Region 1: EPA New England
Questions About Your Community: Toxics in the Air
The air we breathe can be contaminated with pollutants from factories, power plants, motor vehicles, and many other sources. Air pollutants have long been a major concern because of the harmful effects they have on peoples' health and the environment.
Hazardous air pollutants (air toxics) are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or to cause adverse environmental effects. The degree to which a toxic air pollutant affects an individual's health depends on many factors, including the quantity, duration, and frequency of exposures, the toxicity of the chemical, and the individual's personal susceptibility. Under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, EPA is required to address 188 toxic air pollutants.
If you have a question about air toxics, you should contact EPA New England or your State Department of Environmental Protection. For general information about air toxics or to obtain a contact name, visit the following web sites:
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management