2INTRODUCTIONToday we are going to look at the effects of air pollution in our environment. Air pollution occurs when air becomes mixed with other gases or particles such as:-Smoke from bonfiresGases from rotting rubbishDust and gritChimneysVehiclesThere are also natural sources of air pollution such as:-Pollen,gases and ash from volcanoes,dust blown by the wind.}These are two of the most common polluters
3WHAT IS POLLUTION?Pollution of the environment means:- The release of substances, which are capable of causing harm to man or any other living organisms, into air, land or water.
4URBAN AIR POLLUTIONUntil well into the twentieth century, the causes of pollution were thought to be mainly smoke, soot and sulphur dioxide. These are all waste products from factories, home heating and power stations. With growing industrialisation and use of cars, we have identified more air pollutants from a broad range of sources. The “dirty six” are internationally defined as “primary pollutants”.
5PM10/PM2.5(Particulate Matter) Motor vehicles, wood burning, These are:-POLLUTANT MAIN SOURCEPM10/PM2.5(Particulate Matter) Motor vehicles, wood burning,Type of soot! industrial activity etc..Carbon Monoxide(CO) Petrol vehicles and industry.Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Road transport, power generation.Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Power generation, industry.Lead (Pb) Petrol vehicles, industry.(not any more-lead in petrol banned in UK since (1/1/00)Ozone(03) Produced when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOC) e.g. paint thinners, aerosols, chemically react under sunlight.In addition to the “dirty six”, there are other in our air. Arsenic, asbestos, benzene, vinyl chloride, mercury and beryllium are all examples of toxic pollutants.
6INVESTIGATION - ROADSIDE POLLUTANTS Equipment: Clean plastic bagsElastic bandsBeakersFilter papersMethod1) Choose a mixture of quiet and busy roads, and a control area away from roads – in a back garden or park.2) Collect leaves from roadside trees and bushes and the control area. Put the leaves from each area in separate, clean plastic bags and label them. (There should be about the same amount of leaves in each bag and they should be of similar size and shape).3) Wash the leaves from each area in a beaker of water and pass the water through a filter paper.4) Compare the amount of dirt on the filter paper for leaves from each area. List the areas tested starting with the dirtiest.(Taken from NSCA air pollution teaching pack).
7QUESTIONSQ1. What do you think the reason is for the difference in filter papers?Q2. What do your results tell you about the air around the different roads?Q3. From the posters and information what do you consider to be the six main sources of air pollutants?Q4. Using the above information draw a spider diagram to show the pollutants given off by each of the sources.Q5. Use this information to produce a list starting with the most polluting source first and least last. (There is not a right or wrong answer. It is your opinion!).
8URBAN AIR POLLUTION PROBLEMS FACTS ABOUT AIR POLLUTION In many of the worlds towns and cities air pollution is becoming a serious problem. It can cause alarming health problems, damage to buildings and inconvenience.FACTS ABOUT AIR POLLUTIONAnimals cause air pollution, there are 1.2 billion cattle in the world and they produce methane when they burp! Sheep,goats and camels do too.
9In one year, a car can produce four times its own weight in Carbon dioxide. A factory making smokeless fuels in Wales was known as the dirtiest factory in Britain! It has now been closed down.As long ago as 1273, coal was first banned in London because it was ‘prejudicial to health’.The word ‘bonfire’ comes from the medieval bone fire – when piles of animal bones were burnt in the street.There is often more air pollution indoors than outdoors! The air inside cars may be more polluted than that outside in the traffic!During the London smog of 1952 animals at Smithfield market had to wear masks to protect them from the pollution 4,000 people died.
10WHAT CAN WE DO TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION? As more people become aware of the dangers of air pollution more pressure is being put on industry and governments to monitor and prevent further pollutionAt the moment the ‘East Riding of Yorkshire Council’ is responsible for the following areas of work:-Collection and assessment of background information on air quality throughout the area i.e. monitoring stations kerb side monitoring points, NOx tubes, traffic counts etc..Investigation of complaints relating to air pollution and taking appropriate action prescribed by law i.e. The Clean Air Act 1993 etc.
11Other information can be obtained by the Department of the environment to the public about local air quality management. This information can be found from the following sources:-the local newspapers,local radio,Teletext (page 106),Ceefax(page410),The Internet (www.environment.detr.gov.uk/airq/aqinfo.htm),and the Department’s freephone service ( ).At present, most of our energy comes from fossil fuels which cause pollution such as:-coal,oilnatural gasThese fuels will run out one day. We should all try to save energy. This will reduce air pollution and make the fossil fuels last longer.
12SOLUTIONSSO WHAT CAN WE DO:-Ask the drivers in your family to drive cars more smoothly so that the engine produces less emissions.Use buses, bikes and trains instead of cars – they can carry far more people in one trip. This will help to reduce traffic on our roads.Turn off lights when they are not needed, so that power stations do not have to produce so much electricity.Tell other people what you have learnt about air pollution so that they can help too.Q6. Can you think of any other ways of reducing air pollution?Q7. One of the main causes of pollution is transport. Think of as many ways as possible to reduce the problem of pollution caused by cars and lorries in towns and cities.Q8. Design a colourful poster on plain paper to educate people about the need to reduce pollution.
13See if you can you guess which leaves came from :- A) Park,B) Outside the school on Boothferry Road,C) A quiet minor road.