Health Information

The air monitoring stations are measuring the ambient (outdoor) air quality. The list of chemicals that follow includes some of the target species monitored and some of the other chemicals regulated by the EPA of significant interest due to their potential to cause health impacts.

1, 3-Butadiene (C4H6)
1, 3-Butadiene is a colorless gas with a mild, gasoline-like smell. Breathing high levels of 1,3-butadiene in a short period of time may cause nausea, dry mouth and nose, headaches, decreased blood pressure and increased pulse rate. Workers continuously exposed to 1,3-butadiene may be at a higher risk of developing stomach, blood, and/or lymphatic system cancer. Animal studies showed that breathing 1,3-butadiene during pregnancy can lead to birth defects. More Info
Benzene (C6H6)
Benzene has a sweet, aromatic odor. It is highly flammable and evaporates very quickly. Exposure to high levels of benzene may cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, and/or confusion. Benzene can irritate the eyes, skin, or lungs if directly exposed. Long-term exposure to benzene (more than a year) can cause anemia and abnormal bleeding. Benzene can also affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection. Exposure to high levels of benzene in the air over a long period of time may cause leukemia. More Info
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide, abbreviated as CO, is an odorless, colorless gas. CO poisoning causes sudden flu-like symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Severe carbon monoxide exposure in an enclosed space may cause death. More Info
Cumene (Isopropylbenzene cumene - C9H12)
Cumene is a flammable, colorless liquid. Short-term inhalation of cumene may cause headaches, dizziness, drowsiness and lack of coordination, while contact may irritate the skin and eyes. The long-term reproductive, developmental, and carcinogenic effects of cumene on humans are unknown. More Info
Ethylene oxide (C2H4O)
Ethylene oxide is a colorless, flammable gas that has a faintly sweet smell. Low exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. It may also cause headache, nausea, vomiting, and memory loss. Higher exposure could potentially cause damage to the brain and nervous system. Some evidence shows that exposure to ethylene oxide can cause miscarriages among pregnant woman. Workers continuous exposed to ethylene oxide have increased incidences of leukemia and stomach cancer; however, a causal correlation has not been concluded. More Info
Lead (Pb)
Lead is a natural element found on earth. Though it is a soft, gray metal, it can be released into the air. Low-level lead exposure may result in symptoms of irritability, fatigue, muscle aches, and occasional abdominal discomfort. Symptoms of lead poisoning in children are neurobehavioral and may include altered classroom behavior and social interactions. More Info
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
Nitrogen dioxide is a nasty-smelling gas. Low levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. This irritation may lead to coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness, and nausea. Low-level exposure can also result in fluid build-up in the lungs 1 or 2 days after exposure. Direct contact with high concentrations may burn the skin or eyes. More Info
Ozone (O3)
Ozone (O3) is a gas composed of three oxygen atoms. Ozone has been linked to coughing, lung and throat irritation, and trouble breathing during exercise or outdoor activities. People with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema may experience worsening symptoms. More Info
Particulate matter 2.5 micron (PM 2.5)
Particulate matter (PM) is made up of the tiny pieces of solids or liquids in the air, including dust, dirt, and smoke. Particle pollution may irritate the eyes, lungs, and throat, as well as cause difficulty breathing and lung cancer. PM 2.5 can worsen heart disease. More Info
Particulate matter 10 micron (PM 10)
Particle pollution is made up of microscopic solids and liquid droplets suspended in the air. The size of the particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers (microns) in diameter pose the greatest problems because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your blood stream. They can affect your lungs and your heart and can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. More Info
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
Sulfur dioxide is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. Breathing sulfur dioxide irritates the lungs, causing breathing difficulties, and burns the nose and throat. People with asthma are sensitive to even low concentrations of sulfur dioxide. There are no studies that show sulfur dioxide causes cancer. More Info
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are a class of chemicals that are volatile (evaporate easily) and are organic compounds (contain carbon atoms). Some common VOCs include acetone, benzene, toluene and automotive gasoline. The flammability and health effects of a specific VOC will depend on the chemical. More Info