What Are the Health Effects of Air Pollution? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tracks five major air pollutants that cause significant health effects: ground-level ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide and microscopic particles called particulate matter. Indoor Air Can Cause Health Problems Don't assume you're safe just because you're inside. The air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Conditions Investigated by Environmental Medicine Programs Allergies, asthma, heart disease, and cancer are among the long list of health conditions with ties to environmental factors. Accomplishments of Environmental Medicine One highlight: Exposure to fine particles, sulfur dioxide, and acid aerosols has been linked to an increase in respiratory symptoms and reduced lung capacity. Epidemiology Epidemiology is the study of the occurrence of disease in people, and applying that information from the study to the control of health problems. Occupational Lung Diseases Repeated and long-term exposure to certain irritants on the job can lead to an array of lung diseases that may have lasting effects, even after exposure ceases.