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APES Chapter 15
Terms in this set (67)
How can lichens be used to detect air pollution?
indicator species, change in color represents air pollution
inner most layer
75-80% of the mass of earth's air
goes about 11 miles up
movement of air in this layer causes weather
78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.038% carbon dioxide, trace amounts of other gases
percentages decrease as you go up
11-30 miles above earth
air is calm with little mixing
composition: water vapor/ozone
ozone found here (protects us from UV)
outdoor air pollution come mostly from?
natural sources and burning fossil fuel in motor vehicles and power and industrial plants
presence of chemicals in the atmosphere in concentrations high enough to harm organisms and materials (such as metals and stone used in buildings and statues and to alter climate
emitted directly into the troposphere in a potentially harmful form (soot and carbon monoxide), put out immediately
Ex. CO, CO2, SO2, NO, NO2, most hydrocarbons, most suspended particles
while in the troposphere some primary pollutants may react with one another or with the basic components of air to form new pollutants, 2 primary pollutant or 1 primary pollutant and something else that is naturally in the air react to form harmful substance
Ex. SO3, HNO3, H3SO4, H2O2, O3, PANS, most NO3-, and SO4-2 salts
colorless, odorless gas that is poisonous to air breathing animals; forms during the incomplete combustion of carbon cont. fuels
cigarette smoking, incomplete burning of fossil fuels, about 77% (95% in cities) comes from motor vehicles exhaust
reacts with hemoglobin in red blood cells and reduces the ability of blood to bring O2 to body cells and tissues
reddish-brown irritating gas that gives photochemical smog its brownish color can be converted to HNO3
fossil fuels burning in motor vehicles (49%) and power and industrial plants (49%)
breathing problems, permanent condition, similar to bronchitis
colorless, irritating form mostly from the combustion of sulfur containing coal and oil
coal burning in power plants (88%) and industrial processes (10%)
breathing problems, breathing related diseases
suspended particulate matter
variety of particles and droplets small and light enough to remain suspended in atmosphere for short to long period
burning coal in power and industrial plants, burning diesel and other fuels in vehicles, agriculture, construction
mostly breathing problems/ respiratory cancer
highly reactive irritating gas with unpleasant odor that forms in troposphere as a major component of photochemical smog
reactions with chemicals emitted by cars
solid toxic metal and its compounds, emitted into the atmosphere as particulate matter
paint, smetters, batteries, leaded gas
mental disorders, brain/developmental problems and cancer
what is the major source of indoor air pollution?
burning wood, charcoal, coal, or dung in open fire/poorly made stoves (poverty)
distinguish between stationary and mobile sources of pollution for outdoor air
stationary sources are the burning of coal/fossil fuels in power plants and factories, and mobile sources are pollutants from motor vehicles
a mixture of air pollutants formed by the reaction of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic hydrocarbons under the influence of sunlight
any chemical reaction activated by light
made of N2, O2, NO, NO2
hotter days lead to production of colorless nitric oxide higher levels of ozone and other components of smog
common locations for this smog: cities in warm/dry climates
called photochemical smog because
a mix of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic hydrocarbons sources react under the influence of UV radiation from the sun to form pollutants
Asian brown cloud
A huge blanket of mostly industrial smog that stretches nearly continuously across much of India, Bangladesh, and the industrial heart of China and parts of the open sea in this area (cloud of emissions of pollutants)
power plants, factories, heating homes, cooking food
consists mostly of sulfur dioxide, aerosols containing suspended droplets of sulfuric faced formed from sulfur dioxide, and a variety of solid particles
found in industrialized urban areas
3 factors that reduce outdoor air pollution
1. rain and snow help cleanse the air of pollutants
2. salty sea spray from the oceans can wash out much of the particulates and water-soluble pollutants from air that flows from and over oceans
3. winds can help sweep pollutants away, dilute them by mixing with clean air, bring in fresh air
4 factors that increase outdoor air pollution
1. urban buildings can slow wind speed and reduce dilution and removal of pollutants
2. hills and mountains can reduce the flow of air in valleys below them and allow pollutants level to build up at ground level
3. high temps promote the chemical reaction leading to photochemical smog formation
4. grasshopper effect- transfer volatile air pollutants from tropical/temperature areas to the poles
What is a temperature or thermal inversion and what are the harmful effects?
Under certain atmospheric conditions, however, however, a layer of warm air can lie a top a layer of cooler air nearer the ground. Because the cooler air is denser than the warmer air above it, the air near the surface does not rise and mix with the air above it. Pollutants can concentrate in this segment layer of cool air near the ground. Warm air layer traps cooler, stagnant air. Found in dry warm valleys and places with lots of cars.
Why does LA experience frequent thermal inversions?
LA contains several million people and motor vehicles in an area with a sunny climate light winds, mountains on 3 sides, and the ocean on the other side. The conditions are ideal for photochemical smog worded by frequent thermal inversion.
can cause or worsen respiratory disease, erodes metallic and stone objects, decrease atmospheric visibility, and kill them
Consists of acidic rain, snow, fog, and cloud vapor with a pH kew than 5.6
Consists of acidic particles
spring melt water brings large amounts of AL+3 into bodies of water
What areas tend to be affected by acid deposition?
