Brazil: Air Quality Standards

Overview

Unlike other nations, Brazil’s National air quality standards are only to be used when local air quality standards are not in effect. However, local standards are similar in structure to those established by the National Environment Council (Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente or CONAMA), and the National Standards also set the methodology for testing air quality.

Standard type
Ambient air quality standards

Regulating Body
National Environment Council (CONAMA)

Applicability
Nationwide

History

Ambient air quality policies are created by the National Environment Council (Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente or CONAMA), the core agency of Brazil’s National Environment System (SISNAMA). Passed in August 1990, federal CONAMA Resolution No. 005/89 established a National Air Quality Program (PRONAR). The passing of Federal CONAMA Resolution No. 003/90 established air quality standards, sampling methods, and quality levels.

National air quality limits are only to be used in absence of local ambient air quality standards. Within CONAMA Resolution 003/90, primary standards mark the limit of concentrations at which human health would be impacted. Secondary standards are concentrations, which if not exceeded, cause the minimum adverse impact on human health, flora and fauna, materials, and the general environment. Primary standards are applicable until states designate Air Quality Classes within their territory.

Technical Standards

Brazil maintains standards for the following pollutants: Total Suspended Particles (TSP); Smoke; Inhalable Particles; Sulfur Dixiode (SO2); Carbon Monoxide (CO); Ozone (O3); and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).

Air Quality Standards
Pollutant Limit (µg/m3) Sampling time
Primary Secondary
TSP 80 60 Annual geometric mean
240* 150* 24 hr
Smoke 60 40 Annual geometric mean
150* 100* 24 hr
Inhalable Particles 50 Annual arithmetic mean
150* 24 hr
SO2 80 40 Annual arithmetic mean
365* 100* 24 hr
CO 10,000 (9 ppm)* 8 hr
40,000 (35 ppm)* 1 hr
O3 160* 1 hr
NO2 100 Annual arithmetic mean
320 190 1 hr
*Not to be exceeded more than once per year
Primary standards mark the limit of concentrations at which human health would be impacted.
Secondary standards are concentrations, which if not exceeded, cause the minimum adverse impact on human health, flora and fauna, materials, and the general environment.

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