Clean air is made up of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, with traces of other gases such as carbon dioxide.
Air pollutants mainly come from the discharges of gases and particles, mostly from industry, motor vehicles and domestic wood burning. There are also natural sources such as windblown dust and smoke from bushfire. Some forms of air pollution create global problems requiring international solutions; for example, upper-atmosphere ozone depletion and acid rain. The enhanced greenhouse effect also falls into this category.
The most widespread pollutants include carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, ozone, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and particles. These substances are used as indicators of air quality.
Air pollution can cause health problems. For example, high concentrations of air pollutants (poor air quality) can aggravate existing respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis, or increase the risk of respiratory problems.
To protect the environment against harmful and unhealthy levels of air pollution, Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) adopt objectives to protect a range of beneficial uses, including the health and well being of humans, plants and animals. These policies cover all the major pollutants as well as specific industrial pollutants from chimneys. There are more stringent controls on industrial discharges of pollutants that may have adverse health effects or are highly toxic.
At Acoem, we specialise in air quality monitoring instruments and systems. We manufacture our own range of air quality analysers and import from world leading brands and are able to offer fully integrated monitoring systems. Acoem’s air quality monitoring covers a wide variety of gases from background/trace levels, through ambient and up to stack levels. We also have instruments to monitor hydrocarbons, greenhouse gases, gas isotopes and gases within process environments.