What are Technical Air Pollution Sources?
Hazardous air pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, are pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or that have a negative environmental and ecological impact. The EPA is responsible for controlling 187 hazardous air pollutants.
Toxic air pollutants include benzene (found in gasoline), perchloroethylene (emitted by some dry cleaning facilities), and methylene chloride (used as a solvent and paint stripper by a variety of industries). The Clean Air Act list can be amended through appropriate rulemaking. A current list of changes is available. There is also some clarification on certain pollutant aggregation.
The majority of air toxics are emitted by man-made sources, including mobile (e.g., cars, trucks, buses) and stationary (e.g., factories, refineries, power plants), as well as indoor sources (e.g., building materials and activities such as cleaning).
There are two types of stationary sources that emit air toxics on a regular basis:
"Major" sources are those that emit 10 tonnes of any of the toxic air pollutants per year, or 25 tonnes of a mixture of air toxics per year. These sources may emit air toxics as a result of equipment leaks, material transfer from one location to another, or discharge through emission stacks or vents.
"Area" sources are smaller-scale facilities that emit fewer toxic pollutants into the atmosphere. Area sources are defined as sources that emit less than 10 tonnes of a single air toxic per year or less than 25 tonnes of a combination of air toxics per year. Though emissions from individual area sources are often small, their cumulative emissions can be significant, especially when a large number of sources are located in densely populated areas.
1. Power Plants Using Fossil Fuels
Chemicals such as Sulphur dioxide are released during the combustion of fossil fuels. They are emitted directly into the atmosphere, where they react with water molecules, resulting in acid rain. Air pollution from coal-fired power plants, in particular, has been linked to neurological problems, heart and lung ailments, cancer, and asthma, among other serious public health and environmental consequences.
This is why there is so much interest in researching alternative energy sources such as nuclear, wind, and solar.
2. Industrial Factories and Plants Exhaust
Factory exhaust is one of the most significant sources of air pollution caused by businesses. Tons of heavy machinery in industrial plants emit pollutants into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels. Industry and power plants account for more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Agricultural and Construction Work
When you think of farms, you probably envision a sweet, pastoral scene with cows and vegetables. In reality, industrial agriculture is a big business that uses gas-guzzling, air-polluting heavy machinery. Other agricultural and construction byproducts exist as well. Ammonia is a common byproduct of farming, and construction generates a lot of dust and particle waste. Pesticides and fertilizers are also responsible for releasing a slew of noxious chemicals into the environment.
4: Other Factors
Outdoor air pollution is not the only type of dangerous air pollution. You should also be concerned about indoor air pollution, especially since you have a lot more control over it. One of the most common sources of indoor air pollution is the use of household chemicals such as bleach without adequate ventilation.
Other items commonly found in the home contribute significantly to air pollution, particularly when improperly disposed of.
The following are some common household items that can contribute to indoor air pollution:
1: Asbestos, which can be found in a variety of older home construction materials and automotive industry materials.
2: Formaldehyde is a colourless gas found in sealants, paints, carpets, upholstery, and wood floors.
3: Tobacco smoke can come from either outside or inside.
4: Radon, which can be found in building materials and bedrock beneath your home.
5: Paints, varnishes, and certain cleaning products.
6: Mold, mildew, viruses, bacteria, dust mites, pollen, animal dander, and other contaminants are examples of biological pollutants.
7: Perfumes, synthetic fragrances, deodorizers, and air fresheners are all examples of fragrances.
8: Candles made of paraffin wax emit fumes.
9: Gases and minute particles emitted by office machines.
10: Glue, lacquer, paint, plywood, and other construction materials.
11: Clothes that have been dry cleaned contain highly toxic substances such as perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene.
12: Pesticides found in the home that can be used to control insects, rodents, termites, microbes, fungi, and other pests.