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Air Quality. a brief introduction. Definition of Air Quality. Attributes of the atmosphere that make it able to sustain life. What is the atmosphere?. The gaseous envelope surrounding Earth 78% nitrogen (N 2 ) 21% oxygen (O 2 ) Air is the mixture of gases in the atmosphere

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Air quality l.jpg

Air Quality

a brief introduction


Definition of air quality l.jpg

Definition of Air Quality

Attributes of the atmosphere that make it able to sustain life


What is the atmosphere l.jpg
What is the atmosphere?

  • The gaseous envelope surrounding Earth

    • 78% nitrogen (N2)

    • 21% oxygen (O2)

  • Air is the mixture of gases in the atmosphere

  • Adding gases changes the composition of the atmosphere


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Goals of Air Quality Research

  • Understand

  • Control

  • Manage


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Poor Air Quality Problems

  • Urban Smog

    • poor visibility, human health problems and death

  • Acid Rain

    • forest and crop depletion, deterioration of buildings, destruction of lakes and rivers

  • Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

    • increased exposure to UV rays

  • Global Climate Change

    • changes in weather patterns


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Correlated Health Effects

  • Respiratory disease

    • Asthma

    • Pulmonary emphysema

    • Chronic bronchitis

    • Lung cancer

    • Infections

  • Eye irritation

  • Indirect cardiovascular disease


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Regulation of Air Quality

  • Clean Air Act (CAA) and Amendments were created to reduce smog and atmospheric pollution

    • Uniform National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for 6 criteria pollutants

    • Hazardous air pollutant (HAP) regulations based on control technologies

    • Standards for the control of motor vehicle emissions


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Criteria Pollutants

  • Ozone (O3)

  • Carbon monoxide (CO)

  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2)

  • Particulate matter (PM-10 and PM-2.5)

  • Lead (Pb)


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Air Monitoring Networks

  • Which air monitors are placed where

  • Provide a general overview of regional air quality

    • Air Quality Index (AQI)

      • www.airnow.gov

  • Data from monitors is how the research is done


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Hillsborough County’s Air Monitoring Network

  • Run by the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (EPC)

  • In 2004, 52 monitors in 23 locations

  • Monitored the criteria pollutants as well as wind and some hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)

    • Carbonyls

    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

    • Metals

    • Nitrate, sulfate, and ammonium



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Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

  • Formed from reactions within the air at the high temperatures and pressures of engines

    • nitrogen and oxygen

  • Causes health problems

  • Once in atmosphere, forms ozone and smog


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Ozone (O3)

  • Formed in the atmosphere by NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight

    • NOx and VOCs from vehicles

  • Major component of smog

  • Causes health problems and destruction of materials



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    Web Sites

    • EPC of Hillsborough County

      • www.epchc.org

    • Florida Air Quality

      • www.dep.state.fl.us/Air/airquality.htm

    • EPA’s Ambient Monitoring Technology Information Center (AMTIC)

      • www.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/

    • Current Air Quality Index (AQI)

      • airnow.gov


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