Except for corrosion of metals, rather little attention has been given to air as a possible factor in disintegration of structural materials. The common assumption has been that all the deleterious substances which in time produce disintegration or excessive volume change in masonry were present originally in the units or in the mortar ingredients as delivered and used. This paper considers the effect on masonry of such components of the air as carbon dioxide, alkali and alkaline earth salts, usually sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium compounds, sulfur dioxide, and moisture as vapor expressed as relative humidity.
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