Are Air Pollutants Classified

Some air pollutants are classified as primary pollutants, which means they are emitted directly into the atmosphere. Others are classified as secondary pollutants, which means they are formed when primary pollutants react with other compounds in the atmosphere. The main types of primary air pollutants are:


  • carbon monoxide
  • nitrogen oxides
  • sulfur dioxide
  • volatile organic compounds
  • particulate matter


The main types of secondary air pollutants are:

  • ground-level ozone
  • smog
  • acid rain

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