Classification of Air Pollutants
In order to determine if air pollution is getting better or worse, we went back to this article about air pollution in th U.S., Here, we gladly impart information about the changes in current air pollution conditions in American regions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has instituted an air monitoring system covering each US region, thus creating awareness about health risks faced while in a particular area. The EPA's AirData, has spurred many US cities in improving their air quality, thus making their respective turfs more inviting places to live and work in, or even just to visit.
Whereas before, statistics have it that about 800,000 deaths each year are attributable to outdoor air pollution. Today, much improvement was noted among US cities because almost every city, county or municipality would rather be counted as one of the greenest places in the US, rather than be tagged as the most polluted.
The Three Most Damaging Air Pollutants that Affect Environment and Health
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) - that which is emitted in the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil during industrial processes such as smelting.
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) - emissions produced from engine sources like cars and other motor vehicles as well as those emitted from stationary sources like power plants.
Particulate Matter (PM) – these are the fine particles floating in the air and are further classified according to its sizes; PM10, particles with less than 10 microns in diameter and PM2.5 with particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Particulate matters or PM are emitted from vehicles, power plants and industrial processes in almost equal measure.
Other pollutants considered are Carbon Monoxide, Lead, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which include hydrocarbons, alcohols, formaldehydes, and ethers. They also come from emissions produced by vehicles and industrial burning of fossil fuel.