The Harmful Effects of Nitrogen Oxide
Nitrogen oxide (NO2) is a toxic, red brown coloured pungent gas, similar to chlorine, which can easily be liquefied to N2O4 (dinitrogen tetroxide) under dimerization (polymerization). It shows up in the atmosphere as a trace gas, highest values can be measured close to the ground.
Nitrogen oxide belongs to the group of nitrogen oxides, also named as NOx.
According to a study of the Federal Environment Agency UBA from 2013, a high concentration of nitrogen oxide (NO2) in the breathing air of a human being leads to eye irritation, cough reflex and discomfort in the respiratory tract. At a long term damages in the respiratory system may occur, accompanied by an increase of cardiovascular diseases.
Under chemical aspect nitrogen oxide has a strongly oxidising effect and contributes to the formation of ozone close to the ground. At the same time nitrogen oxide leads to over-fertilization and acidification of soils being followed by damage of the vegetation. The World Health Organization (WHO) especially classified NO2 as “carcinogenic to human beings”, a fact which is emphasized again and again by the German Environmental Aid.