Protecting our health and environment
TMACOG works to support the Clean Air Act and any changes to air quality standards. Right now, our region is in compliance air quality. Let's keep it that way.
Common Air Pollutants
Ozone, when it is close to the ground, has damaging effects on health and on the environment. As the main ingredient of smog, ozone can destroy lung and airway tissue by actually burning through cell walls — damaging lungs much like the sun damages skin. Ozone also damages plants in the same way.
Particulate Matter, or PM-2.5, refers to tiny particles that are smaller than 2.5 microns (smaller than the width of a human hair). Particulate matter has several sources including earth moving activities, tires and brake linings as they wear down, smoke, and vehicle tailpipe emissions. Because particulate matter is so very tiny, it easily bypasses your lung’s protective systems.
Carbon Monoxide (CO),
an odorless, tasteless, invisible, and poisonous gas, comes mostly from
vehicle exhaust. Exposure to carbon monoxide reduces the ability of
blood to carry oxygen through the body. High levels of CO exposure can
cause headaches, dizziness, visual impairment, reduced manual dexterity
and learning ability, and even death. Carbon monoxide reduces the
delivery of oxygen to the body’s vital tissues, affecting the nervous
Vehicle Emissions and the Air We Breathe
The EPA has established the six major air pollutants that are most dangerous to public health and welfare:
- Carbon Monoxide (CO2)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
- Ozone (O3)
- Particulate Matter (PM)
- Lead (Pb)
When gasoline and diesel fuel are burned in a car or truck engine to produce power, they produce numerous tailpipe emissions including:
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)
- Particulate Matter (PM)
- Unburned Hydrocarbons
Regulations and other efforts by government and industry since the Clean Air Act was enacted 1970 have greatly reduced typical vehicle emissions. However, in the same number of years, the number of miles we drive has more than doubled!
TMACOG's Air Quality Report
Emissions and Ozone
- The increase in travel has offset much of the emission control progress.
- Every single day in the U.S., we drive over 6.3 billion miles compared to 2.4 billion miles in 1965.
- Your exposure to air pollutants and toxic compounds may be 10 times higher inside your vehicle than in the outside air.
- An engine that has been sitting for an hour or more pollutes five times as much as a warm one.
Dangers of Air Pollution
- Destroys or damages trees, plants and crops.
- Reduces visibility and sunlight.
- Rusts and tarnishes metals.
- People living closer to highways and industry have more respiratory problems including asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, and bronchitis.
Air Quality Committee
This council's mission is to provide the work necessary to support the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the Air Quality Maintenance Program and to satisfy any changes resulting from the newly proposed air quality standards