20 terms

Air quality and pollution reduction policies

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Particulate air pollution
A mixture of solids and liquid droplets floating in the air.
40,000
Number of early deaths a year (2015) linked to outdoor air pollution in the UK, say the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health.
6.1 million
Number of global premature deaths due to air pollution in 2017 according to a report into State of Global Air 2018
Photochemical pollution
Air pollution containing ozone and other reactive chemical compounds formed by the action of sunlight on nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, especially those in automobile exhaust.
Particulate matter
This is fine grade material that can cause damage to human lungs, it is effectively the smoke and dust particles in the air. PM10 is the part of suspended particles that are only 10(µM) micrometres in size.
Carbon Monoxide
CO:A poisonous gas to human beings, it is highly dangerous because it is colourless and odourless
Sulphur oxides
e.g. SO2 & SO3: these are given out during the combustion of fossil fuels, they often mix with water in the atmosphere to give Sulphuric acids
Carbon dioxide
CO2: the most talked about pollutant, this gas can cause human enhanced global warming
Ozone
O3: this gas protects in the upper atmosphere, but is dangerous to humans when it occurs in high concentrations at ground level in the Troposphere
Nitrogen Dioxide
NO2 this causes the brown haze above of cities from fossil fuel combustion
SO2
Can be found in concentrations 200 times greater than rural concentrations.
Temperature inversions and during anticyclones
Conditions when air pollution problems can be particularly pronounced, when air is prevented from rising which allows pollutants to build up in the lower atmosphere.
Smog
Is a mixture of smoke and fog, and can be particularly dangerous. Smoke and sulphur dioxide from burning are condensation nuclei, and in the past in Britain and currently in industrialising economies these extra nuclei encourage condensation at ground level which produces dense fogs.
Cars in the UK
Have to have emissions tests on an annual basis as part of the MOT whilst industries are obliged to protect the environment as part of strict laws.
The National Air Quality Strategy
For the UK sets out air quality standards and objectives for reducing levels of health threatening pollutants. All of the standards under this law are subject to regulations under the Environment Act of 1995 and are the result of UK incorporation of European Union laws.
Environment Act of 1995
Requires all local authorities in the UK to review and assess air quality in their area. If any standards are being exceeded then an area is designated an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and the local authority (Newcastle City Council for example) must make and implement an action plan designed to reduce levels of the pollutant.
Clean Air Act of 1993
Controls Domestic or home fires and Local Authorities can declare an area a Smoke Free Zone. Under this order, homes are banned from using fires that cause smoke unless they use smokeless fuel or the appliance is exempt.
Around 50% of households
Live in Smoke Free Zones in the UK.
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) set up under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act of 1999
Controls industrial pollution in the UK, it is an offence for factories to emit dark smoke and the amount of grit and dust emitted is also strictly controlled, and chimneys must have the most modern filters fitted.
Particulates are the deadliest form of air pollution
Due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood streams unfiltered, causing permanent DNA mutations, heart attacks, and premature death.
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