Table 1 (below) provides a rough estimate of the local sources of key air pollutants and suggests that:
- The transportation sector (i.e., mobile sources, such as cars and trucks) is the leading source of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions within the City of Hamilton, followed closely by the industrial sector;
- Road dust, construction activities and area sources, such as fireplaces and home heating are primary sources of PM5 and PM10; followed closely by the industrial sector;
- The industrial sector is the leading source of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in Hamilton (~90%); and
- The transportation sector is the leading source (~60%) of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); the remaining VOCs are releases due to general solvent use by companies and individuals.
SO2 and NO2 can harm human health directly or when transformed in the atmosphere to sulphates and nitrates that contribute to air levels of fine particulate matter. NOx can also react with VOCs in the atmosphere to produce ground-level ozone.
* Includes Solvent use, Dry cleaning, and Surface coatings.
** Includes Agriculture, Construction Operations and Road Dust.
Environment Canada (2006) National Pollutants Release Inventory (NPRI) – http://www.ec.gc.ca/inrp-npri/default.asp?lang=en