Common Air Pollutants

Essay by badboy4lyf102 April 2006

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Ozone is a gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It comes from motor vehicle exhaust and industrial transmissions. It can irritate lung airways and cause inflammation. Repeated exposure can cause permanent lung problems. Some cities have reduced local emissions to help control ozone, and still more have started to use cleaner gasoline. One of the chief causes for concern is the health problems that ozone can cause for many people.

Particulate Matter

Particulate matter is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. It originates from dust, dirt, soot, small particles, or smoke. It can cause a severe impact on health. It can affect the lungs and heart, it disrupts the entire respiratory system, and it sometimes even causes premature death. Some programs have been created to reduce emissions contributing to fine particle formation. The major concern for particulate matter is that it decreases air quality and causes premature death.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas. It is produced when carbon in fuel is not burned completely. It is a serious health threat for people with heart disease. It can cause vision problems, reduced ability to work or learn, or death. EPA has set national standards to help reduce carbon monoxide emissions. Some reasons for concern are that motor vehicle use is increasing and carbon monoxide is poisonous even to healthy people at high levels in the air.

Nitrogen Dioxide

Nitrogen Dioxide is a group of highly reactive gases that contain nitrogen and oxygen. It is formed when fuel is burned at high temperatures. Nitrogen Dioxide, when mixed with sulfur dioxide and other substances in the air, becomes acid rain. Acid rain causes lakes and streams to become acidic and uninhabitable for many fish. To help stop this problem, the EPA has required...