Omission of Pollutants

Air Quality

Each person breathes approximately 3,400 gallons of air a day. Activities such as driving cars, burning fossil fuels, and manufacturing chemicals contaminate the air. However, even with substantial economic expansion and population growth, the quality of the air we breathe has improved over the last decades.

Pollutants Level

Bergen County has shown either stable or decreased emissions from all the noted pollutants except sulfur dioxide, which rose from 1986 to 1990, but remained relatively stable thereafter.

Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur dioxide is a gas, which results from combustion of sulfur-containing fuels, notably coal and oil. Regarding human health effects, in studies of exposures to concentrations below the NAAQS, or federal health standard, 25% of asthmatics experienced wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Sulfur dioxide is associated with respiratory illness, lung damage, and aggravation of cardiovascular disease.

Ecological Effects

There are also ecological effects. Deposits of sulfur compounds that form acids can increase the acidity of water bodies and lead to impaired ecosystems and damaged plant and animal life.

Acid particles also accelerate corrosion of buildings, historical monuments, statues, car finishes, building surfaces, and bridges.