Air pollution may be defined as the presence in the air (outdoor atmosphere) of one or more contaminants or combinations thereof in such quantities and of such durations as may be or tend to be injurious to human, animal or plant life, or property, or which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property or conduct of business.
It is a substance or effect dwelling temporarily or permanently in the air , which adversely alters the environment by interfering with the health, the comfort, or the food chain, or by interfering with the property values of people. A pollutant can be solid (large or sub-molecular), liquid or gas . It may originate from a natural or anthropogenic source (or both). It is estimated that anthropogenic sources have changed the composition of global air by less than 0.01%. However, it is widely accepted that even a small change can have a significant adverse effect on the climate, ecosystem and species on the planet. Examples of these are acid rain, ozone in the lower atmosphere, and photochemical smog.
01 ppmv carbon trace monoxide
Source for figures above: NASA. and CO2 was increased here by 15 ppmv.1 .55 ppmv Not included in above dry atmosphere: Water vapor typically 1% (highly variable)
Mean Atmospheric Water Vapor.460 ppmv (20.14 ppmv Hydrogen (H2) 0.
Minor components of air not listed above include: Gas Volume nitrous 0. To normalize.24 ppmv Methane (CH4) 1. The NASA total was 17 ppmv over 100%. N2 should be reduced by about 25 ppmv and O2 by about 7 ppmv.09 ppmv ozone 0.084%) Oxygen (O2) 209.07 ppmv nitrogen 0.340 ppmv (0. Carbon dioxide and methane updated (to 1998) by IPCC TAR table 6.5 ppmv oxide xenon 0.840 ppmv (78.9340%) Carbon dioxide 375 ppmv (CO2) Neon (Ne) 18.745 ppmv Krypton (Kr) 1.946%) Argon (Ar) 9. by volume
ppmv: parts per million by volume
Gas Volume Nitrogen (N2) 780.18 ppmv Helium (He) 5.02 ppmv dioxide iodine 0.Composition of dry atmosphere.0 to 0.
0 µg/m 65 ug/m 0. the 3-year average of the weighted annual mean PM10 concentration at 3 each monitor within an area must not exceed 50 ug/m .5 ppm 3 (1300 ug/m )
Not to be exceeded more than once per year. None None Same as Primary Same as Primary Same as Primary Same as Primary
Lead Nitrogen Dioxide Particulate Matter (PM10) Particulate Matter (PM2.5 concentrations 3 from single or multiple community-oriented monitors must not exceed 15. Mean) ------1 24-hour ------1 3-hour 0.
. Mean) 4 24-hour 5 8-hour
Same as Primary Annual (Arith.National Ambient Air Quality Standards
Pollutant Carbon Monoxide Primary Stds. the 3-year average of the weighted annual mean PM2.08 ppm.14 ppm ------3 3
Secondary Stds. Averaging Times 9 ppm (10 3 mg/m ) 35 ppm 3 (40 mg/m ) 3 1. Mean) 1 24-hour 3 Annual (Arith.053 ppm 3 (100 µg/m ) 3 50 µg/m 150 ug/m 3 15.5) Ozone Sulfur Oxides
Quarterly Average Annual (Arithmetic Mean) 2 Annual (Arith.08 ppm 0.
To attain this standard.
To attain this standard. the 3-year average of the fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations measured at each monitor within an area over each year must not exceed 0. the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations at 3 each population-oriented monitor within an area must not exceed 65 ug/m .5 µg/m 0.
To attain this standard.
To attain this standard.0 ug/m .03 ppm 0.
General population should reduce vigorous outdoor activity. Elderly and persons with existing diseases should stay indoors and avoid physical exertion. Elderly and persons with existing heart or lung disease should stay indoors and reduce physical activity. with irritation symptoms in the healthy population. widespread symptoms in the healthy population. Mild aggravation of symptoms among susceptible people. Few or none for the general population.
100 to 200
Persons with existing heart or respiratory ailments should reduce physical exertion and outdoor activity.
None required. None required. General population should avoid vigorous outdoor activity.
200 to 300
Significant aggravation of symptoms and decreased exercise tolerance in persons with heart or lung disease.Index Value
General Health Effects
Up to 50 50 to 100
None for the general population. Early onset of certain diseases in addition to significant aggravation of symptoms and
• Concentrations less than 3 ppm can irritate lungs.Health Effects of Nitrogen Oxides
• Short-term exposure at concentrations greater than 3 parts per million (ppm) can measurably decrease lung function. • Concentrations as low as 0. • Children may also be especially sensitive to the effects of nitrogen oxides. • Long-term lower level exposures can destroy lung tissue.
