Table 514 Qualitative Summary Of The Effects Attributed To Specific Pollutants

Air Pollutant


Particulates Sulfur oxides

Hydrocarbons (in solid and gaseous states) Carbon monoxide

Nitrogen oxides

Oxidants: Ozone

Peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN)

Speeds chemical reactions; obscures vision; corrodes metals; causes grime on belongings and buildings; aggravates lung illness Causes acute and chronic leaf injury; attacks a wide variety of trees; irritates upper respiratory tract; destroys paint pigments; erodes statuary; corrodes metals; ruins hosiery; harms textiles; disintegrates book pages and leather May be cancer-producing (carcinogenic); retards plant growth; causes abnormal leaf and bud development

Causes headaches, dizziness, and nausea; absorbs into blood; reduces oxygen content; impairs mental processes

Causes visible leaf damage; irritates eyes and nose; stunts plant growth even when not causing visible damage; creates brown haze; corrodes metals

Discolors the upper surface of leaves of many crops, trees, and shrubs; damages and fades textiles; reduces athletic performance; hastens cracking of rubber; disturbs lung function; irritates eyes, nose, and throat; induces coughing Discolors the lower leaf surface; irritates eyes; disturbs lung function etation. Many health effects and visibility are related to the combination of sulfur dioxide and particulates in the atmosphere.

Numerous acute air pollution episodes have caused dramatic health effects to the human population. One of the first occurred in the Meuse Valley in Belgium in 1930 and was characterized by sixty deaths and thousands of ill peo ple. In Donoro, Pennsylvania in 1948, seventeen people died, and 6000 of the population of 14,000 were reported ill. In Poza Rica, Mexico in 1950, twenty-two people died, and 320 people were hospitalized as a result of an episode. Several episodes with excess deaths have been recorded in London, England, with the most famous being in 1952 when 3500 to 4000 excess deaths occurred over a one-

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