Common Types of Air Pollutants

No matter if you’re living or working in an urban or rural environment, indoor air quality is of the utmost importance. Through all of the hustle and bustle that goes on everyday, we are constantly breathing in things that aren’t the best for our health. Studies have actually shown that living in heavy metropolitan areas can actually reduce your lifespan but two to three years. Due to these strong allegations, it is important to understand what major pollutants are and how we can decrease the damage that they cause. Keep reading to learn more! 


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by the Clean Air Act to set quality standards for six of the most common and harmful types of air pollutants. These air pollutants pose a particular threat to the enviornement, and people’s health and well-being. Since these pollutants have the potential to cause so much damage, the EPA sets permissible levels for these air contaminantes and checks on them on a regular basis. The six most common pollutants include ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. 



Ground-level ozone is different from the ozone layer that protects the planet from the sun. It is actually created on the ground when volatile organic compounds chemically react with oxides of nitrogen in the presence of sunlight. These chemicals are a result of a motor vehicle exhaust, emissions from electric utilities, and industrial facilities, chemical solvents, and gas vapors. Ozone can also have harmful effects on the ecosystem, which can then cause changes to the quality of habitats, nutrient cycles, and water.


Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of the combustion process, carbon monoxide emissions most commonly come from transportation sources. Carbon monoxide is extremely harmful to the body due to its ability to inhibit the blood from delivering oxygen to the organs. At high levels, it can stop all oxygen delivery which can cause death. Carbon monoxide fumes can also be dangerous when they’re inside due to the area holding the fumes in. Many people have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes and workplaces. 


Sulfur Dioxide 

The combustion of fossil fuels at power plants and other industrial facilities are responsible for the majority of sulfur dioxide production. It is also very harmful to the respiratory system, which can cause asthma-like symptoms. Sulfur dioxide can also react with various compounds in the air which form small particles. These particles can then embed themselves in the lungs and can cause emphysema symptoms for certain people. It can also affect those with heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death.



Now that we’re aware that lead is an extremely poisonous and toxic chemical and we are no longer using it in day to day products, it is still considered to be an air pollutant. Lead isn’t as prevalent however it still shows in certain air quality tests, making it important to note.


Nitrogen Oxides 

These are produced from emissions that are formed from power plants, on-road vehicles, and off-road vehicles, nitrogen oxides are one of the chemicals that are involved in the formation of harmful fine particle pollution and ground-level ozone. They have been known to cause respiratory distress and a large number of other health issues. 


Particulate Matter 

This can also be commonly called particle pollution, and this form of pollution is extremely harmful to the body. Nitrates, organic chemicals, soil, metals, sulfates, and dust particles are responsible for creating particulate matter. The EPA has classified the particulates into two categories, which include inhalable coarse particles and fine particles depending on their size. 


While these air pollutants are commonly found outside, they can also be easily transferred indoors. This can be even more dangerous due to the fact that the air can be condensed and trapped inside. Investing in products that help improve the quality of air, especially indoors, are investments that are beneficial for not only you but those around you. At Comfort First Products, we have a full range of filtered supply diffusers that drastically improve the quality of your indoor air. Both our Control-A-Flow® Draft Eliminator and Comfort First Filtered Diffusers™ redirect air along with the ceiling and terminate drafts and cold breezes through superior airflow that are compatible with all HVAC systems. Contact us today!