.1 ppm cause lung irritation and measurable decreases in lung function in asthmatics. leading to emphysema.
• Corrode metals (due to nitrate salts formed from nitrogen oxides). – Causing leaves to fall. • Reduce visibility.
• Deteriorate fabrics and fade dyes. Effects include:
– Bleaching or killing plant tissue. – Reducing growth rate.Other Effects
• Seriously injure vegetation at certain concentrations.
• Also.Other Effects (Continued)
• Oxides of nitrogen. forming photochemical oxidants or smog. NOx is a precursor to acidic precipitation. which may affect both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
. in the presence of sunlight. can also react with hydrocarbons.
. a colorless. This liquid may then combine with oxygen in the air.Sulfur Dioxide
Ninety-five percent of pollution related sulfur oxide emissions are in the form of sulfur dioxide (SO2). forming the even more irritating and corrosive sulfuric acid (H2SO4). colorless gas with an odor like a struck match. forming aerosols of sulfurous acid (H2SO3). mildly corrosive liquid. a heavy. This gas combines easily with water vapor.
skunk spray or decayed garbage.
. • Mercaptans .Other sulfur-containing compounds
• Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas . providing a leak-detecting warning odor.rotten eggs.7% to 2% by weight. normally 0. In India. High sulfur coal sometimes contains as much as 6% sulfur by weight.) Note: The amount of SO2 released from coal fired power plants depends on the sulfur content of coal. (Added in trace amounts to natural gas. sulfur content is quite low.
• Exposure to high concentrations for short periods of time can constrict the bronchi and increase mucous flow. it can irritate the respiratory system. the elderly. • Children. and asthmatics are especially susceptible to these effects.Health Effects of Sulfur Oxides
• Sulfur dioxide not only has a bad odor. those with chronic lung disease. making breathing difficult.
Sulfur dioxide can also:
• Immediately irritate the lung and throat at concentrations greater than 6 parts per million (ppm) in many people.)
. when exposed to concentrations less than 6 ppm for longer time periods. (Combinations of the two gases at concentrations occasionally found in the ambient air appear to increase airway resistance to breathing. • Apparently enhance the harmful effects of ozone. • Impair the respiratory system's defenses against foreign particles and bacteria.
associated with acid aerosol concentrations.) • Increased respiratory tract infections. (Asthmatic individuals are especially susceptible to these effects. e.g. due to long-term exposure. and particulates are also present. These effects include: • Health problems. liquid or solid aerosols. (In the past. such as headaches and nausea. • Self-reported respiratory conditions. such as episodes of bronchitis requiring hospitalization associated with lower-level acid concentrations. lower-level exposures to SO2 and acid aerosols. The elderly and those with chronic respiratory conditions may also be affected at lower concentrations than the general population. associated with longer term. such as chronic cough and difficult breathing.) Effects are more pronounced among mouth breathers. in the absence of pathological abnormalities. people who are exercising or who have head colds. thousands of excess deaths occurred in areas where SO2 concentrations exceeded 1 ppm for a few days and other pollutants were also high.. • Subjective symptoms.
.• Sulfur dioxide tends to have more toxic effects when acidic pollutants.
both native and cultivated.30 ppm for 8 hours. in a very few species growing on sulfur deficient soils. red and black oaks. • Positive benefits from low levels.Sulfur oxides Effects on Plants
• Sulfur dioxide easily injures many plant species and varieties. alfalfa and blackberry.12 ppm for 8 hours. • Visible injury to many other plant types of intermediate sensitivity at exposures of 0. white ash. The effects include: • Visible injury to the most sensitive plants at exposures as low as 0. legumes.
. Some of the most sensitive plants include various commercially valuable pines.
• Increases in sulfur dioxide concentrations accelerate the corrosion of metals. (SO2 is a major precursor to acidic deposition. paper. is a major component of the complex total suspended particulate mixture. and electrical components. paint.
. probably through the formation of acids. • Increased SO2 also contributes to impaired visibility. much of which is derived from sulfur dioxide emissions.) Sulfur oxides may also damage stone and masonry. various fibers. Particulate sulfate.
Health Effects of Ozone
• Ozone acts as a powerful respiratory irritant at the levels frequently found in most of the nation's urban areas during summer months.
. – Chest pain when inhaling deeply. • Ozone exposure may lead to:
– Shortness of breath. and increased respiratory discomfort. repeated exposure to high levels of ozone may lead to large reductions in lung function. – Wheezing and coughing. inflammation of the lung lining.