There are both primary and secondary air pollutants. The primary pollutants “Are the direct products of combustion and evaporation,” (Wright, 2011) and some can undergo further reactions in the atmosphere and causing secondary pollutants. The names of the primary pollutants are: Suspended particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, lead, air toxics, and radon. Suspended particulate, which comes from “Soot, smoke, and carbon from combustions” (Wright, 2011) can affect the health of a human by reducing our lung function and can also cause cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease can lead to other underlining affect such as heart attack, stroke, and even death. Smog can occur from the burning of “Combustion of sulfur-containing fuels,” (Wright, 2011) like coal. This primary pollutant would be sulfur dioxide; the poisonous gasses from the burning of coal can impair breathing in humans. Volatile organic compounds, “Incomplete combustion of fossil fuels” (Wright, 2011) happen during the industrial process. Carbon monoxide is omitted from vehicles on the road; it is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas. This gas has the ability to bind to hemoglobin in the human body and can block oxygen from reaching the tissue aggravating cardiovascular disease. The burning of a forest causes nitrogen oxides from nitrogen gas which occurs at high combustion temperatures. This can cause an acid rain that contributes to the ozone formation and a reddish-brown gas that is irritating to the lungs. Air toxics are chemicals such as benzene. “Benzene is used as a constituent in motor fuels; as a solvent for fats, waxes, resins, oils, inks, paints, plastics, and rubber; in the extraction of oils from seeds and nuts; and in photogravure printing. It is also used as a chemical intermediate. Benzene is also used in the manufacture of detergents, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and dyestuffs” ("Benzene", 2008). This chemical is known to cause cancer in humans. Radon found in rocks and soil and is a “Natural breakdown of radium and uranium” (Wright, 2011). Radon is a radioactive gas that accumulates inside homes and is odorless and invisible it is also “The second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States” (Wright, 2011). Lead at one time was used in paint, used in battery manufacturing and toxic even at low concentrations. In humans lead can cause brain damage especially to children. Air pollution can be controlled by reducing the number of vehicles on the road, carpooling. Many states offer incentives for carpooler and this helps to reduce the pollutants from the VOC emitted from the burning of the fuel in the cars. Keep tires inflated fill gas tanks in the evening, walk or bike if possible, and keep you car tuned up. These few simple steps can cut back on the pollutants that come from the burning fuels of a car. Conservation of energy can also help by using energy efficient appliances and recycling. To stay healthy in your home have it tested for lead and radon theses chemicals are odorless and deadly. We must all take part in saving our world from everyday pollutants.
"Benzene". (2008, February 4). Retrieved December 15, 2011, from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/benzene.html Wright, R. T. (2011). Environmental science : Toward a sustainable future (11th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.