APES Ch 14+15
Terms in this set (54)
nonpoint source pollution
multiple and diverse causes of pollution that are not readily identified
3 main negative effects of contaminating water with human wastewater
-wastewater naturally undergoes decomposition which decreases amount of dissolved oxygen
-excess nitrogen and phosphorous cause an increase in eutrophication
-many disease carrying organisms
How does measuring the biochemical oxygen demand of a lake inform us about the potential presence of wastewater contamination?
If the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is high it means there is an increase in decomposition which means there is less oxygen for other organisms
Process of Eutrophication
1. wastewater enters a natural body of water
2. nutrients such as N and P are relased
3. rapid pop. blooms of algae and other producers occur, followed by mass die-offs
4. microbes digest the dead organisms, depleting O, dissolved in the water
5. fish and other marine organisms die in large numbers
6. large dead zones are created
Diseases/health threats that come from human wastewater contamination
chloera, typhoid fever, stomach flu and diarrhea
Septic Tank System steps
-wastewater enters a tank, scum separates into floating and clean septage, and sludge
-septage leaves tank, leached out, relased onto leach field
-sludge removed ever 5-10 years
Sewage treatment plant steps
-primary treatement: floating is screened out, settling things screened as sludge. Sludge treated w bacteria, dried, moved to landfill or fertilizer
-Secondary: breaks down organic matter into CO2 and inorganic nutrients. Uses aeration and aerobic bacteria. Remaining water is disinfected w chlorine or UV light. Water then released back into environment.
-Tertiary: removes nitrogen and phosphorous
Animal feed lot manure is dumped into pool with linage. In this pool, manure is treated w bacteria to dreak down pathogens. Dried and used as fertilizer
How does Lead enter the water supply?
Through lead pipes, brass fittings that contain lead and any soldering materials that contain lead
What are lead's risks to human health?
Fetuses and infants are most susceptible to toxicity. It impacts the nervous sytem - brain development and kidneys
How does arsenic enter the water supply?
A natural mineral it can dissolve in ground water. Through mining, industrial use, released into environment as a gas, leaching into soil, or in waste water
What are arsenic's risks to human health?
increases cancers of skin, lungs, kidneys, and bladder
What are mercury's risks to human health
Mining, burning coal and fossil fuels, burning trash, hazardous waste, medical and dental supplies, making cement limestone.
What are mercury's risks to human health?
Damage CNS in young children and developing embryos. Impairs coordination, senses of touch, sight, and taste
What are primary causes of acid deposition in water
Coal burning power plants that release sulfur and nitrogen dioxide. Mine sites, mine shafts, trip and subsurface mining
mechanism that passes the gases through a limestone mixture inside a smokestack, this removes sulfur and nitrogen dioxides
Risks of acid deposition
small change in pH makes environment uninhabitable for species. Shells are impacted by shell deposition
Sources of pesticides and inert ingredients
Nonpoint sources, industrial point sources
Effects of pesticides and inert ingredients
Do not break down and can travel up the food chain. Do not target specific organisms, kills nervous sytem. Respiratory and skin problems for humans
Sources of pharmaceuticals and hormones
primarily from wastewater and agriculture
Impact of pharmaceuticals and hormones
Intersex developments in organisms (such as fish)
Sources of military compounds
Contaminate soil, leach into groundwater. humans exposed by eating contaminated food and water
Impact of industrial compounds
Carcinogenic, cause brain damage in children
Major causes of oil pollution in water bodies
seeps into ocean floor, allows petroleum to seep out naturally. Off shore drilling leaks, accidents/spills
3 major approaches to remediating oil spills
Large vacuums to remove oil, or use chemical dispersal that breaks down oil
Major components of solid waste pollution in water bodies and effects
Most are household or industrial. Largest component is plastic. Pollutants entrap organisms
What causes sediment pollution and negative effects
Increased w soil disturbances, erosion is primary cause. Decrease productivity by decreasing sunlight infiltration. Clog fish gills and bottom dwellers
Thermal pollution effects
Thermal shock, organisms die bc not adapted to drastic change sin temp. Warm water contains less dissolved oxygen as well resulting in suffocation
Objective of Clean Water Act
Sets limits on pollutant levels. Focuses on surface water and protecting water wildlife
Importance of max contaminant levels for Safe Drinking Water Act
Looks at all sources of drinking water that includes ground water. Sets standard based on amount of a compound that can cause harm as well as the ability to cost/remove it or reduce concentration to acceptable level
Relationship between economic development and legislation addressing water pollution
Developed countries have undergone industrialization and have soiled resources, legislation focuses on cleaning and preventing future damage. More money to invest in resolving the problems
3 most important facts about Sulfur Dioxide
Primary sources are combustion of fuels - coal & oil. It is a respiratory irritant and affects plant tissue- forms sulfuric acid. Naturally released with volcanic activity and forest fires.
3 most important facts about Nitrogen Oxides
Motor vehicles and stationary combustion (coal burning electric plants, wood burning stoves...) Primary contributor to smog and ground level ozone. Respiratory irritant, can be converted to nitric acid which changes the pH of aquatic systems as well as adds to the over fertilization of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
3 momst important facts about Carbon Oxides
CO is formed w/incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Very dangerous as an indoor pollutant (deadly). This is observed in countries that rely on cooking w/kerosene, charcoal or manure.CO2 Is formed with complete combustion of most matter. It is considered to be a pollutant although not regulated as such.
3 most important facts about Particulate Matter
Can be both liquid or solid, has the ability to absorb or scatter sunlight either reducing light hitting the earth's surface or creating haze. Comes from a variety of sources - the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, construction or other activities that stir up soil, soot or dust. Can lead to premature death - cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease
3 most important facts about Ground-level Ozone
This is formed when sunlight reacts with the above oxides. It can result in harm to plant and animals & cause respiratory illness such as emphysema or asthma.
When NOx is combined with other air pollutants - VOCs the ozone reacts to form more harmful oxidants. It can also enhance the formation of PM that contributes to scattering light (smog).
3 most important facts about Lead and Mercury
Pb occurs naturally in rocks & soil, as a result it is naturally present in fuels. It has also been added to fuels to improve performance. In the US this practice has been phased out but not globally. Pb toxicity results in CNS impairments - learning and concentration. Also in old lead paint.
Hg is also found naturally and is in coal and oil. When combusted Hg is released and enters into the food chain. Hg can also be released through the mining process. IT impairs the CNS. In the US we have seen a decline in Hg emissions related to burning waste, but an increase in coal fired power plants.
3 most important facts about Volatile Organic Compounds
Compounds that become vapors at typical atmospheric pressure. Many VOCs are hydrocarbons or compounds that give off strong aromas - perfumes, paints, cleaning fluids. There are also natural sources - conifers. These are considered to be secondary air pollutants - they react with ozone to create smog.
What pollutants are harmful to the human respiratory system
Sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides carbon oxides, particulates and ozone.
Pollutants that are associated with smog
PM, ozone, VOCs and also all primary pollutants - CO, CO2, NOx, SO2
What are the 2 sizes of Particulate Matter that the EPA classifies? Which is more dangerous, and why?
PM 10 and PM 25 Neither can be filtered by the nose and can lodge in the respiratory system. The smaller particles -PM25 generally consist of more toxic substances.
What are some natural sources of NOX emissions?
Forest fires, lightning an microbial action in soils.
What negative effects on human health does Ozone have?
It reduces lung function and exacerbates respiratory issues. Ozone is highly reactive and behaves as an irritant in the lung.
What is the main threat that high levels of VOC pose, even if many are not directly harmful?
In combination with sunlight VOCs form oxidants like ozone resulting in light scattering and lung irritants.
What is the main air pollutant generated as a result of industrial agriculture?
Which air pollutants are key ingredients in forming photochemical smog?
NOx and SO2 reacting with sunlight and VOCs produces ozone.
NOx + UV → NO + O or SO2 + UV → SO + O
O2 + O → O3 The VOCs, prevent the O from O3 from degrading and bonding to NO or SO again. NO + VOCs = smog and O3 is also smog.
What are the 6 "criteria pollutants" monitored by the EPA?
SO2, NOx, CO, PM (10 & 25), Pb and O3
Which two gases are largely responsible for acid rain, and what are its main negative effects?
SO2 and NOx. Lowers the pH of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, degrades stone/statues, buildings
What technology is used to reduce NOX emissions from cars?
A catalytic converter .
What is one specific technology that can reduce Sulfur emissions from coal-fired power plants?
Fluidized bed combustion - coal is burned in close proximity to CaCO3. The CaCO3 absorbs S and creates CaSO4.
What is one specific technology that can reduce PM emissions from coal-fired power plants?
Baghouse filters, electrostatic precipitator or scrubbers are methods to reduce PM. They do require additional energy and there are often disposal issues with the ash.
What is the primary cause for the thinning of the ozone layer (and creation of the ozone hole)?
The use of Chlorine in CFCs.
What are the main risks of indoor air pollution in developing countries?
Carbon monoxide and particulates are main contributors to indoor pollution in developing countries. Life expectancy is lower and overall health is compromised due to acute respiratory infections, pneumonia, bronchitis and cancer.
What are the main dangers of indoor air pollution in developed countries?
Sick building syndrome - the result of synthetic materials releasing VOCs and the inability of the VOCs to escape. Also biological contaminants like molds, pollen and fungus get into air intakes and are dispersed throughout the building. General feelings of fatigue, eye irritation, headaches, nausea...