Air pollution is produced when chemicals, particulate matter, or gasses are introduced into the air and cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms. The components of air pollution can be divided into primary and secondary pollutants. Primary pollutants are those that are released directly into the air by a process such as combustion. Main primary pollutants include carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) (jointly they are NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), particulate matter (PM), volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs), and metals (such as lead). Secondary pollutants are created by the interaction of primary pollutants through chemical processes or agglomeration. An important secondary pollutant is ground level ozone, which is formed from NOx and VOCs in the presence of sunlight. Some pollutants, such as NO2, are both primary and secondary pollutants.
Although there are natural sources of outdoor (ambient) air pollution such as volcanic...
- Brook, R. D. (2008). Cardiovascular effects of air pollution. Clinical Science (London), 115, 175–187.Google Scholar
- Bullard, R. D. (2000). Dumping in dixie: Race, class and environmental quality. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, A. J., Anderson, H. R., Ostra, B., Pandey, K. D., Krzyzanowski, M., Künzli, N., et al. (2005). The global burden of disease due to outdoor air pollution. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part A, 68, 1–7.Google Scholar
- O'Neill, M., Kinney, P., & Cohen, A. (2008). Environmental equity in air quality management: Local and international implications for human health and climate change. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 71, 570–577.Google Scholar
- USGAO (United States General Accounting Office). (1982). Siting of hazardous waste landfills and their correlation with racial and economic status of surrounding communities. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar