Ch 19 - Air Polution - Chapter 19 Air Pollution Chapter...

Info icon This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Chapter 19 Air Pollution Chapter Overview Questions What layers are found in the atmosphere? What are the major outdoor air pollutants, and where do they come from? What are two types of smog? What is acid deposition, and how can it be reduced? What are the harmful effects of air pollutants? How can we prevent and control air pollution? Video: Smog Pollution This video clip is available in CNN Today Videos for Environmental Science, 2004, Volume VII. Instructors, contact your local sales representative to order this volume, while supplies last. Core Case Study: When Is a Lichen Like a Canary? Lichens can warn us of bad air because they absorb it as a source of nourishment. Figure 19-1 Core Case Study: When Is a Lichen Like a Canary? Some lichen species are sensitive to specific air-polluting chemicals. After Chernobyl, more than 70,000 reindeer had to be killed because they ate highly radioactive lichens. Because lichens are widespread, long-lived, and anchored in place, they can help track pollution to its source. STRUCTURE AND SCIENCE OF THE ATMOSPHERE The atmosphere consists of several layers with different temperatures, pressures, and compositions. Figure 19-2 Atmospheric pressure (millibars) Temperature Pressure Thermosphere Heating via ozone Mesosphere Stratopause Stratosphere Altitude (miles) Altitude (kilometers) Mesopause Tropopause Ozone “layer” Heating from the earth Troposphere (Sea level) Temperature (˚C) Pressure = 1,000 millibars at ground level Fig. 19-2, p. 440 STRUCTURE AND SCIENCE OF THE ATMOSPHERE The atmosphere’s innermost layer (troposphere) is made up mostly of nitrogen and oxygen, with smaller amounts of water vapor and CO2. Ozone in the atmosphere’s second layer (stratosphere) filters out most of the sun’s UV radiation that is harmful to us and most other species. AIR POLLUTION Some primary air pollutants may react with one another or with other chemicals in the air to form secondary air pollutants. Figure 19-3 Primary Pollutants CO CO2 SO2 NO NO2 Most hydrocarbons Most suspended particles Sources Natural Secondary Pollutants SO3 HNO3 H3SO4 H2O2 O3 PANs Most NO3– and SO42– salts Stationary Mobile Fig. 19-3, p. 442 Major Air Pollutants Carbon oxides: Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly toxic gas that forms during the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials. 93% of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the troposphere occurs as a result of the carbon cycle. 7% of CO2 in the troposphere occurs as a result of human activities (mostly burning fossil fuels). • It is not regulated as a pollutant under the U.S. Clean Air Act. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Should carbon dioxide be regulated as an air pollutant? a. No. Because funds are limited, they should be spent on regulating and reducing more toxic air pollutants, such as mercury. b. Yes. Carbon dioxide is a serious greenhouse gas and its emissions must be regulated and reduced. Major Air Pollutants Nitrogen oxides and nitric acid: Nitrogen oxide (NO) forms when nitrogen and oxygen gas in air react at the high-combustion temperatures in automobile engines and coalburning plants. NO can also form from lightening and certain soil bacteria. • NO reacts with air to form NO2. • NO2 reacts with water vapor in the air to form nitric acid (HNO3) and nitrate salts (NO3-) which are components of acid deposition. Major Air Pollutants Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfuric acid: About one-third of SO2 in the troposphere occurs naturally through the sulfur cycle. Two-thirds come from human sources, mostly combustion (S+ O2 SO2) of sulfur-containing coal and from oil refining and smelting of sulfide ores. SO2 in the atmosphere can be converted to sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and sulfate salts (SO42-) that return to earth as a component of acid deposition. Major Air Pollutants Suspended particulate matter (SPM) : Consists of a variety of solid particles and liquid droplets small and light enough to remain suspended in the air. The most harmful forms of SPM are fine particles (PM-10, with an average diameter < 10 micrometers) and ultrafine particles (PM-2.5). According to the EPA, SPM is responsible for about 60,000 premature deaths a year in the U.S. Major Air Pollutants Ozone (O3): Is a highly reactive gas that is a major component of photochemical smog. It can • • • Cause and aggravate respiratory illness. Can aggravate heart disease. Damage plants, rubber in tires, fabrics, and paints. Major Air