Air Quality Interactive Globes
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The EPA defines Particle pollution, or particulate matter (PM), as a general term for a mixture of solid and liquid droplets suspended in the air. Particle pollution comes in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of a number of different components, including acids (such as sulfuric acid), inorganic compounds (such as ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, and sodium chloride), organic chemicals, soot, metals, soil or dust particles, and biological materials (such as pollen and mold spores).
The EPA defines Volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) as compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility. Many VOCs are human-made chemicals that are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants. VOCs typically are industrial solvents, such as trichloroethylene; fuel oxygenates, such as methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE); or by-products produced by chlorination in water treatment, such as chloroform. VOCs are often components of petroleum fuels, hydraulic fluids, paint thinners, and dry cleaning agents. VOCs are common ground-water contaminants.
The EPA defines Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, as those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects. EPA is working with state, local, and tribal governments to reduce air emissions of 188 toxic air pollutants to the environment.