Sources of Air Pollution
A number of air pollutants coming out of a variety of industrial processes, impact the health of California residents. Two of the pollutants of the greatest concern from a public health perspective are fine particulate matter and ozone. Sources of PM2.5 include direct emissions from combustion of fuels such as gasoline, oil and diesel as well as wood combustion. PM2.5 is also formed in atmospheric chemical reactions of precursors emitted from combustion sources including motor vehicles. Pollution from diesel engines is part of PM2.5 and of particular concern due to its health impacts. Ozone is one of the major constituents of smog and is formed in the atmosphere by complex reactions with chemicals that are directly emitted from motor vehicles and other combustion sources.
The table below shows some of the common pollutants found in our air and examples of some of the sources of these pollutants.
Examples of Sources
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Toxic Air Contaminants
- 1. Ozone is not generated directly by these sources. Rather, chemicals emitted by these precursor sources react with sunlight to form ozone in the atmosphere.