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Air quality generally refers to the quantitative presence of potential harmful substances to life and to the environment in the air we breathe. These substances are termed pollutants and include the following:

  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
  • Particulate Matter (PM2.5, PM10)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Nitrogen Oxide (NO) - collectively known as Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) including Benzene
  • Lead, mercury and other (heavy) metallic compounds
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)

Most pollutants are the result of anthropogenic activity, with the principal sources being power generation, industry and transport. This is particularly true in urban areas. MEPA is responsible for the monitoring of air pollution in ambient outdoor air and for coordinating policy measures.