Harbor Communities Monitoring Study -- Glossary

This page last reviewed March 09, 2015

This page contains the definition of terms for the pollutants to be monitored during the Harbor Communities Monitoring Study. The Study will consist of three types of air pollution sampling: a network of passive samplers ("Saturation Monitoring"), a mobile monitoring platform, and a network of particle counters. The sampling will take place during 2007.


Black Carbon An important component of soot commonly from combustion emissions
Carbon Monoxide (CO) A colorless, odorless gas resulting from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, wood and agricultural debris. CO interferes with the blood's ability to carry oxygen to the body's tissues and results in numerous adverse health effects. Over 80 percent of the CO emitted in urban areas is contributed by motor vehicles.
Nitrogen Oxides (NO) Nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other oxides of nitrogen. Nitrogen oxides are typically created during combustion processes, and are major contributors to smog formation and acid deposition. NO2 can result in numerous adverse health effects such as worstening asthma or lung irritation.
Particulate matter (PM) Particulate matter is a major air pollutant consisting of tiny suspended particles also called soot, dust, smoke, fumes.
Ultrafine Particles (UFP) The smallest particles with a diameter of less than one micron. UFPs are good indicators of combustion processes.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Carbon-containing compounds that evaporate into the air. VOCs contribute to the formation of smog and may themselves be toxic. VOCs often have an odor, and some examples include gasoline, alcohol, and the solvents used in paints.
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) A colorless, flammable compound having a characteristic rotten-egg odor.

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