-day Sunshine Coast air quality forecast, can also be viewed at any time on-the-go using the IQAir AirVisual air pollution app.

What are the health effects of Sunshine Coast air pollution?

Exposure to air pollution can cause a range of both short- and long-term health effects to those in the Sunshine Coast. Short-term effects of air pollution exposure can include the irritation of eyes, nose and throat, along with aggravation of existing conditions such as asthma. Long-term effects of exposure to air pollution can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, such as lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, stroke, and premature mortality. Even while the Sunshine Coast, along with much of Australia, experiences relatively low levels of air pollution, the World Health Organisation emphasises that there is no known “safe” limit of air pollution below which no health impacts are observed. Furthermore, a study exploring the causes of 240,000 deaths in Queensland over longer than a decade, found a correlation between slight elevations in air pollutant levels, and increased risk of death. The Monash University study found that for every increase in 1 microgram per cubic metre (μg/m3) of PM2.5 in the air, the risk of death increased by 2%.2 This indicates significant human health consequences from air pollution exposure, even in places such as the Sunshine Coast and Queensland, where ambient pollution levels are relatively low.

What are the main sources of air pollution in Sunshine Coast?

The main sources of air pollution for Sunshine Coast’s state of Queensland include emissions from motor vehicles and industrial activities, as well as natural events such as wildfires and dust storms. Particulate matter (PM) pollution in particular is most strongly affected by climatic conditions (such as weather), contribution of particles from dust storms, and smoke generated from bushfires, agricultural burning and hazard-reduction burning within Queensland state.1

Is Sunshine Coast affected by the wildfires in Australia?

Like the rest of Australia, the Sunshine Coast is susceptible to experience fires occasionally on an annual basis; either directly, by blazes reaching the region itself, or indirectly, by experiencing wildfire smoke blown in from nearby areas. Wildfires are most often started naturally, such as through a lightning strike; however they can also be started through human intervention: accidentally, such as via an accidental spark, or deliberately, through planned burning or arson. Various parts of Australia are most at risk of wildfires at different points of the year, due to seasonal weather changes. Much of Queensland’s south-east coast, including the Sunshine Coast, is most at risk during the spring to mid-summer, while conditions are hot and dry, according to the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology.3

During the summer of 2019-2020, Australia experienced a particularly devastating bushfire season, now known as the “black summer”. This was particularly extreme due to several months of drought, low rainfall, and record breaking temperatures preceding the summer's fire season. While neighbouring stateNew South Wales' wildfires were the worst in terms of overall fire damage, Queensland also experienced fires, and extensive smoke blown in from nearby fires. The Sunshine Coast region was subjected to air quality alerts, and instructions to evacuate due to fire dangers during November 2019.4 While the direct impacts of wildfires are devastating, it is estimated that the indirect health impacts caused by smoke inhalation can be even worse. A study in theMedical Journal of Australia found that, while the fires directly led to a tragic recorded 33 deaths during the black summer, the smoke inhaled as a consequence of the fires across Australia led to a further 417 premature deaths, over 3,000 extra hospitalisations for cardiorespiratory problems, and over 1,300 additional admittances for asthma attacks.5

What is Sunshine Coast doing about air pollution?

The Sunshine Coast region has previously had the lowest rate of public transport use across the south-east Queensland region. Since motor vehicles are a key source of air pollution in Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, increasing the uptake of public transport would offer a beneficial way to lower an important source of emissions from private vehicle use. The Queensland Government has invested in improving public and active transport links across the Sunshine Coast region, in the form of the Coast Connect service. Improving air quality is one objective of the project, especially to address the growing pressures of air pollution that are anticipated with future population growth, and associated transport use in future.6 Connecting Sunshine Coast’s southernmost town of Caloundra to Maroochydore, the route has established increased bus transport links, as well as improved cycle pathways to encourage active travel across the region.

+ Article Resources

[1] Queensland Government. “Particulate concentrations”. Queensland Government State of the Environment website, February 12, 2020.
[2] Stuart Layt. “Brisbane’s ‘safe’ levels of pollution still raise death risk, research finds.” Brisbane Times, July 1, 2020.
[3] Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology. “Bushfire weather”. Australian government Bureau of Meteorology website, n.d.
[4] Courier Mail staff. “List of alerts & evacuations for bushfires.” Courier Mail, November 8, 2019.
[5] John Pickrell. “Smoke from Australia’s bushfires killed far more people than the fires did, study says”. The Guardian, March 20, 2020.
[6] Queensland Government & TransLink. “CoastConnect, Caloundra to Marrochydore: Concept Design & Impact Management Plan – In Brief”. Queensland Government website, Summer 2010/11.

Where is the cleanest air quality in Sunshine Coast?

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