Nitrogen dioxide is a highly reactive gas formed by emissions from motor vehicles, industry, unflued gas-heaters and gas stove tops. High concentrations can be found especially near busy roads and indoors where unflued gas-heaters are in use.

Other indoor sources can be from cigarette smoke or from cooking with gas. Outdoors, nitrogen dioxide contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone (O3) as well as particulate matter pollution. Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritant and has a variety of adverse health effects on the respiratory system.

Potential health effects from exposure to nitrogen dioxide:

  • Increased susceptibility to lung infections in people with asthma
  • Increased susceptibility to asthma triggers like pollen and exercise
  • Worsened symptoms of asthma – more frequent asthma attacks
  • Airway inflammation in healthy people

Current as at: Tuesday 6 June 2023
Contact page owner: Environmental Health