11 terms

Chapter 12: Air (Environmental Science)

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air pollution
the contamination of the atmosphere by the introduction of pollutants from human and natural sources.
primary pollutant
a pollutant that is put directly into the atmosphere by human or natural activity.
secondary pollutant
a pollutant that forms in the atmosphere by chemical reaction with primary air pollutants, natural components in the air, or both.
smog
urban air pollution composed of a mixture of smoke and fog produced from industrial pollutants and burning fossil fuels.
temperate inversion
the atmospheric condition in which warm air traps cooler air near Earth's surface.
sick-building syndrome
a set of symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, eye irritation, and dizziness, that may affect workers in modern, airtight office buildings; believed to be caused by indoor pollutants.
asbestos
any of six silicate minerals that form bundles of minute fibers that are heat resistant, flexible, and durable.
decibel (dB)
the most common unit used to measure loudness.
acid precipitation
precipitation, such as rain, sleet or snow, that contains high concentration of acids, often because of the pollution of the atmosphere.
pH
the value that is used to express the acidity or alkalinity (basicity) of a system; each whole number on the scale indicates a tenfold change in acidity; a pH of 7 is neutral, a pH of less than 7 is acidic. and a pH of greater than 7 is basic.
acid shock
the sudden runoff of large amounts of highly acidic water into lakes and streams when snow melts in the spring or when heavy rains follow a drought.