National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are standards outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency to identify pollutants in the atmosphere as required by the US Clean Air Act. It looks in the level of harm pollutants may have toward human health and the environment.
The Clean Air Act recognizes two types of NAAQSs. Primary standards look at the effects of pollutants on human health, including those who have pre-existing heart and lung ailments. Secondary standards protect the welfare of wildlife and the environment. These measures look at six principal pollutants that are referred to as criteria air pollutants and have to be reviewed periodically to ensure that the standards at hand are accurate.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. “NAAQS Table.” EPA. https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants/naaqs-table. Accessed August 11, 2016.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Reviewing National Ambient Air Quality Standards – Scientific and Technical Information”. EPA. https://www3.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/. Accessed August 11, 2016.