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Environmental Science Exam 3
Terms in this set (133)
Components of the Atmosphere
Other- 0.01% (water vapor, airborne agents)
ground level; air pollutants that people can breathe
high up in the atmosphere; can affect the ozone layer
Sources of Tropospheric Pollution
Anthropogenic: (meaning caused by humans)
-Electric power generation
(COMBUSTION IS THE MAJOR SOURCE)
Outdoor Air Pollution
Emission or release of gasses and particles in the atmosphere.
Ambient Air Pollution
Another way to say outdoor air pollution; Usually agents or emissions
Primary Sources of Ambient Pollution
Meaning the Direct Source of Ambient Pollution
- Carbon Monoxide
- Sulfur Oxides
- Nitrogen Oxides
Secondary Sources of Ambient Pollution
Meaning reactions in the atmosphere that affect Ambient Pollution
EPA makes states measure and control these hazardous air pollutants from industry
- Carbon Monoxide
- Sulfur Oxides
- Nitrogen Oxides
Human Health is affected directly and indirectly by
directly by ambient tropospheric air pollutants and indoor air pollutants
indirectly by degradation of the ozone layer by stratospheric pollutants and most important the consequences of climate change
Air Pollutants, Air Emissions and Airborne Agents are
synonyms for ambient air pollutants
Since 1970 we have reduced emissions of the 6 criteria pollutants by 60%
-Cleaner burning motors
-Use of scrubbers
-Elimination of lead in gasoline
Developing countries suffer from severe air pollution problems due to
rapid industrial development with little regulations
The emission of air pollutant from a source
is transported (by dispersion)-> to the affected population.
reduces the concentration for the population near a source but affects population down wind.
Factors that influence horizontal dispersion:
wind enhancing dispersion, mountains, and tall buildings that can block dispersion
Factors that influence vertical dispersion:
-inversions which form when warm air over-rides cooler air
-high pressure systems
-movement of air downward, pushing down pollutants
Smoke + Fog
Due to the combination of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in the presence of sunlight to produce irritating secondary pollutants such as tropospheric Ozone.
Health effects in respiratory system
Sulfur or Carbon + O2 -> ammonium sulfate or CO
-Precipitation with a pH greater than 5.6; has minimal health effects but serious aquatic ecosystem effects because of its long range transport.
-Affects buildings, structures, soil, plants, and toxicity of certain metals.
-The damage depends on the buffering (neutralizing) capacity of the water and soil.
Precursors of Acid Precipitaiton
Primary air pollutants sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides and related combustion
Secondary examples- aerosols and sulfates
Sulfur dioxide reacts in the atmosphere to form
Nitrogen oxides react in the atmosphere to form
Ozone Layer Degradation
an almost unsolved problem caused by humans using CFC's and other halogen containing compounds but can hurt us by the overexposure to UV that can produce skin cancer, sunburn, and aging of skin.
DOES NOT CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE
11-15 miles above earth and absorbs UV light by reactions of O2, O, and O3 resulting in less UV reaching Earth's surface.
treaty that made replacements for CFC's (HCFC's) and strict regulations of CFC's on emission from pre 1995 equipment.
Ozone layer is slowly recovering but ______________ is now the leading cause of ozone depletion.
The most important global issue related to the environment.
Gradual increase of earth's atmospheric temperature.
Can effect weather and biomes minimally or catastrophically.
The radiation that is emitted back from the earth is infrared radiation and is absorbed by gasses which keeps earth warm but is intensified by pollution.
Greenhouse Gasses of Concern
Factors that contribute to decreasing global temperature
vegetation uses CO2 in photosynthesis and some particulate matter blocks sunlight.
Human action and regulations can reduce global warming gasses but we need ___________ too.
El Nino and severity of hurricanes and their impact can be
influenced by global warming
developed in 1997 and signed by many nations by the early 2000's but not the US
Proxy indicators of climate change
-Level of gasses in air bubbles trapped in ice cores
-Pollen and plants sediments beneath lakes
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
Caused by volatile organic compounds that create acute problems to buildings residents with bacteria, molds, pollens, and viruses.(biological contaminants)
-upper respiratory tract irritation
Symptoms stop when person leaves the building
Other IAQ issues
Measurement of Air Quality
-EPA delegates responsibility of measurement to DEP
-Air sampling results feed to computerized data center
-Measured by industrial hygienists
-Results are compared to gov./pro. standards and must be less than both to be "safe"
Energy Conservation reduces
air pollutants from fossil fuels like coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline
Better designed energy conservation strategies such as using low toxicity materials can
limit the problem of indoor air quality
Renewable Energy Sources
Clean Air Act
Legislated regulations of ambient air pollutant emitters in 1970 but latest version 1990
Filed for by industry and power production companies that are allowed to pollute within the limit of their permit. These companies use air pollution control equipment to clean the air.
