Biomass burning-derived airborne particulate matter in Southeast Asia: A critical review

Max G. Adam, Phuong T.M. Tran, Nanthi Bolan, Rajasekhar Balasubramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Smoke haze episodes, resulting from uncontrolled biomass burning (BB) including forest and peat fires, continue to occur in Southeast Asia (SEA), affecting air quality, atmospheric visibility, climate, ecosystems, hydrologic cycle and human health. The pollutant of major concern in smoke haze is airborne particulate matter (PM). A number of fundamental laboratory, field and modeling studies have been conducted in SEA from 2010 to 2020 to investigate potential environmental and health impacts of BB-induced PM. The goal of this review is to bring together the most recent developments in our understanding of various aspects of BB-derived PM based on 127 research articles published from 2010 to 2020, which have not been conveyed in previous reviews. Specifically, this paper discusses the physical, chemical, toxicological and radiative properties of BB-derived PM. It also provides insights into the environmental and health impacts of BB-derived PM, summarizes the approaches taken to do the source apportionment of PM during BB events and discusses the mitigation of exposure to BB-derived PM. Suggestions for future research priorities are outlined. Policies needed to prevent future BB events in the SEA region are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124760
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


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