Extensible database of validated biomass smoke events for health research

Ivan C. Hanigan, Geoffrey G. Morgan, Grant J. Williamson, Farhad Salimi, Sarah B. Henderson, Murray R. Turner, David M.J.S. Bowman, Fay H. Johnston

    Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    The extensible Biomass Smoke Validated Events Database is an ongoing, community driven, collection of air pollution events which are known to be caused by vegetation fires such as bushfires (also known as wildfire and wildland fires), or prescribed fuel reduction burns, and wood heaters. This is useful for researchers of health impacts who need to distinguish smoke from vegetation versus other sources. The overarching aim is to study statistical associations between biomass smoke pollution and health. Extreme pollution events may also be caused by dust storms or fossil fuel smog events and so validation is necessary to ensure the events being studied are from biomass. This database can be extended by contribution from other researchers outside the original team. There are several available protocols for adding validated smoke events to the database, to ensure standardization across datasets. Air pollution data can be included, and free software was created for identification of extreme values. Protocols are described for reference material needed as supporting evidence for event days. The utility of this database has previously been demonstrated in analyses of hospitalization and mortality. The database was created using open source software that works across operating systems. The prospect for future extensions to the database is enhanced by the description in this paper, and the availability of these data on the open access Github repository enables easy addition to the database with new data by the research community.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number50
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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