Biblical Reference He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. Genesis 19:28
Air Pollution • Air Pollution: The contamination of air by harmful substances. • Harmful to all living things • Causes weakened immune systems and respiratory diseases • Causes cancer We breath 20,000 liters of air each day!
Sources of Air Pollution • Point-Source Air Pollution: comes from an identifiable source • Large Factories • Electric Power Plants • Erupting Volcanoes • Nonpoint-Source Air Pollution: comes from a widespread area • Large Cities • Bacteria in Swamps & Marshes
Causes & Effects of Air Pollution • Ground-Level Ozone can damage plants. • Sulfur Dioxide can discolor stone, corrode metal and damage paint
Acid Precipitation • Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides combine with moisture in the atmosphere, which lowers the pH. • Low pH creates an acid • Includes rain, snow, and fog • Effects: • Lakes become harmful to organisms that live in them • Stone structures are damaged • Sources: • Volcanoes & Marshes (Natural) • Automobile Exhaust & Factory Smoke (Man-Made)
Smog • Air Pollution that forms from the interaction between chemicals in the air and sunlight. • Creates ground-level ozone • Effects: • Damages tissues of plants and animals • Reduces visibility • Causes respiratory issues • Sources: • Nitrogen Dioxide from cars
Particulate Pollution • Mixture of dust, acids and other chemicals in the air • Scatters sunlight to cause a haze. • Over 10,000 solid or liquid particles are in every cubic centimeter (the size of a sugar cube) of air. • Effects: • Respiratory and cardiac issues • Reduced visibility • Sources: • Pollen • Dry Conditions • Automobile exhaust
Movement of Air Pollution • Strong Wind: Carries Air Pollution, which reduces overall pollution concentration • Calm Wind: Prevent cool air from mixing with warm air above it • Valleys experience Temperature Inversion, which traps the pollution • No Wind: Prevents pollution from mixing with surrounding air
Movement of Air Pollution • At night, cool air sinks down the mountain sides, trapping pollution in the valley below.
Maintaining Healthy Air Quality • Cooperation of Government, Scientists, Industry, and the Public • Clean Air Act (1970) • Factory Regulations • Advertising Campaigns • Still serious issues with smog in large cities and acid precipitation in lakes, streams and forests.
Clean Air Act • U.S. Government sets Air Quality Standards to protect humans, animals, plants and buildings • State requirements on: • Carbon Monoxide • Nitrogen Oxide • Particulate Matter • Ozone • Sulfur Dioxide
Monitoring Air Pollution • All major U.S. Cities monitor Air Pollution • Instruments report both indoor and outdoor particulate levels • Ozone Action Days alert people to: • Limit Outdoor Activity • Use Caution for Health Issues • Limit Activities that increase Pollution • Mowing the lawn, excessive driving, etc.
Air Quality Trends • Since the 1970, air quality has improved • Auto manufacturers have improved exhaust systems • Factories and Power Plants have introduced better screening techniques • Ground-Level Ozone has not decreased • The number of cars has increased quicker than the improvements in automobile design. NBC News - Utah
Indoor Air Pollution • Indoor Air Pollution has a greater impact on human health than Outdoor Air Pollution, especially in very cold or hot climates where windows are rarely opened. • Sources: • Tobacco Smoke • Cleaning Products • Pesticides • Fireplaces • Foam Insulation • Radon (odorless gas in soil & rocks)
Pop Quiz What is pollution that comes from a wide-spread area, such as a large city? A. smog B. haze C. nonpoint-source pollution D.point-source pollution
Pop Quiz Which is a mixture of dust, acids, and other chemicals that can be hazardous to human health? A. photochemical smog B. acid precipitation C. sulfur dioxide D. particulate matter
Pop Quiz What describes what has happened to air quality in U.S. cities over the last several decades? A. it has declined dramatically B. it has declined slightly C. it has improved D. it has remained the same