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Ambient air

Ambient air is the portion of the atmosphere, external to buildings, which the public may breath.

Monitoring objectives may be to:

  • Establish baseline air quality
  • Make environmental and community health assessments
  • Monitor industrial and remediation impacts
  • Assist with environmental compliance

Measurement types and parameters include:

Criteria Pollutants

Those airborne constituents that have national or state guideline limits, commonly including particulates (PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and lead.

Air Toxics/Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

Comprise an extensive number of pollutants (inorganic and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have adverse health impacts from generally more specific sources.


Parameters include bacteria, viruses, fungi, moulds, pollens and animal dander

Urban air toxics

A subset of these that are considered to have the highest health concerns.