Nitrogen Oxides

clean vs polluted air

What are they?
Nitrogen oxides are gases that are mixtures of nitrogen and oxygen. The two significant oxides are nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. These are both nonflammable and range from being colorless to brown. The main difference between the two is the smell. Nitric oxide is sweet smelling, while nitrogen dioxide has a strong harsh odor. Nitrogen oxides are used to produce nitric acid, dyes, lacquers, rocket fuels, explosives and other chemicals for the nitration of organic chemicals.


What are they?
  • Exhaust of motor vehicles 
  • Burning coal and oil or natural gas 
  • Arc welding 
  • Electroplating engraving 
  • Dynamite blasting 
Ways to be exposed
  • Breathing it in
  • Burning a lot of wood or using kerosene heaters and gas stoves 
  • Tobacco smoke 
  • Workers who manufacture dynamite and TNT 
  • Work who weld metals

Health effects 
  • Low levels 
    • Irritation of eyes, nose, throat and lungs 
    • Coughing 
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Tiredness 
    • Nausea 
  • High levels 
    • Burning 
    • Spasms 
    • Swelling of tissues in the throat and lungs 
    • Reduced oxygen transport to tissues 
    • Fluid in lungs 
    • Death 
    • Contact skin or eyes will cause serious burns 
 Who's at risk?
  • Pregnant women because the baby can have developmental problems as a result of exposure
  • People who use indoor gas stoves, space heaters or smoke indoors are at a high risk of long-term exposure