Common Air Pollutants That Around Us

Common Air Pollutants

Air pollution has been a serious problem for a number of years. The air that people breathe in is made from two main types of gases. These gases are nitrogen and oxygen with traces of other gases a well. Air pollution occurs when other chemicals get into the air making it harmful to breathe in.

Carbon dioxide is found in the air in small quantities. When too much of this gas is found in the air it can be toxic. There are several ways that pollution can get into the air and has negative effects on the human body.

air pollutants that common to see

Natural Pollution

There are some forms of air pollution that do occur naturally. These forms of pollution include volcanic eruptions, forest fires, gases that come from radioactive decay, and other natural events. Forest fires cause a great deal of smoke that can spread across continents. Eruptions from volcanoes release a great deal of dust in the atmosphere and can even block the sunlight. Rocks that are radioactive will release radon into the air which can have a negative effect on health.

Air Pollution Gases

There are some gases that can be harmful when they are found in the atmosphere. If the concentration of these gases gets to be too high they can cause harm to humans and the environment.

Sulfur Dioxide

This gas is released into the air from the burning of coal and petroleum. Power plants often put a great deal of this chemical into the air. This can lead to smog forming over an area, acid rain, and health problems that include but are not limited to lung disease.

Carbon Monoxide

This gas is dangerous and is released into the air from the exhaust on cars and buses. When the levels of this pollutant get too high it can lead to death.

Carbon Dioxide

This gas is needed in small amounts in the air. When the levels of this gas get to be too high they can contribute to the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is often released into the air by power plants. It has been linked to climate changes that are having a negative effect on the Earth.


This gas is put into the air from vehicle engines as well as power plants. It leads to acid rain, holes in the ozone layer, and smog. This is one of the gases that also contribute to the greenhouse effect which is harming the atmosphere.

Volatile Organic Compounds

These compounds are carbon based and can be found in household chemicals. They are commonly found in paints, varnishes, and even floor waxes. They are harmful to the air and are believed to increase the amount of smog in the atmosphere. These chemicals can also be dangerous to a person’s health.


These are the soot that is deposited into the air. This is what makes it difficult for a person to breathe. There are different sized soot particles and the larger they are the more damage they can cause. These particles get into the air from the exhaust of cars and are a real problem in cities where there are an abundance of cars and traffic.


Air Pollution common pollutants

This is one form of air pollution that many people are familiar with. Ozone is made just of a couple of different compounds and is important to the Earth. The Ozone Layer will help filter out the ultra violet rays from the sun. These ultraviolet rays can be harmful and cause a number of problems. When it reaches the level of the Earth where people live and breathe it can be highly toxic. When the sun is able to reach the pollution it will increase the level of smog in the area.


These are usually harmless and can be found in common household items. Refrigerators contain these particles as well as aerosol cans such as hair spray. It has been found that these are able to damage the Ozone layer of the Earth and they should not be used any longer.

Unburned Hyrocarbons

These particles are made of organic compounds. When they burn off in natural there are often harmless. When they are burnt in an incorrect manner they can release a number of pollutants into the air. These pollutants can float in the air and lead to the buildup of certain chemicals including smog.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals including lead are released into the air. They become very toxic. These metals get into the air as part of aerosol sprays or through fumes. Larger particles can also be released into the air. Smokestacks are known for putting lead into the air. They can lead to a number of problems for people. This dust is toxic to breathe in and can trigger asthma and other health conditions.

These are some of the harmful pollutants that are released into the air. With new government regulations and codes people are warned to watch the amount of pollutants that are released into the air. These chemicals can cause a number of health problems. The government is taking measures to reduce the amount of pollution released into the air which will help people breathe easier.

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