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Home > The ABC of air > Pollutants
Other pollutants

Pollutants Sources Effects on health
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are compounds formed from 4 to 7 benzene rings. Several hundred compounds are generated by the burning of fossil fuels (notably in diesel engines)  or by wood heating. They are produced in gaseous or particulate form. The most studied is benzo (a) pyrene. The risk of cancer related to PAHs is one of the oldest known. PAH are well-known to be carcinogen.
Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is easily recognizable at very low concentrations, because of its smell of "rotten eggs", which disappears at higher levels. It is formed by anaerobic digestion of organic material.  
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) Hydrochloric acid (HCl) comes mostly from the incineration of garbage (containing amongst other things, plastics and paper rich in chlorine), from the combustion of coal and from certain industrial activities. This pollutant contributes to the acidification of air.   
Pesticides Pesticides or "phytosanitary" products. France holds second place worldwide for the volume of phytosanitary products used. A great part does not reach its intended target and is found in air, in water ... Only a few molecular types of the most frequently used are followed. The techniques are new and in the process of research and validation. No standards exists for air.