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Air Monitoring

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Ambient Air Pollutants Monitored

 

Interested in seeing trends in ambient concentrations of the six Criteria Pollutants established by the Clean Air Act to protect public health? Click HERE

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Carbon Monoxide (CO)

  • Source - burning of materials: gasoline, natural gas, coal, oil, wood, grass, etc.
  • Health Effects - reduces ability of blood to bring oxygen to body cells and tissues; cells and tissues need oxygen to work because it has 210 times greater affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen. Carbon monoxide may be particularly hazardous to people who have heart or circulatory (blood vessel) problems and people who have damaged lungs or breathing passages.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

  • Source - burning of fuels (gasoline, natural gas, coal, oil, etc.)
  • Health Effects - lung damage, illnesses of breathing passages and lungs (respiratory system)
  • Environmental Effects - nitrogen dioxide is an ingredient of acid rain (acid aerosols), which can damage trees and lakes. Acid aerosols can reduce visibility by forming smog.
  • Property Damage - acid aerosols can eat away stone used on buildings, statues, monuments, etc.

Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5)

  • Sources - burning of wood, diesel and other fuels; industrial plants; agriculture (plowing, burning off fields); unpaved roads, secondary aerosol formation
  • Health Effects - nose and throat irritation, lung damage, bronchitis, early death
  • Environmental Effects- particulates are the main source of haze that reduces visibility
  • Property Damage - ashes, soots, smokes and dusts can dirty and discolor structures and other property, including clothes and furniture

Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) Particulate Matter 10 (PM10)

  • Sources – stirred or windborne dust, mechaincal processes (e.g., grinding, sanding)
  • Health Effects - nose and throat irritation, lung damage, bronchitis, cardiovascular problems, and even early death
  • Environmental Effects - particulates are the main source of haze that reduces visibility
  • Property Damage - ashes, soots, smokes and dusts can dirty and discolor structures and other property, including clothes and furniture

Lead (Pb) Lead (Pb)

  • Source - leaded gasoline (phased out), paint (houses, cars), smelters (metal refineries); manufacture of lead storage batteries
  • Health Effects - brain and other nervous system damage; digestive and other health problems; children are at special risk.
  • Environmental Effects – similar effects on animals; some lead-containing chemicals cause cancer in animals.

Ozone (O3) Ozone (O3)

  • Sources – secondary pollutant created by chemical reaction of the pollutants VOCs and NOx in the presence of sunlight and heat
  • Health Effects - breathing problems, reduced lung function, asthma, irritates eyes, stuffy nose, reduced resistance to colds and other infections, may speed up aging of lung tissue
  • Environmental Effects - ozone can damage plants and trees; smog can cause reduced visibility
  • Property Damage - Damages rubber, fabrics, etc.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

  • Source - burning of coal and oil, especially high-sulfur coal; industrial processes (paper, metals)
  • Health Effects- breathing problems, may cause permanent damage to lungs
  • Environmental Effects - SO2 is an ingredient in acid rain (acid aerosols), which can damage trees and lakes. Acid aerosols can also reduce visibility.
  • Property Damage - acid aerosols can eat away stone used in buildings, statues, monuments, etc.

Black Carbon (BC) Black Carbon (BC)

  • Sources – open biomass burning , transportation, energy production, industrial, and residential sources
  • Health Effects- nose and throat irritation, lung damage, bronchitis, cardiovascular problems, and even early death
  • Environmental Effects - particulates are the main source of haze that reduces visibility, as well as reduced agricultural production
  • Property Damage - ashes, soots, smokes and dusts can dirty and discolor structures and other property, including clothes and furniture

Air Toxics (ATox) Air Toxics (ATox)

  • Sources – there are 187 chemicals on the U.S. EPA’s list of air toxics, most of them originate from human-made sources, including mobile sources (cars, trucks, buses) and stationary sources (factories, refineries, power plants), as well as indoor sources (building materials and activities such as cleaning).
  • Health Effects– by definition, these are pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as neurological issues and reproductive effects or birth defects
  • Environmental Effects - by definition, these are pollutants that may cause adverse environmental and ecological effects