What we monitor

In Fife we monitor our air quality for the presence of the following seven pollutants:

benzene

Where it comes from

  • Exhausts from cars and other vehicles, particularly those with petrol engines.
  • Petrol stations.

What health problems it can cause

Being exposed to high levels of benzene over a long period has the potential to cause cancer, central nervous system (CNS) disorders, liver and kidney damage, reproductive disorders and birth defects.

 


carbon monoxide (CO)

Where it comes from

  • Exhaust fumes from cars and other vehicles, particularly those with petrol engines.

What health problems it can cause

Breathing in carbon monoxide can reduce the regular supply of oxygen getting to your heart. This can be particularly dangerous for people with heart disease and conditions linked to it.

 


1,3 – butadiene

Where it comes from

  • Fumes from car and other vehicle exhausts from both petrol and diesel engines.
  • It’s used as a chemical in certain industries, for example producing synthetic rubber.

What health problems it can cause

Being exposed to high levels of 1, 3 – butadiene over a long period has the potential to cause cancer, central nervous system (CNS) disorders, liver and kidney damage, reproductive disorders and birth defects.


Lead (Pb)

Where it comes from:

  • Fumes from car and other vehicle exhausts from petrol engines. (Unleaded fuel has significantly reduced the levels of lead in the air in urban areas).
  • Lead is produced by burning coal to produce energy and from industries that produce metals.

What health problems it can cause

Being exposed to high levels of lead over a long period may impair your mental functions, including your memory and attention span. 


nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

Where it comes from:

  • Fumes from car and other vehicle exhausts from both petrol and diesel engines.
  • Power stations.
  • Chemical processes, for example from manufacturing agricultural fertiliser.

What health problems it can cause

Nitrogen dioxide can irritate the lungs and make you less resistant to respiratory infections such as the flu. Children who are continuously exposed to it could be particularly at risk.


sulphur dioxide (SO2)

Where it comes from:

  • Sulphur dioxide is produced by coal and oil-fired power stations.
  • Exhaust fumes from cars and vehicles with diesel engines.

What health problems it can cause

Being exposed to high levels of sulphur dioxide for a short time may tighten your chest, make you cough and irritate your lungs.

If you have asthma, being exposed to even moderate concentrations of sulphur dioxide may affect your lungs (as asthma and other breathing conditions can be especially sensitive to SO2).


PM10 (fine particles)

Where it comes from: (its source)

  • Exhaust fumes from cars and other vehicles with diesel engines.
  • Power stations.
  • Natural sources such as wind-blown particles of fine dust and soil, biological particles, for example fungi and pollen, and sea salt.

What health problems it can cause

Fine particles such as PM10 can be carried deep into your lungs where they can potentially cause inflammation.  People with heart and lung problems are especially vulnerable. The particles can carry carcinogens into the lungs.


Air Quality
Tel: 01592 583141 Contact Air Quality online
By Post: Kingdom House Kingdom Avenue Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LY
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