* Air Pollution, Climate Change and Ozone Depletion  Notes

Box 3 - Primary Pollutants Sources and Trends in the UK

Table 1. an estimate of the emission totals from various sources of UK primary pollutants expressed as a percentage for each compound, together with the total estimated emissions for each compound in the UK in kilo tonnes for 2003

Data are taken from the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory


 

SO2

NOx

CO

VOC

PM10

Domestic

2.8

8.8

15.3

4.1

14.5

Manufacturing

15.4

18.0

26.3

41.8

26.8

Power Stations

69.2

24.1

2.6

-

7.3

Refineries

6.4

1.7

-

33.3

1.5

Agriculture

-

-

-

-

10.2

Other industry

5.9

1.6

4.9

6.2

11.6

Road Transport

0.3

40.3

48.8

14.6

27.5

Other transport

_

5.5

2.1

 

0.6

Estimated emission totals in kilo tonnes for the UK in 2003

979

1570

2768

1089

141

 

VOC = volatile organic compounds

PM10 = particles of diameter less than 10 microns

 

Table 2. an indication of critical levels and potential health effects of primary (see http://www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk/studentwebs/session4/27/introduc.htm) pollutants on humans and plants


Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

Plants (critical levels)
30 mg m-3 (11 ppb) for agricultural crops
20 mg m-3 (8 ppb) for forests

Humans

Conc. ppm

Period

Effect

0.03-0.5

continuous

Bronchitis and asthma sufferers

0.5-1.4

1 min.

Odour can be smelled

0.3-1.5

15 min.

Eye irritation may occur

1-5

30 min.

Airway restriction and loss of smell

5-20

> 6 h

Reversible damage to lung

>20

> 6 h

 Waterlogging of lung tissues

Nitrogen Oxides (NO and NO2)

Plants (critical levels)
30 mg m-3 (16 ppb) for all plants and trees (not well understood)

Humans

Conc ppm

Effect (short term)

0.0-0.2

No effect

0.1-0.2

Odour can be smelled

0.2-1.0

Metabolic effects detected

1-2

Respiratory rate may change leading to lung infection

2-5

Deterioration of lung tissue

>5

Emphysema may occur

Carbon monoxide (CO)

Plants (critical levels)
No significant impact

Humans

Conc ppm

Time

10

8 hours

25

1 hour

50

30 minutes

87

15 minutes

 

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Figure 4. Emissions totals from the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory for 1970 through to 2003 for CO, NOx, PM10, SO2 and VOCs (in k tonnes).
Figure 4. emissions totals from the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory for 1970 through to 2003 for CO, NOx, PM10, SO2 and VOCs (in k tonnes)

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