What Are Air Toxics?
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The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 define
188 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).
The two terms “HAPs” and “air toxics” are used interchangeably.
Air toxics are those pollutants known or suspected to
cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as
reproductive effects or birth defects.
Examples of toxic air pollutants include
benzene (found in gasoline),
perchloroethylene (emitted from some dry cleaning facilities),
methylene chloride (solvent and paint stripper),
arsenic, mercury, chromium, and lead compounds (e.g., metal
processing operations), and
semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) such as naphthalene
(petroleum refining and fossil fuel and wood combustion).
HAPs are also referred to as air toxics, which is a broader term and includes additional pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide.