Criteria Air Pollutants: Sources

Pollutant
Description
Sources
Health Effects
Particulates
PM
10
Respirable particles less than 10 microns in size
  • Paper industry
  • Fugitive dust
  • Construction activities
  • Utilities
  • Other combustion sources
  • Open burning
Aggravates ailments such as bronchitis and emphysema, especially bad for those with chronic heart and lung disease as well as the very young and old, and pregnant women
Carbon
Monoxide

CO
An odorless, tasteless, colorless gas which is emitted primarily from any form of combustion
  • Carbon black manufacture
  • Refineries
  • Oil and gas liquids
  • Mobile sources
  • Other combustion sources
  • Open burning
Deprives the body of oxygen by reducing the blood's capacity to carry oxygen, causes head-
aches, dizziness, nausea, listlessness, and in high doses, may cause death
Ozone
O
3
A toxic gas associated with photochemical smog; formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds photochemically react with each other in the presence of sunlight and warm temperatures
Volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides from:
  • Utilities
  • Refineries
  • Natural gas transmissions
  • Chemical manufacture
  • Mobile sources
Irritates eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system; especially bad for those with chronic heart and lung disease as well as the very young and old, and pregnant women
Nitrogen
Dioxide
NO
2
A poisonous gas produced when nitrogen oxide is a byproduct of sufficiently high burning temperatures.
Precursor to ozone formation.
Combustion processess:
  • Fossil fuel power
  • Mobile sources
  • Industry
  • Fertilizer manufacturing
  • Oil and gas development
Harmful to lungs, irritates bronchial and respiratory systems; increases adverse symptoms in asthmatic patients
Sulfur
Dioxide
SO
2
A pungent, colorless gas that combines with water vapor to become sulfurous acid (H2SO3 ), a mildly corrosive compound; when sulfurous acid combines with oxygen, it produces sulfuric acid (H2SO4 ), a very corrosive and irritating chemical
  • Inorganic chemical manufacture
  • Refineries
  • Calciners
  • Utilities
Increases the risk of adverse symptoms in asthmatic patients: irritates respiratory system; harmful to plant life; dissolves stone and corrodes iron and steel
Lead
Pb
A widely used metal, which may accumulate in the body
  • Secondary smelting & refining of nonferous metals
  • Steel works
  • Blast furnaces
Disturbs motor function and reflexes, impairs learning, causes intestinal distress, anemia and damage to the central nervous system, kidneys and brain. Children more adversely affected than adults
 

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