Air Quality

Air Quality and Your Health

 

Air pollution impacts our health and can worsen certain diseases. Broward County’s Air Monitoring and Outreach team monitors air pollutants throughout the County and informs residents about air quality. The main pollutants that negatively impact human health and the environment are called Criteria Air Pollutants. 

Criteria Air Pollutants

Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM 2.5)*

  • What is it? Tiny solid or liquid particles that are carried in the air
  • Who is most at risk? People with lung disease and/or cardiovascular disease
  • What are the health effects? Can trigger asthma attacks, cause wheezing, coughing, and respiratory irritation in individuals with sensitive airways. May carry toxic materials deep into the respiratory system

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

  • What is it? Colorless nonflammable gas 
  • Who is most at risk? Children and adults who are active outdoors 
  • What are the health effects? Respiratory irritant. Narrowing of the airways, causing wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Long-term exposure can cause respiratory illness

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

  • What is it? Odorless and colorless gas 
  • Who is most at risk? Pregnant women, young children, and anyone with cardiovascular disease 
  • What are the health effects? Reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the body’s organs and tissues. Cardiovascular patients may experience chest pain or other symptoms. Affects mental alertness and vision, causes dizziness, and can lead to unconsciousness or death

Ozone (O3)*

  • What is it? Also known as smog; colorless or bluish gas 
  • Who is most at risk? Children, elderly, adults that are active outdoors, and people with respiratory diseases
  • What are the health effects? Inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract.  Breathing difficulty, coughing and throat irritation. Can affect lung function and worsen asthma attacks

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

  • What is it? Reddish-brown gas
  • Who is most at risk? Children and people with respiratory diseases
  • What are the health effects? Respiratory irritant. Coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath may occur. Can also increase the risk of respiratory illness in children

Lead (pb) 

  • What is it? Toxic heavy metal
  • Who is most at risk? Infants and children are sensitive to low levels of lead
  • What are the health effects? Toxic and damaging to the nervous system, brain, heart, and other organs

Note: (*) most common air pollutant in Broward County. 

Be Proactive! 

Be aware of air quality levels and take precautions to protect your family. Register​ with EnviroFlash to receive daily air quality alerts and suggested safety measures when levels are unhealthy.

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