Control Equipment Examples
Requirement made to increase CAFE standards
Improved vehicle technology and fuel economy
Guidance for Indoor Air Quality
-The EPA has info for homeowners
-Minimize the use of chemicals indoors
-Shop wisely; buy low emitters of air pollutants
-Never use unventilated combustion systems
-Limit microbial growth
Movement in a gas or liquid in which the warmer parts move up and the cooler parts move down
The average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation
A reversal of the normal decrease of air temperature with altitude, or of water temperature with depth.
The Flu, London Fog
Volatile Organic Compounds
Any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions.
A device that removes suspended dust particles from a gas or exhaust by applying a high-voltage electrostatic charge and collecting the particles on charged plates.
An apparatus using water or a solution for purifying gases or vapors.
Indirect measure or sign that approximates or represents a phenomenon in the absence of a direct measure or sign.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Climate Change Mitigation
Consists of actions to limit the magnitude or rate of long-term climate change.
Climate Change Adaptation
A response to global warming and climate change, that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of social and biological systems to relatively sudden change and thus offset the effects of global warming.
A reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere.
The proportion of the incident light or radiation that is reflected by a surface, typically that of a planet or moon.
(Corporate Average Fuel Economy) Regulations in the United States, first enacted by the United States Congress in 1975, after the 1973-74 Arab Oil Embargo, to improve the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks.
Hazardous Air Pollutants
Pollutants known to cause cancer and other serious health impacts.
Aset of chemical pollutants EPA regulates, and for which EPA has published analytical test methods.
Indoor Air Pollutants Health Effects
Throat irritation to cancer
The movement of water across the soil surface of a watershed and into the river or stream and this movement is enhanced by gravity.
The movement of water into the ground/groundwater and this movement is enhanced by the permeability of soil.
Drainage basin for a river.
Drinking Water/Water Supply
refers to water which will be used by people for may purposes
Major Uses of Water
The smallest residential use of water is for __________ but all water coming into the home must be safe enough for this use.
Drinking or Cooking
An example of a way to reduce residential use of water is _______________.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Taking water from "A" and disposing of wastewater in another watershed "B" could affect the downstream user for river "A".
By limiting the use of ______________ and ____________ we can all manage a better watershed and protect groundwater.
Include vegetation along streams to slow down runoff
Can soak up excess water and reduce flooding, clean up water and re important habitat for waterfowl and other species.
Point Sources of Surface Water Pollution
Include pipes directly pumping wastewater into a stream.
Ocean water dumping has caused problems and is illegal
Non-Point Sources of Surface Water Pollution
Include runoff from farm fields, parking lots, and athletic fields.
Has impermeable soil or rock above and below the aquifer.
Has only an impermeable layer of soil or rock below it.
The Three Major Sources of Groundwater Contamination
Movement of water is very slow, difficult and expensive to clean if contaminated
-Leaking from underground storage tanks
Filtered Purified Water
The water for some types of bottled water including Aquafina and Dasani.
Costs more than tap water due to transportation and bottling. Requires 1000-2000 times more energy than tap water. Not safer than tap water.
Fecal Coliform Test
The normal bacterial test used on water and if bacteria are present it indicates fecal contamination.
is not completely killed by chlorination and can be found in some drinking water such as pools. Some people suffer from GI disturbance while others may have no effect. The immunosuppressed can become very sick.
Diseases such as cholera affect _____________ and are responsible for a high percentage of deaths worldwide and influence infant mortality rates.
Has prevented millions of deaths worldwide because of its use in water and wastewater treatment.
Examples of Chemical Agents that are Water Pollutants are:
Miscellaneous chemicals from spills
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
The amount of oxygen used to breakdown waste components of wastewater and can deplete the oxygen in a stream.
Total Maximum Daily Load
The amount of a specific pollutant that a water body can receive both point and non-point sources and the amount allowed is based in a watershed approach. Townships have to consider this planning.
People in suburban/rural areas usually have ___________ for their drinking water and _________ for their wastewater.
Wells and Septic Systems
People in suburban/urban areas usually have ___________ for their drinking water and _________ for their wastewater.
Public Water and Public Sewage
Municipal water treatment plants have the production of __________ and ___________ water as their goal while wastewater treatment plants need to reduce __________ , __________ and __________ in the water before returning water to a river.
Homeowners with wells and septic tanks need to realize that well water should be __________ and septic tanks should be _____________ to make sure the drinking water supply is safe and the groundwater is protected. Many communities do not require these recommended actions.
Saving water even when there isn't a drought can _________ the water pumped and treated by water and wastewater treatment plants and reduce energy costs.
This is the most effective way to reduce your negative effect of the environment and this can reduce waste, water pollution, and most importantly air pollution as well as our misuse of resources and potentially make us less dependent on other countries.
