What is the black stuff?

"Particulate Matter" - part of the stack emission from the Mossman Sugar Mill, commonly known as "soot".

During the 23 weeks crushing season 2016/2017 the Mossman Sugar Mill emitted 270,000 kg of "Particulate Matter"  with a diameter of less than 10 micrometer (PM10), 150,000 kg were finer than 2.5 micrometer (PM2.5). In comparison: A human hair has a diameter between 50 and 70 micrometer.

This self reported volume is based on a single reading per year. Particulate matter can contain any number of substances, it is classified by its size rather than the specific composition. 

The finer the diameter of the particles, the deeper it can penetrate into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.

Exposure to Particulate Matter can cause a wide spectrum of acute and chronic health conditions - including premature death.

The Mossman resident, who submitted the photo with the dirty sponge cloth, needs to wipe her verandah table every day during crushing season.