Presentation on theme: "Air Quality and YOU. Quality of Air = Quality of Life."— Presentation transcript:
Air Quality and YOU
Quality of Air = Quality of Life
Air pollution is the primary cause of respiratory illness worldwide
Clean Air Act Created in 1970 – Amendments added in 1977 & 1990 National Ambient Air Quality Standards –Primary standards set limits to protect public health –Secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against decreased visibility, damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings
Under the Clean Air Act EPA has the responsibility to : Conduct periodic reviews of the NAAQS for the six principal pollutants Ensure that air quality standards are met Reduce emissions of SO2 and NOx that cause acid rain. And…
Reduce air pollutants such as PM, SOx, and NOx, which can reduce visibility across large regional areas Ensure that sources of toxic air pollutants that may cause cancer and other adverse human health and environmental effects are well controlled and that the risks to public health and the environment are substantially reduced.
Six Common Air Pollutants Ozone Nitrogen Dioxide Particulate Matter Carbon Monoxide Sulfur Dioxide Lead
Units of measure for the "criteria" pollutants are: Parts per million (ppm) by volume Milligrams per cubic meter of air (mg/m 3 ) Micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m 3 ).
Air Pollution Trends Tracked by the EPA Air Concentrations –actual measurements of pollutant concentrations in the ambient (outside) air at selected monitoring sites throughout the country Emissions –engineering estimates of the total tons of pollutants released into the air each year.
Ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be "good" or "bad" for your health and the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere. What is ozone?
Ozone occurs in two layers of the atmosphere. The troposphere The stratosphere How Can Ozone Be Both Good and Bad?
The layer closest to the Earth's surface: Troposphere. Here, ground-level or "bad" ozone is an air pollutant that is harmful to breathe It is a main ingredient of urban smog. It damages crops, trees and other vegetation
The Stratosphere -Extends upward from about 6 to 30 miles -“Good” Ozone is produced naturally in the stratosphere -It protects life on Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
What Causes "Bad" Ozone? Ground-level or "bad" ozone is NOT emitted directly into the air It is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.
Some of the major sources of NOx and VOCs Gasoline vapors Chemical solvents Emissions from: -Industrial facilities -Electric utilities -Motor vehicle exhaust
Coal generates 54% of our electricity, and is the single biggest air polluter in the U.S. Burning coal causes smog, soot, acid rain, global warming, and toxic air emissions.
In an average year, a typical coal plant generates:
10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), as much as would be emitted by half a million late- model cars. NOx leads to formation of ozone (smog) which inflames the lungs, burning through lung tissue making people more susceptible to respiratory illness.
and 220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOC), which form ozone.
Gasoline-Powered Vehicles Spew 205,596 tons of VOCs 207,384 tons of NOX into the air annually
How Does "Bad" Ozone Affect Human Health and the Environment? -C hest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. -It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. - Can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.
NOx and ozone can also affect crops and other plants.
What YOU Can Do Conserve energy Follow gasoline refueling instructions for efficient vapor recovery. Keep car, boat, and other engines tuned up Be sure your tires are properly inflated Carpool, use public transportation, bike, or walk
More that YOU Can Do Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products Follow manufacturers' recommendations for use and properly seal cleaners, paints, and other chemicals to prevent evaporation into the air.
Drive fuel efficient vehicles
Invest in renewable energy
Use Energy Star appliances
Use non-toxic products whenever possible
Switch from incandescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
Air Quality Action Day tips: Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible. Defer use of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment.
And… Refuel cars and trucks after dusk. Combine errands and reduce trips Limit engine idling. Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.
If EVERYONE pitches in and does what he/she can do, we can all breathe a breath of fresh air!