Air pollution is when harmful
substances are in the air that we breathe. National agencies and organizations report
Air pollution comes from many
sources. Some of these include industrial operations, stationary fuel combustion,
highway vehicles, and nonroad mobile sources (aircraft, trains, and boats). These
sources emit pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide,
lead, ozone, and particulate matter.
Nearly 5 out of 10 Americans
live in areas of unhealthy levels of ozone (smog) or particle pollution (soot).
The most vulnerable people are infants, children, older adults, and those living
with chronic lung disease such as asthma and COPD.
The health effects of air pollution
are many. Air pollution levels are tied to increased respiratory health problems.
includes asthma. They are also linked to premature death, cancer, and long-term damage
to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Healthy People 2020 identifies
10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.
Preventing air pollution is a major
project of public health and environmental agencies.