The air we breathe
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The air we breathe. Pgs. 20 - 25. Air Quality. Even clean air is not perfectly clean. It includes things like dust, salt, volcanic gasses, ash, smoke, pollen and others. Pollutants mentioned in the news are caused by humans, even though nature pollutes air as well.

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The air we breathe

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The air we breathe

The air we breathe

Pgs. 20 - 25


Air quality

Air Quality

  • Even clean air is not perfectly clean.

  • It includes things like dust, salt, volcanic gasses, ash, smoke, pollen and others.

  • Pollutants mentioned in the news are caused by humans, even though nature pollutes air as well.

  • The pollution caused by humans can be solid, liquid or gas and cause damage to our atmosphere.


Types of air pollution

Types of Air Pollution

  • Pollution is either Primary or Secondary pollutants.

  • Primary pollutants are put directly into the air by human or natural activity.

    • Car exhaust, volcanic eruption, forest fires.

  • Secondary pollutants come from chemical reactions that occur when primary pollutants come in contact with other primary pollutants or naturally occurring substances like water vapor.

    • Ozone and smog are produced when car exhaust reacts with sunlight.


Sources of human caused air pollution

Sources of Human-caused Air Pollution

  • The major source of air pollution today is transportation.

  • Cars are responsible for 60% of the human-caused pollution.

  • Nitrogen oxide coming from cars contribute to smog and acid rain.


Industrial air pollution

Industrial Air Pollution

  • Industrial power plants burn fossil fuels to produce energy, but they also cause large amounts of oxides to be released into the air.

  • Power plants are responsible for 96% of the sulfur oxides released in the atmosphere.

  • Industrial chemical plants produce poisonous fumes that are released into the atmosphere.

  • Chemical manufacturers, auto-body shops, dry-cleaners, and furniture refinishers all contribute.


Indoor air pollution

Indoor Air Pollution

  • Sometimes air inside our homes and workplaces is polluted too.

  • Items such as household cleaners and cooking smoke can pollute the inside air.

  • Paint and new carpets can add to the pollution as well.

  • If the windows and doors are shut tightly, the air will remain polluted.


The air pollution problem

The Air Pollution Problem

  • Air pollution is a local and global problem.

  • Local pollution can spread as the wind blows and so it becomes a global problem.

  • If air is polluted, it can move and pick up water vapor making acid rain.

  • In fact, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown produce pollution that contributes to acid rain in New England.


Acid precipitation

Acid Precipitation

  • Precipitation containing acids from air pollution is acid precipitation.

  • When fossil fuels are burned, they release oxides of sulfur and nitrogen into the air.

  • When oxides combine with water vapor they form sulfuric and nitric acid.

  • These acids have negative effects on the environment and drinking water.


The ozone hole

The Ozone Hole

  • One major concern of air pollution is the hole in the ozone layer.

  • Some of the chemicals released into the atmosphere react with ozone to break it down into other substances.

  • The loss of ozone allows more UV rays through to the Earth, which can be harmful to the environment.


Effects on human health

Effects on Human Health

  • People are vulnerable to air pollution.

  • Children, elderly people and those with allergies are more vulnerable than others.

  • The effects of air pollution include: dizziness, headaches, burning eyes, runny nose, coughing trouble breathing, sore throat, lung cancer, lung disease, chest pains, allergies, increased colds.


Cleaning up our act

Cleaning Up Our Act

  • In 1970, the U.S. passed the Clean Air Act.

  • It gave the EPA (environmental protection agency) the authority to control the amount of air pollutants that can be released from any source.

  • The EPA checks air quality and set stricter standards when necessary.


Controlling air pollution from vehicles

Controlling Air Pollution from Vehicles

  • The EPA requires car manufacturers to meet a certain standard for exhaust that comes out of the tail pipe.

  • New cars now have devices that remove most of the pollutants from the air.

  • Car manufacturers are now producing cars that run on alternate fuels that won’t pollute the air.


Controlling air pollution from industry

Controlling Air Pollution from Industry

  • The Clean Air Act forces industries to use scrubbers.

  • Scrubbers are devices that attach to smokestacks to remove some of the more harmful pollutants before they are released into the air.

  • They prevent 22 million metric tons of ash from being released into the air each year.


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