Article

Ambient Air Quality Standards and Guidelines

Morton Lippmann

in Public Health

ISBN: 9780199756797
Published online February 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0005
Ambient Air Quality Standards and Guidelines

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The inhalation of ambient air pollutants is significantly associated with excess mortality, morbidity, lost time from school and work, and loss of cardiopulmonary function. Quantitative information on the relationships between airborne concentrations and their health effects specify the limits on air quality that prevent such effects (when there are thresholds for response), or are at a level that is acceptable to society (when there is no threshold, that is, where there are linear relationships between exposure and response). Such limits may be legally mandated, as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), in the United States, or provide technical advice to governmental agencies that can be used in setting standards, such as that provided in the Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) of the World Health Organization (WHO). Alternatively, exposures can be controlled by emission standards for known toxicant sources, such as those for motor vehicles and point sources of industrial effluents. For air pollution, as well as other toxicants that affect human health, effective public health protection relies on standards that guide actions taken to limit exposures. For community air pollution in the United States, these take the form of NAAQS for six pollutants or pollutant classes that originate from numerous and widespread sources, that is, particulate matter (PM), photochemical oxidants, as indexed by ozone (O3), nitrogen oxides, as indexed by nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur oxides, as indexed by sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb). There are also National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) for air pollutants arising from identifiable point sources.

Article.  6561 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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