Air toxics are those air pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems. The degree to which a toxic air pollutant affects a person’s health depends on many factors, including the quantity of pollutant the person is exposed to, the duration and frequency of exposures, the toxicity of the chemical, and the person’s state of health and susceptibility. Scientists estimate that millions of tons of toxic pollutants are released into the air each year. Most air toxics originate from manmade sources, including both mobile sources (e.g., cars, buses, trucks) and stationary sources (e.g., factories, refineries, power plants). However, some are released in major amounts from natural sources such as forest fires & soil emissions.
DEQ uses specialized monitoring equipment to conduct limited duration studies. These typically involve monitoring for and analysis of compounds that are identified as air toxics.
At the conclusion of each study, DEQ will prepare a report that assesses the data gathered in the monitoring effort.