Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
1 Victoria Square
Painesville, OH 44077

Health Effects of Air Pollution

 

Effects of Air Pollution


POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON HUMAN HEALTH APPEARANCE MAIN SOURCES NAAQS* LIMITS
PM-10 Particulate Matter <10um Harmful to body tissue (nose, throat, lungs).  Too small to be filtered by the natural defense system of the body.   Aggravates breathing Dust and soot suspended in the air Industrial sources, wood- burning stoves and urban dust. 50 ug/m3 Max. yearly average
150 ug/m3 Maximum in 24-hours.
SO2 Sulfur Dioxide Converted to sulfuric acid when contacted by moisture (such as lining of lungs).  Leads to higher incidence of respiratory diseases, and higher death rates. Colorless, odorous gas; precursor to acid rain. Burning of sulfur-containing fuel, such as coal and oil, and other industrial processes. .14 ppm Maximum in 24 hours
03. ppm Max. yearly average.
NO2 Nitrogen Dioxide Reduces cell immunity and resistance to bacteria and viruses.  Causes respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Poisonous, brouwnish gas; precursor to ozone and acid rain. Motor vehicles and other fuel-combustion sources 0.053 ppm Max yearly average.
CO Carbon Monoxide Reduces blood’s oxygen carrying capacity, therefore leading to short-term impairments of mental processes. Colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. Incomplete fuel combustion, mainly vehicle exhaust. 9 ppm Maximum 8 hour average.
35 ppm Maximum 1 hour average
O3 Ozone A pulmonary irritant.  Irritates mucous membranes of nose, throat, and eyes.  Leads to respiratory infections. Primary ingredient of smog. Chemical reaction between VOC, NOx, and sunlight to create ozone. 0.08 ppm measured over 8 hours.
Pb Lead Poisonous to humans.   Accumulates in the body and interferes with the blood-forming process and functions of the nervous and renal systems.  Especially harmful to small children. Invisible Non-ferrous smelters, battery plants and lead additives in gasoline 1.15 ug/m3 Maximum quarterly average.

* National Ambient Air Quality Standard of maximum allowable concentrations, exceedances of which can be hazardous to human health and welfare.