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Glossary 

This glossary provides definitions of common terms used in the context of air pollution.

You can navigate quickly to a term using the alphabetic links below; clicking on the terms will show their definition.



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  • Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX)
  • Ozone (O3)
    Ozone (O3) is not emitted directly into the atmosphere, but is a secondary pollutant generated following the reaction between nitrogen dioxide (NO2), hydrocarbons and sunlight. Whereas nitrogen dioxide acts as a source of ozone, nitric oxide (NO) destroys ozone and acts as a local sink (NOX-titration). For this reason, O3 concentrations are not as high in urban areas (where high levels of NO are emitted from vehicles) as in rural areas. Ambient concentrations are usually highest in rural areas, particularly in hot, still and sunny weather conditions which give rise to summer "smogs".

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Page last modified: 14 February 2011