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What are Hazardous Air Pollutants?

Hazardous air pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects. EPA is working with state, local, and tribal governments to reduce air emissions of 187 toxic air pollutants to the environment.

Examples of toxic air pollutants include

  • benzene, which is found in gasoline;
  • perchloroethylene, which is emitted from some dry cleaning facilities; and
  • methylene chloride, which is used as a solvent and paint stripper by a number of industries.

Examples of other listed air toxics include dioxin, asbestos, toluene, and metals such as cadmium, mercury, chromium, and lead compounds.