Sources and Effects of Air Pollution
Air pollution damages health and the environment in a variety of ways. Hot summer weather sets the stage for the formation of ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), two major pollutants of concern for human health. Fish and wildlife show harmful effects from acid rain and mercury in air. Greenhouse gases (chiefly carbon dioxide) in the air are changing the world's climate.
Air pollutants originate from many human activities. Most pollutants come from:
- on- and off-road vehicles and power equipment,
- power plants that burn oil, gas or coal, and
- industries that manufacture chemicals and other goods.
Other routine activities, such as mowing the lawn, burning brush, heating with wood, and running errands in automobiles also create air pollution. Everyone can help significantly reduce pollution by following tips on Living the Green Life.