TABLE 4-5 Environmental Protection Agency's Six Criteria Air Pollutants

Pollutant Trends (1986-1995)

 

Major Effects

Leading Source

Ground-level ozone (O3)

 

Respiratory illness/lung damage

Transportation* (37%)

Concentration

-6%

Crop/forest damage

Solvent utilization (28%)

Emissions

-9%

Building/material damage

 

 

 

Visibility problems

 

Carbon monoxide (CO)

 

Reduced oxygenation of blood

Transportation (81%)

Concentration

-37%

Heart damage

 

Emissions

-16%

 

 

Sulfur dioxide (SO2)

 

Respiratory illness

Electric utilities (66%)

Concentration

-37%

Building/material damage (acid rain)

 

Emissions

-18%

Crop/forest damage

 

 

 

Visibility problems

 

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

 

Respiratory illness/lung damage

Transportation (49%)

Concentration

-14%

Building/material damage (acid rain)

Electric utilities (29%)

Emissions

-3%

Crop/forest damage

 

 

 

Visibility problems

 

Lead (Pb)

 

Infant mortality

Metals processing (smelters, battery plants) (39%)

Concentration

-78%

Reduced birth weight

Transportation (31%)

Emissions

-32%

Childhood IQ loss

 

 

 

Hypertension

 

 

 

Heart attacks

 

Particulate matter (PM-10)

 

Lung disease

Fugitive dust (68%)

Concentration

-22%

Mortality

Agriculture and forestry (20%)

Emissions

-17%

 

 

* Based on volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1996).

monoxide, ground-level ozone, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. These chemicals are sometimes referred to as ''criteria pollutants." In addition, there are many other constituents of the atmosphere that may have impacts of economic consequence. Table 4-6 lists some other components of air pollutants, including air toxins (e.g., benzene), stratospheric ozone depleters (e.g., CFCs), and greenhouse gases



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement