16 terms

Friedland 15

air pollution
the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or microorganisms into the atmosphere at high concentrations high enough to harm plants, animals, and materials such as buildings, or to alter ecosystems
particulate matter (PM)
solid or liquid particles suspended in air; also known as particles and particulates
photochemical oxidants
a class of air pollutants formed as a result of sunlight acting on compounds such as nitrogen oxides
smoke and fog
photochemical smog
smog dominated by oxidants such as ozone
volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
an organic compound that evaporates at typical atmospheric temperatures
primary pollutants
a polluting compound that comes directly out of the smokestack, exhaust pipe, or natural emission source
Los Angeles-type smog
aka brown smog; a type of photochemical smog
sulfurous smog
smog dominated by sulfur dioxide and sulfate compounds
London-type smog
aka gray smog; a type of sulfurous smog
secondary pollutants
a primary pollutant that has undergone transformation in the presence of sunlight, water, oxygen, or other compounds
thermal inversion
a situation in which a relatively warm layer of air at mid altitude covers a layer of cold, dense air below
Inversion layer
the layer of warm air that traps emissions in a thermal inversion
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
a family of organic compounds whose properties make them ideal for use in refrigeration and air conditioning
a long, thin fibrous silicate mineral with insulating properties, which can cause cancer when inhaled
sick building syndrome
a buildup of toxic compounds and pollutants in an airtight space; seen in newer buildings with good insulation and tight seals against air leaks