Q:

What is a primary air pollutant?

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Quick Answer

A primary air pollutant is emitted directly into the air from its source. Primary air pollutants are known to cause many health problems, negatively impact the environment and cause property damage. When in the atmosphere, these pollutants can undergo chemical reactions, forming other pollutants, which are called secondary pollutants.

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Full Answer

The six most common air pollutants are lead, particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Of these pollutants, the two responsible for the most widespread health threats are particulate matter and ozone. Ground-level ozone is created when oxides of nitrogen combine with volatile organic compounds in the sunlight.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What pollutes the air?

    A:

    The main causes of air pollution include the emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons, emission from volcanic eruptions and toxic air pollutants emitted by vehicles. The amount of smog as well as the damaging effects on health and the environment indicate the severity of air pollution.

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  • Q:

    How is air pollution prevented?

    A:

    Air pollution levels may be reduced at home and the office by conserving energy, planting deciduous trees, recycling paper and plastics and keeping automobiles maintained. Air pollution stems from many sources, which makes it difficult to prevent it from entering into the atmosphere altogether.

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  • Q:

    How is air pollution caused?

    A:

    The leading cause of air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels, but other pollutants, such as pollen, smoke from fires and the gases given off from organisms while they are decaying, also contribute. Air pollution is caused by both human activities and naturally occurring events.

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  • Q:

    Why is air pollution bad?

    A:

    Air pollution has several harmful effects on both the environment and human health. A common example of the negative effects of air pollution on the environment is in the form of acid rain. Many upper respiratory diseases such as asthma are exacerbated by air pollution.

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