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Pollutants

Choose a pollutant from the list below to find out more information about it.

Sulphur Dioxide

Source A of the pollutionSulphur dioxide (SO2) is produced when a material, or fuel, containing sulphur is burned. Globally, much of the sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources, but in the UK the predominant source is power stations burning fossil fuels, principally coal and heavy oils. Widespread domestic use of coal can also lead to high local concentrations of SO2.

Even moderate concentrations may result in a fall in lung function in asthmatics. Tightness in the chest and coughing occur at high levels, and lung function of asthmatics may be impaired to the extent that medical help is required. Sulphur dioxide pollution is considered more harmful when particulate and other pollution concentrations are high.