Air Pollution. APES – Period 5 Jane Kim Jant Hong Lynn Yi. Exosphere Thermosphere Mesosphere Stratosphere Troposphere. Primary pollutants: are mixed vertically and horizontally and are dispersed and diluted by the churning air in the troposphere.
APES – Period 5
Primary pollutants: are mixed vertically and horizontally and are dispersed and diluted by the churning air in the troposphere.
Ex: CO, CO2, SO2, NO, NO2, most hydrocarbons, and most suspended particles
Secondary pollutants: while in the troposphere, some of the primary pollutants may react with one another or with the basic compounds of air.
Ex: SO3, HNO3, H2SO4, H2O2, O3, and PANs
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Lead (Pb)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
- Ozone (O3)
- Particulate Matter (PM-10)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Ozone is formed by the action of sunlight on carbon-based chemicals known as hydrocarbons, acting in combination with a group of air pollutants called oxides of nitrogen.
Ozone reacts chemically ("oxidizes") with internal body tissues that it comes in contact with, such as those in the lung. Ozone (O3) in the troposphere causes more damage to plants than all other air pollutants combined.
Sulfur dioxide belongs to the family of gases called sulfur oxides (SOx ). These gases are formed when fuel containing sulfur (mainly coal and oil) is burned, and during metal smelting and other industrial processes.
The major health concerns associated with exposure to high concentrations of SO2 include effects on breathing, respiratory illness, alterations in pulmonary defenses, and aggravation of existing cardiovascular disease.
In the past, motor vehicles were the biggest source of lead. But since leaded gasoline has been phased out, lead emissions have decreased by about 98 percent. Today, metal processing is the biggest source of atmospheric lead.
Lead can harm the kidneys, liver, nervous system and other organs. It may cause neurological impairments such as seizures, mental retardation and behavioral disorders. Even at low doses, lead is associated with damage to the nervous systems of fetuses and young children, resulting in lowered IQ and learning problems.
Particulates is a general term used to describe tiny bits of matter floating around in the atmosphere, such as certain types of smoke (like diesel smoke), fine ash and dust. Larger particles are caught by the hairs in your nose and your breathing tubes, but smaller particles can get past these defenses and cause lots of trouble.
Nitrogen dioxide belongs to a family of highly reactive gases called nitrogen oxides (NOx). These gases form when fuel is burned at high temperatures, and come principally from motor vehicle exhaust and stationary sources such as electric utilities and industrial boilers.
Nitrogen dioxide can irritate the lungs and lower resistance to respiratory infections such as influenza.
Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of the fossil fuels – gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires, water heaters, solid fuel appliances and open fires.
When carbon monoxide is present in the air you breath into your lungs, it attaches itself to the hemoglobin.
The bond between hemoglobin and carbon monoxide is 250 times stronger than oxygen.
In the lungs carbon monoxide attaches to red blood cells in place of oxygen.
Formaldehyde is a colorless liquid or gas with a strong, distinctive odor. It is found in furniture, new carpets, particle board, plywood, rubber cement and adhesives.
Low levels of exposure can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, cause skin problems, serious breathing problems and can increase your risk of certain kinds of cancer.
Sources: Deteriorating of damaged insulation, fire-proofing, or acoustical materials.
Health Effects: No immediate symptoms. Chest and abdominal cancers and lung diseases. Smokers are at higher risk of developing asbestos-induced lung cancer.
Sources: Earth, uranium and rock beneath home; well water; building materials.
Health Effects: No immediate symptoms. Estimated to cause about 10% of lung cancer deaths. Smokers are at higher risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer.
Radon-222 can enter the house by diffusion from soil and by emanation from building materials, tap water and methane gas.Characteristics- an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that mixes with air- chemically inert and essentially non-reactive- heaviest noble gas with highest melting and boiling point- highly soluble in non-polar solvents- moderately soluble in cold water- able to diffuse through rock and soil- decays by alpha particle emission (T 1/2 = 3.8 days)
The largest source of "indoor air pollution"- in our homes, our schools or workplaces- is car and truck pollution.
Electric vehicles are sometimes referred to as "zero-emission vehicles" because they produce essentially no pollution from the tailpipe or through fuel evaporation. This is important, for it means that the use of electric vehicles could greatly reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and smog-forming pollutants in cities with dirty air.