Areas that contain coal-burning facilities and from urban areas with large number of cars
Effects of acid deposition on trees and other plants
plant nutrients such as calcium and magnesium salt from soils are removed by leaching, weakens trees, more vulnerable to cold, disease, insect attacks
Effects of acid deposition soils
loses ability to buffer or neutralize acidic input, leaching nutrients
Effects of acid deposition on aquatic life
aluminum ions are released, attach to minerals in nearby soil and then into lakes, kills fish, leaches AL+3 ions from soil, causes mucus in gills
Effects of acid deposition on human health
human respiratory diseases and can leach harmful metals from water poppies into drinking water, asthma
Effects of acid deposition on materials
statues, monuments, buildings, metals, and car finishes
How serious is acid deposition in the USA
several 100 lakes are harmed with acidity, leading to harm to aquatic life, therefore for harming us
9 ways to prevent acid deposition
1. reduce air pollution by improving energy efficiency
2. reduce coal use
3. increase natural gas use
4. increase use of renewable energy resources
5. burn lower sulfur coal
6. install scrubbers to sequester sulfur and nitrogen oxides
7. remove NOx from car exhaust
8. tax SO2 emissions
9. lime lakes
what are the advantages and disadvantages to liming lakes to reduce the effects of acid deposition?
advantages: neutralize acidified lakes or surrounding soil
disadvantages: expensive and can harm aquatic life
How serious is indoor air pollution?
Indoor air pollution was placed on the top of the list of the 18 sources of cancer risk. Indoor pollution has also lead to sick-building syndrome.
Asbestos (source and threat)
pipe insulation, vinyl ceiling, floor tiles
lung disease, lung cancer
unvented gas stoves, kerosene heaters, wood stoves
irritated lungs, children's colds, headaches
dizziness, irregular breathing
chlorine treated water in hot showers
air fresheners, mothball crystals
dry-cleaning fluid fumes on clothes
nerve disorders, damage to liver and kidneys, possible cancer
furniture stuffing, panelling, particle board, foam insulation
irritation of eyes, throat, skin, lungs, nausea, dizziness
carpets, plastic products
kidney and liver damage
paint strippers and thinner
nerve disorders, diabetes
carbon monoxide pollutant
faulty furnaces, unvented gas stores and kerosene heaters, wood stoves
headaches, drowsiness, irregular heartbeat, death
caused by decomposing rocks, sep into basements of houses
radioactive soil and rock in surrounding foundation, water supply
lung cancer, respiratory ailments, heart disease
What is sick building syndrome?
Air pollutants found in buildings have been linked to dizziness, headaches, coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, nausea, flu-like symptoms
According the EPA what are the 3 most dangerous indoor air pollutants in the US?
cigarette smoke, formaldehyde, radon-222 gas
What is the most dangerous indoor air pollutant in most developing countries?
formaldehyde, a colorless, extremely irritating gas widely used to manufacture common household materials
4 defenses your body has against air pollution
1. hairs in your nose filter out large particulates
2. stick mucus in the lining of your upper respiratory system captures small particulates
3. mucus dissolves some gaseous pollutants
4. sneezing/coughing expel contaminated air mucus
harmful health effects of carbon monoxide
reduces RBC's to carry oxygen, slows reflexes, headaches, dizziness, heart attack, coma ,death
harmful health effects of suspended particulate matter
nose and throat irritation, lung damage, asthma, reproductive problems, cancer
harmful health effects of sulfur oxide
breathing problems, restriction of airways
harmful health effects of nitrogen oxides
irritated lungs, headaches, children's colds
harmful health effects of volatile organic compounds
respiratory ailments, heart disease
harmful health effects of ozone
brain and nerve damage, digestive problems, mental retardation
about how many people die prematurely each year from exposure to air pollutants in the US? and the world?
the world: 3 million (most in Asia)
How are plants harmed by air pollution?
CO2 is killing plants, acid deposition
How are air pollutants damaging aquatic life?
CO2 gets in water, acid deposition
What is the Clean Air Act and how it helped reduce outdoor air pollution in the US?
The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, 1977, and 1990. With these laws, the federal government established key air pollution regulations that are enforced by each state and major cities. This Act has greatly reduced outdoor air pollution from 6 major pollutants. Introduced emissions trading policy.
What are 6 weakness of the current Clean Air Act?
1. Continue to rely on clean up rather than prevention
2. Congress has failed to increase fuel-efficency standards, for cars, sports utility vehicles, and light trucks
3. Regulation of emissions from inefficient 2-cycle gas engines remain inadequate
4. Acts have done little to reduce emissions of CO2 and greenhouse gases
5. Acts have failed to deal seriously with indoor air pollution
6. Need for better enforcement of the clean air acts
What is an emission trading policy and what are the pros and cons of this approach?
It enables the 110 most polluting power plants in 21 states (primarily in the midwest and east). Buy and sell SO2 pollution rights. Some people argue that this system allows the marketplace to determine the cheapest, most efficient way to get the job done and that anyone can participate. Other criticize the cap trade program and that it creates incentives to cheat.
Discuss ways to prevent an control air pollution from coal-burning facilities and vehicles
Burn lower-sulfur coal, remove sulfur from coal ,convert coal to a liquid or gaseous fuel, shift to less polluting fuels, disperse emission above thermal inversion layer with tall smokestacks, remove pollutants after combustion and tax each unit of pollution produce
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