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What Causes Air Pollution?

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Presentation on theme: "What Causes Air Pollution?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Causes Air Pollution?
Chapter 12- AIR What Causes Air Pollution?

2 What causes air pollution?
Clean air: Mostly N & O, small amounts of argon, CO2 and H2O. Air pollution- harmful substances in the unhealthy levels. Most from human activities Natural sources: volcanoes, dust, pollen and spores

3 Primary and Secondary Pollutants
Primary pollutants are put directly into air by human activity Secondary pollutants form when primary pollutants come in contact with each other naturally occurring substances. Ex: Ground level ozone- Emissions from cars and natural sources mix with oxygen and react with UV rays.

4 Sources of Primary Pollutants

5 Primary Air Pollutants

6 Sources of Primary Air Pollutants
Particulate matter- Fine and coarse particles From cement plants, mining, incinerators, wood-burning fireplaces, fields, and roads Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)- Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and chemicals From household products, power plants, and motor vehicles

7 The History of Air Pollution
2000 years ago, Roman philosopher, Seneca, complained of foul air. 1273, King Edward I made burning sea-coal illegal Worse today due to burning of fossil fuels

8 Motor Vehicle Emissions
1/3 of air pollution Clean Air Act, 1970 & 1990, gives EPA authority to regulate vehicle emissions Reduce lead in gasoline Catalytic converters 35% more fuel efficient with 95% fewer emissions than 30 years ago

9 Motor Vehicle Emissions
California Zero-Emission Vehicle Program 1990, CA Air Resources Board est. ZEV prgm. Vehicles w/ no tail pipe emissions and no emission control systems that deteriorate over time By 2016, 16% of vehicles sold in CA will be ZEV Electric Advanced batteries Hydrogen fueled Low emission cars Hybrid electric cars Methanol fueled cars

10 Industrial Air Pollution
Clean Air Act requires many industries to use scrubbers or other pollution-control devices Electrostatic precipitators- Remove dust particles from smoke stacks Remove 20 million tons of ash from coal plants each year Scrubbers- Remove harmful chemicals from gases by spraying them with water. Ex: Removal of ammonia

11 Industrial Air Pollution
Temperature Inversions- The air above is warmer than the air below, trapping air pollution near the earth’s surface Cities in valleys or surrounded by mountains (Ex: L.A.) Smog- Air pollution that hangs over urban areas and reduces visibility Main cause: pollutants released by vehicles and industry L.A., Denver, and Phoenix

12 Air, Noise, and Light Pollution
Chapter 12-AIR Air, Noise, and Light Pollution

13 Short-Term Effects of Air Pollution
Headache Nausea Irritation to eyes, nose, and throat Tightness in chest Coughing Upper respiratory infection Worsen emphysema and asthma

14 Long-Term Health Effects of Air Pollution
Emphysema Lung cancer Heart disease Worsen various medical conditions

15 Indoor Air Pollution Air quality in buildings can be worse than outside due to substances found in carpet, furniture, paint, etc. Ventilation is key to controlling Sick-building syndrome- Buildings that are securely sealed and harbor mold, fungi, etc. Common in hot or cold areas

16 Indoor Air Pollution Radon gas- Colorless, tasteless, and odorless
Produced by decay of Uranium Seeps up through cracks and holes where it adheres to dust Destroys genetic material in lung cells 2nd-leading cause of lung cancer

17 Indoor Air Pollution Asbestos- Long, thin fibers valued for their strength Used as insulation and fire retardant Banned in early 1970s Cut and scar lungs- Asbestosis Trouble breathing Eventual heart failure

18 Noise Pollution Sound measured in decibels (dB)
Intensity-loudness 120 dB causes pain with continuous exposure causing permanent deafness Unneeded noise can cause health problems Loss of hearing High blood pressure Stress

19 Light Pollution No direct hazard to human health
Inefficient lighting diminishes view of night sky Inefficient lighting is energy waste Light directed upward is lost into space Downward light is best Energy efficient light includes: Not using when not needed Low pressure sodium sources

20 Section 3- Acid Precipitation
Chapter 12- Air Section 3- Acid Precipitation

21 Acid Precipitation Precipitation such as rain, sleet, or snow with a high concentration of acids Sulfur and nitrogen oxides released when fossil fuels are burned Sulfuric and nitric acid fall as acid rain Pollutes water sources Kills living things

22 pH Scale Power of hydrogen From 0 to 14
Acidic from 0 to 6 (lower more acidic) Acid rain 5 and below; varies in different geographic areas Normal rain contains carbonic acid at pH of ~ 6 Basic from 8 to 14 (higher more basic) 7 is neutral (pure water)

23 Affects Soils and Plants
Acidification- Increase in amount of acid in soil and water Nutrients dissolved and washed away Toxic metals are released Aluminum causes root damage Sulfur dioxide clogs surface openings of plants

24 Acid Rain and Trees

25 Affects Aquatic Ecosystems
pH changes kill aquatic plants, fish, and other aquatic animals Aluminum from soil leaches into water;clogs gills of fish Acidification worse in spring when snow melts Acid Shock- Sudden increase in acid levels Fish die in large amounts Decreased egg production, hatches, and healthy offspring for amphibians and living fish Powdered limestone (calcium carbonate) neutralizes acid in water sources and soil

26 Acid Shock

27 Acid Precipitation and Humans
Toxins enter human body through crops, water and fish Respiratory problems in children Commercial and sport fishing affected by decreasing number of fish Calcium carbonate dissolves, destroying monuments, etc.

28 International Conflict and Cooperation
Pollution is put out in a different area from where the acid precipitation may fall Ex: S. East Canada gets acid precipitation from OH, IN, IL, PA, MO, WV, and TN pollution Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement- 1991 Reduce acidic emissions and acid precipitation

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