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Health & Chemistry  Air pollution is made up of a mixture of gases and particles that have  been released into the atmosphere by both man-made and natural  processes. The sources and chemical behaviour of each separate pollutant are  different, making the task of understanding and controlling air pollution as a whole very complex.   During wet or windy conditions pollution levels generally remain low,  either blown away and dispersed to harmless levels, or removed from  the air by rain.  During certain conditions pollution levels are able to  build up to harmful levels leading to pollution 'episodes'. Pollution levels in the UK are unlikely to cause any serious health  effects in most people. The main pollutants of concern are listed in 'Air Quality Objectives',  and are: Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)   Oxides of nitrogen (NOX)   Ozone (O3) Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)   Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)   Benzene   1,3 Butadiene Carbon Monoxide (CO)   Lead (Pb) Each pollutant has different sources, effects and behaviour, however  generally have visually similar effects on your health. Concentrations  of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter will  usually be highest close to busy roads. Unusually, due to complex atmospheric chemistry, ozone levels will  generally be highest in rural areas during the summer months. Volatile  Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of chemicals, which  contribute to the formation of ground level ozone.
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