Acid Deposition: the falling of acids and acid-forming compounds from the atmosphere to earth’s surface. Acid deposition is commonly known as acid rain, a term that refers only to wet deposition of droplets of acids and acid-forming compounds
A building is considered “sick” when at least 20% of its occupants suffer persistent symptoms that disappear when they go outside
At least 17% of the 4 million commercial buildings in the U.S. are considered “sick”.
Most ozone (about 90%) exists in the stratosphere, in a layer between 10 and 50km above the surface of the earth. This ozone layer performs the essential task of filtering out most of the sun's biologically harmful ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation.
Over Antarctica (and recently over the Arctic), stratospheric ozone has been depleted over the last 15 years at certain times of the year. This is mainly due to the release of manmade chemicals containing chlorine such as CFC's (ChloroFluoroCarbons), but also compounds containing bromine, other related halogen compounds and also nitrogen oxides (NOx).
CFC's are chemicals that can be used in the refrigerator to help keep food cold. They can also be used in air- conditioning and in products in spray cans. CFC's rise into the air going into a layer called the stratosphere. When this happens, the CFC's take part in chemical reactions that can destroy parts of the ozone which protects us from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays.
The Earth is kept warm by it's atmosphere, which acts rather like a woolly coat - without it, the average surface temperature would be about -18 degrees Centigrade. Heat from the sun passes through the atmosphere, warming it up. As the Earth warms up, it emits heat. Some of this heat is trapped by the atmosphere, but the rest escapes into space. The so-called "greenhouse gases" make the atmosphere trap more of this radiation, so it gradually warms up more than it should, like a greenhouse.
Carbon dioxide is produced when any form of carbon or almost any carbon compound is burned in an excess of oxygen. For example, it is released into the atmosphere during natural forest fires and the man-made combustion of fossil fuels. Other natural sources of carbon dioxide include volcanic eruptions, decay of dead plant and animal matter, evaporation from the oceans and respiration (breathing).
Methane is a greenhouse gas that is creating a serious problem for global warming. Methane gases are very potent when trapping infrared heat in the atmosphere, because one molecule of methane can trap infrared heat twenty times more than carbon dioxide.
Methane the second most importantgreenhouse gas is mostly produced by the digestive system of cows.
Smog and particles certainly trigger attacks in some people who already have asthma. For a long time it was thought that air pollution could not cause asthma to develop in previously healthy people. Some recent experiments challenge this belief. Scientists have shown that people exposed to ozone or nitrogen dioxide are more likely to react to allergens such as grass pollens and housedust mites than those who are not exposed. Thus a combination of air pollution and allergens could cause some cases of asthma.
Lung cancer is more common in cities than in the country. We know that over 90% of lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes. A radioactive gas called radon is thought to cause about 7% of lung cancers in North America.
87% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. 12 percent of all lung cancer deaths are linked to radon. Another leading cause of lung cancer is on-the-job exposure to cancer-causing substances or carcinogens.
Air pollution can make you sick. It can cause burning eyes and nose and an itchy, irritated throat, as well as trouble in breathing. Some chemicals found in polluted air cause cancer, birth defects, brain and nerve damage and long-term injury to the lungs and breathing passages. Some air pollutants are so dangerous that accidental releases can cause serious injury or even death.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) latest Ten-Year Air Quality and Emissions Trends report, there have been significant reductions in all 6 criteria pollutants and reductions are expected to continue.
Under this law, EPA sets limits on how much of a pollutant can be in the air anywhere in the United States. This ensures that all Americans have the same basic health and environmental protections. The law allows individual states to have stronger pollution controls, but states are not allowed to have weaker pollution controls than those set for the whole country.
These gases remain in the atmosphere for 2,000-50,000 years.
The two predominant gases are water vapor (hyrologic cycle) and carbon dioxide (global carbon cycle)Greenhouse gases
Responsible for 50-60% of the global warming from greenhouse gases produced by human activites
Main sources are fossil fuel burning (70-75%) and land clearing and burning (20-25%)
Remains in atmosphere for 50-200 years
Accounts for about 20% of the overall warming effect
Produced when anaerobic bacteria break down dead organic matter in moist places that lack oxygen.
Stays in the troposphere for 9-15 years
Each CH4 molecule traps 20 times as much heat as a CO2 molecule
Model projects that once the climate changes, it will continue for hundreds of years.
According to the models, the northern hemisphere should warm more and faster than the southern hemisphere because the latter has more heat- absorbing ocean than land and because water cools more slowly than land.Future global warming and its effects