Nitrogen Dioxide Exposure: Overview

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Modified on 2009/10/14 21:36 by admin
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) belongs to a family of highly reactive gases called nitrogen oxides (NOx). These gases form when fuel is burned at high temperatures, and come principally from motor vehicle exhaust and stationary fuel combustion sources such as electric utilities and industrial boilers. A suffocating, brownish gas, nitrogen dioxide is a strong oxidizing agent that reacts in the air to form corrosive nitric acid, as well as toxic organic nitrates. It also plays a major role in the atmospheric reactions that produce smog. Nitrogen dioxide can irritate the lungs and lower resistance to respiratory infections such as influenza. The effects of short-term exposure are still unclear, but continued or frequent exposure to concentrations that are typically much higher than those normally found in the ambient air may cause increased incidence of acute respiratory illness in children. Nitrogen oxides contribute to smog formation and can have adverse effects on ecosystems. Nitrogen oxides in the air can significantly contribute to a number of environmental effects such as acid rain and eutrophication in coastal waters like the Chesapeake Bay. Eutrophication occurs when a body of water suffers an increase in nutrients that leads to a reduction in the amount of oxygen in the water, producing an environment that is destructive to fish and other animal life.

See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems because of nitrogen dioxide exposure. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.



See Also

  1. Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  2. Influenza: Overview
  3. Lung & Airway Disorders
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