_________ quarts of water a day are needed for human body function.
Worldwide 100 quarts of water per day is needed for each person to:
In a developed country __________ quarts per day are needed for each person
Hold water back all the time
Weak carcinogens produced from treating water and are due to combination of chlorine from treatment with organics. They have a small risk to reduce biological risk by using chlorine and chlorinated compound to kill microorganisms in water treatment
Physical Agents of Concern in Water Pollution
-ionizing radiation (radon)
Safe Water Drinking Act 1974
requires treatment and on-going checking of municipal water
Water Pollution Control Act 1972
put in place wastewater treatment plants to decrease water pollutants going into rivers and streams
London Dumping Convention 1990
treaty to stop dumping of wastes in the ocean
On lot wells
well water is only required to be tested when one sells property. The mortgage company/bank requires proof that the water is "potable" (drinkable). In chester county testing would include tests for bacteria, nitrates, pH.
Municipal Water Treatment
Water is pumped the river to a water treatment plant where chemicals are added, settling of contaminants occurs and filtration through sand. Throughout the process, disinfection (killing of microorganisms in the piping are killed. In many facilities, fluoride is added. The final product is safe clean aesthetic water which is sent to homes, businesses etc.
Sludge which is the material settled out. The sludge from a water treatment plant contains chemicals and is usually landfilled.
Protection of Watersheds
The drainage areas for rivers that are used for drinking water should be protected against dumping of hazardous chemicals so these do not enter a potential drinking water supply. This protection has the additional value of protecting organisms in the stream.
On lot septic systems
In septic tank systems wastewater leaves the home and enters a septic tank where settling occurs. The cleaner water enters the drainage field/ leaching field and infiltrates to
the groundwater. The soil naturally cleans the water. Septic systems need to be pumped every 2-5 years depending on the type and size of systems and local regulations. Proof of a properly functioning septic system is a requirement for property transfers to obtain a mortgage.
Municipal wastewater treatment
- Wastewater and storm runoff water from the community enters the sewers (sewerage system) and goes to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). At the plant, the water is cleaned by screening, settling and biological action. The biological action is the degradation of the waste by microorganisms and this process reduces the BOD in the wastewater. The settling removes solids. As a final step, the water is chlorinated to kill the bacteria so they will not harm down stream human users. The byproduct is sludge which can often be used by farmers as a soil additive to provide organic matter.
USA Water Issues
US lives beyond the limit of their biome which stresses our water supply and causes conflict
Protection keep land clean to protect water
Biological Agents and Fecal Oral Route of Disease Transmission
coliform, Cryptosporidium, Giardia in USA; measure fecal coliform in water to test quality
worldwide agents causing: typhoid, cholera, dysentery, entertains, polio, infectious, hepatitis, schistosomiasis
-presents special concern for children, the elderly and the immunosuppressed
Water and wastewater tested daily in sterile container thats sent to lab
Philadelphia Stormwater Bill
Philly becoming an example by billing homeowners for stormwater run off effecting groundwater
Plants on roofs of buildings to absorb rainwater and insulate building
Dams and reservoirs cause surface water to be used for _____________.
hydroelectric power, water supply, flood management and runoff control but have ecological consequences.
Surface Water Energy Related Issues
includes fossil fuel related problems of acid mine drainage and oil pollution of oceans and other surface waters along with thermal pollution that can result fro power plants (fossil fuels and nuclear)
An area that loses large amounts of topsoil to wind erosion as a result of drought/ human impact. First used to name the region in the North American Great Plains severely affected by drought and topsoil loss in the 1930's. The term is now also used to describe historical event and others like it.
Water that is relatively pure, holding very few dissolved salts.
The flow of water in liquid gaseous, and solid forms through our biotic and abiotic environment. Also called the water cycle.
The region of land over which a river has historically wandered and periodically floods.
Diversion of Water
a channel made to divert the flow of water from one course to another or to direct the flow of water draining from a piece of ground.
Use of fresh water in which water is removed from a particular aquifer or surface water body and is not returned to it. Irrigation for agriculture is an example of consumptive use.
Non consumptive Use
Fresh water use in which water from a particular aquifer or surface water body either is not removed or is removed only temporarily and then returned. The use of water to generate electricity in hydroelectric dams is an example.
or deep drainage or deep percolation is a hydrologic process where water moves downward from surface water to groundwater. Recharge is the primary method through which water enters an aquifer.
a term often defined as long-term water-level declines caused by sustained groundwater pumping, is a key issue associated with groundwater use.
Landscaping using plants that are adapted to arid conditions.
A specific spot such as a factory where large quantities of air pollutants or water pollutants are discharged.
A diffuse source of pollutants often consisting of many small sources.
A process in which sulfide minerals in newly exposed rock surfaces react with oxygen and rainwater to produce sulfuric acid, which causes chemical runoff as it leaches metals from the rocks. Acid drainage is a natural phenomenon but mining greatly accelerates it by exposing many new surfaces.
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