Department of Environmental Protection

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Air Quality, Energy & Sustainability

Division of Air Quality — Air Monitoring

What Pollutants Does NJDEP Monitor?

NJDEP MONITORS 6 CRITERIA POLLUTANTS

What pollutants does NJDEP monitor?
Criteria pollutants are:
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Particulate matter (PM2.5 & PM10)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Lead (Pb)*

These six pollutants are known as criteria pollutants because they have National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for protecting human health and welfare. The standards are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and monitoring is carried out by state, local and tribal governments to determine whether the standards are being met. If an area does not meet one or more of the NAAQS, it is designated by the EPA as a “nonattainment area,” and the state must develop a plan of action to meet the standard.
*NOTE: Lead is both a criteria pollutant and a “hazardous air pollutant” (HAP).

Information on levels of criteria pollutants in New Jersey can be found in the annual Air Quality Report.

NJDEP MONITORS Air Toxics

What pollutants does NJDEP monitor?

Air toxics are any chemicals released into the air, aside from criteria pollutants*, that have the potential to cause adverse health effects in humans. These effects cover a wide range of conditions, from lung irritation to birth defects to cancer. There are no National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for these pollutants, but the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments created a list of almost 200 of them and labeled them Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was directed to develop control technology standards for specific categories of sources that emit the HAPs.

NJDEP monitors a number of air toxics, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and black carbon. These are commonly emitted by motor vehicles and other combustion sources.
*NOTE: Lead is both a criteria pollutant and a HAP.

Information on levels of air toxics in New Jersey can be found in the annual Air Quality Report.
and https://www.state.nj.us/dep/airtoxics/

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