Chapter 13: Air Pollution - Worth County School District

Chapter 13: Air Pollution - Worth County School District

Air Pollution 3/11/2014 Describe how we can reduce the amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere Answer Factories

Dust/dirt Exhaust from vehicles, etc. Air Pollutant Types

Air pollutants are airborne particles and gasses that occur in concentrations that endanger the health and well-being of organisms. Pollutants can be grouped into two categories:

(1) primary pollutants, which are emitted directly from identifiable sources, and (2) secondary pollutants, which are produced in the atmosphere when certain chemical reactions take place among primary pollutants.

Primary Pollutants The major primary pollutants include:

particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and lead.

Secondary Pollutants Air pollution in urban and industrial areas is often called smog.

Photochemical smog, a noxious mixture of gases and particles, is produced when strong sunlight triggers photochemical reactions in the atmosphere. The major component of photochemical smog is ozone. Controlling Air Pollution

through Regulations The Clean Air Act of 1970 mandated the setting of standards for four of the primary pollutants

particulates, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and Nitrogen as well as the secondary pollutant ozone.

Have Regulations Helped? In 1997, the emissions of the five major primary pollutants in the United States were

about 31 percent lower than 1970. In 1990, Congress passed the Clean Air Act Amendments, which further tightened controls on air quality. Air Pollution Occurrences

Two of the most important atmospheric conditions affecting the dispersion of pollutants are: (1) the strength of the wind and (2) the stability of the air.

Air Mixing The vertical distance between Earth's surface and the height to which convectional movements extend is called the mixing depth. Inversions

Temperature inversions represent a situation in which the atmosphere is very stable and the mixing depth is significantly restricted. Surface temperature inversions form because the

ground is a more effective radiator than the air above. Inversion An Inversion Aloft Acid Precipitation

This acidic rain or snow, formed when sulfur and nitrogen oxides produced as by-products of combustion and industrial activity are converted into acids, called acid precipitation. Acid Precipitation (cont.)

Besides producing water that is toxic to fish, acid precipitation has also detrimentally altered ecosystems. Healthy lungs Asbestos

Lung cancer Key Terminology Natural air pollution Secondary pollutants Photochemical smog Ozone Mixing depth

Surface inversion Acid Precipitation Primary pollutants Smog Photochemical reactions Clean Air Act (1970)

Inversion Inversion aloft

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