It is steadily becoming harder to breathe these days. Every major city in the world is experiencing the ill effects of air pollution. The level of toxic air pollutants, known as toxics, has been on the rise globally, though not nationally, since the Clean Air Act of 1990, according to Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards [OAQPS], an office within the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. However, though more regions -- i.e., cities, metropolitan areas, rural areas, etc. -- are meeting the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, certain areas were and still are designated as "nonattainment" areas. These areas are regions which do not meet all the National Ambient Air Quality Standards [NAAQS] for ground-level ozone, a primary constituent of smog (USEPA-- National Air--Ozone and Carbon Monoxide 1).
What are air pollutants and what is their composition? According to studies done by Brigham Young University on air pollution, air pollutants are made up of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, ozone, and lead (Health Problems 3). They are in particulate form meaning these compounds are particles 10 microns in size -- i.e., the diameter of an average human hair. In fact, most sources agree that these are the main components of outdoor, versus indoor, air pollution.
Locally, the state of Arizona has had trouble with sulfur dioxide levels in the past near mining areas such as Globe-Miami (USEPA--Breathing Easier 5-2,3). Those problems have been addressed and have been reported as below the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (USEPA--Breathing Easier ES-2,5-2,3). The big problem which remains is withi...
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...tants: A Citizen's Guide." March 1991.
United States Envirmental Protection Agency. Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation.
Office of Air and Radition. Environmental Indicators. [WWW document]. URL Go To, July 17, 1996.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report, 1995. Ozone and Carbon Monoxide Air Quality Update. [WWW document]. URL Go To, 1995.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Air and Radiation. 1995 National Air Quality Trends Brochure -- Toxic Pollutants. 1995 National Air Quality: Status and Trends. [WWW document]. URL Go To, 1995.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Region 9 Air And Toxics Division. Breathing Easier: 1996, A Report on Air Quality in California, Arizona, Neveda and Hawaii. Update Report, September, 1996.
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