Pollutant List

Pollutant Listback
air pollutantsAsbestos
Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals with long, thin fibers. It was once used widely as insulation. It also occurs in the environment. Asbestos fibers are so small you can’t see them. Disturbing asbestos can cause fibers to float in the air. When this happens, they are easy to inhale. You breathe out most fibers, but some become lodged in the lungs. Over time, they can build up in the lungs, causing scarring and inflammation. This can eventually affect breathing and lead to disease.
air pollutantsCarbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that has no odour or color. CO is very dangerous. It can cause sudden illness and death. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those made by cars and trucks, lanterns, stoves, gas ranges and heating systems. CO from these fumes can build up in places that don’t have a good flow of fresh air. People can be poisoned by breathing in CO.
It is typically difficult to tell if someone has CO poisoning, since the symptoms may be like those of other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. A CO detector can warn you if you have high levels of CO in your home.
air pollutantsHousehold Products
You’d like to think your home or office is a safe place. Yet most people’s homes are filled with potentially dangerous substances. These include oven and drain cleaners, laundry powder, floor polish, paint and pesticides. Even arts and crafts supplies and yard care products can be hazardous.
Several household products can harm children, pets and the environment if not used and stored correctly. Toxic substances in these products can cause harm if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. People respond to toxic substances in different ways. At high doses a toxic substance might cause birth defects or other serious problems, including brain damage or death. To avoid these problems, keep products in the containers they come in and use them exactly as the label describes. Seek medical help if you swallow, inhale or get products on your skin.
air pollutantsLead Poisoning
Lead is a metal that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust. People have spread it through the environment in many ways. Lead used to be in paint and gasoline. Lead can still be found in contaminated soil, household dust, drinking water, lead-glazed pottery and some metal jewellery.
Breathing air, drinking water, eating food or swallowing or touching dirt that contains lead can cause many health concerns. Lead can increase blood pressure in adults and cause infertility, nerve disorders and muscle and joint pain. It can also make you irritable and affect your ability to concentrate and remember. Lead is especially dangerous for children. A child who swallows large amounts of lead may develop anemia, severe stomach-ache, muscle weakness and even brain damage. Low levels of lead are linked to lower IQ scores.
air pollutantsPesticides
Pests live where they are not wanted or cause harm to crops, people or animals. Pesticides can help to rid them. Though you may think of pesticides as insect killers, they include chemicals to control weeds, rodents, mildew, germs and more. Many household products contain pesticides.
Pesticides can protect your health by killing germs, animals or plants that could hurt you. However, most pesticides can be harmful to people or pets. You might want to try non-chemical methods first. Biologically-based pesticides are becoming more and more popular. Typically they are safer than traditional pesticides. If you do need a pesticide, use it correctly. Be especially careful around children and pets. Disposing of pesticides properly is very important – do your due diligent to protect the environment.
air pollutantsRadon
You can’t see radon. You can’t smell it or taste it but it may be a problem in your home or office building. Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
There are low levels of radon outdoors. Indoors, there can be high levels. Radon can enter homes and buildings through cracks in floors, walls or foundations. Radon can also be in your water, especially well water. Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels. It is inexpensive and easy. Radon reduction systems can bring the amount of radon down to a safe level. The cost depends on the size and design of your home or office building.