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What air pollutants does the EPA regulate?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Environmental Law

Releasing waste can be inevitable in specific industries. Some of the most mundane products used by the public daily often come from manufacturing plants and use transportation channels that can produce air pollutants. Fortunately, recent developments in technology and legislation allowed these industries to improve standards for waste and contaminant production.

Industry leaders and lawmakers work hand in hand to address contamination issues, including air pollutants. To organize information and implement regulations, they determined specific air contaminants that can be harmful, warranting mitigation. To control these toxic substances, they categorized them into the following:

  • Air particulates – These tiny particles are inside droplets in the air, such as dust, dirt or smoke. Some of these substances can be so small that they can enter the lungs when people breathe them in. These pollutants are often contributing factors to various respiratory illnesses, leading to death if left untreated.
  • Ground-level ozone – This substance protects the earth from harm caused by direct sunlight, but it can harm people at ground level. Aside from coughing, bronchitis and asthma, it can cause permanent lung damage if exposed for long durations.
  • Emissions from burning fuel and motor vehicles – Fuel combustion can produce toxic air pollutants, including lead, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Strict regulations mitigate these contaminants, forcing industries to develop better practices to reduce pollutant production.
  • Sulfur oxides – These pollutants are hazardous and are under stringent regulation. However, they are typical in manufacturers using sulfur fossil fuels.

Because of the harm they can cause, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other governing entities monitor these air pollutants to improve air quality standards.

Knowing how to mitigate air pollutants

The first step to implementing best practices and standards concerning air pollution is learning about the contaminants you are dealing with. No matter what business you run, you should determine what pollutants it produces and implement safety measures accordingly. Doing so can help you stay compliant with air quality laws and protect yourself, your workers, your business and others.