Pollutants Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) : Most are hydorcarbons emitted by the leaves of many plants and methane. About two thirds of global methane emissions comes from human sources. Other VOCs include industrial solvents such as trichlorethylene (TCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. • Long-term exposure to benzene can cause cancer, blood disorders, and immune system damage. Major Air Pollutants Radon (Rn): Is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in some types of soil and rock. It can seep into homes and buildings sitting above such deposits. URBAN OUTDOOR AIR POLLUTION Industrial smog is a mixture of sulfur dioxide, droplets of sulfuric acid, and a variety of suspended solid particles emitted mostly by burning coal. In most developed countries where coal and heavy oil is burned, industrial smog is not a problem due to reasonably good pollution control or with tall smokestacks that transfer the pollutant to rural areas. Case Study: South Asia’s Massive Brown Cloud A huge dark brown cloud of industrial smog, caused by coal-burning in countries such as China and India, stretches over much of southeastern Asia. In areas beneath the cloud, photosynthesis is reduced interfering with crop development. Fine particles and droplets in the cloud appear to be changing regional climates (including rainfall). • May have contributed to floods in 2002 and 2005 which killed thousands of people. Sunlight plus Cars Equals Photochemical Smog Photochemical smog is a mixture of air pollutants formed by the reaction of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic hydrocarbons under the influence of sunlight. Sunlight plus Cars Equals Photochemical Smog Mexico City is one of the many cities in sunny, warm, dry climates with many motor vehicles that suffer from photochemical smog. Figure 19-4 Factors Influencing Levels of Outdoor Air Pollution Outdoor air pollution can be reduced by: settling out, precipitation, sea spray, winds, and chemical reactions. Outdoor air pollution can be increased by: urban buildings (slow wind dispersal of pollutants), mountains (promote temperature inversions), and high temperatures (promote photochemical reactions). Temperature Inversions Cold, cloudy weather in a valley surrounded by mountains can trap air pollutants (left). Areas with sunny climate, light winds, mountains on three sides and an ocean on the other (right) are susceptible to inversions. Figure 19-5 Descending warm air mass Warmer air Inversion layer Inversion layer Sea breeze Increasing altitude Decreasing temperature Fig. 19-5, p. 447 ACID DEPOSITION Sulfur dioxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulates can react in the atmosphere to produce acidic chemicals that can travel long distances before returning to the earth’s surface. Tall smokestacks reduce local air pollution but can increase regional air pollution. ACID DEPOSITION Acid deposition consists of rain, snow, dust, or gas with a pH lower than 5.6. Figure 19-6 Wind Transformation to sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO3) Nitric oxide (NO) Acid fog Windborne ammonia gas and particles of cultivated soil partially neutralize acids and form dry sulfate and nitrate salts Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and NO Dry acid deposition (sulfur dioxide gas and particles of sulfate and nitrate salts) Farm Ocean Lakes in deep soil high in limestone are buffered Wet acid depostion (droplets of H2SO4 and HNO3 dissolved in rain and snow) Lakes in shallow soil low in limestone become acidic Fig. 19-6, p. 448 ACID DEPOSITION pH measurements in relation to major coal- burning and industrial plants. Figure 19-7 ACID DEPOSITION Acid deposition contributes to chronic respiratory disease and can leach toxic metals (such as lead and mercury) from soils and rocks into acidic lakes used as sources for drinking water. ACID DEPOSITION Figure 19-8 ACID DEPOSITION Air pollution is one of several interacting stresses that can damage, weaken, or kill trees and pollute surface and groundwater. Figure 19-9 Emissions SO2 Acid H O 2 2 deposition PANs NOx O3 Others Reduced photosynthesis and growth Direct damage to leaves & bark Tree death Soil acidification Leaching Lake Acids of soil nutrients Groundwater Susceptibility to drought, extreme cold, insects, mosses, & disease organisms Release of toxic metal ions Root damage Reduced nutrient & water uptake Fig. 19-9, p. 451 Solutions Acid Deposition Prevention Reduce air pollution by improving energy efficiency Cleanup Add lime to neutralize acidified lakes Reduce coal use Increase natural gas use Increase use of renewable energy resources Add phosphate fertilizer to neutralize acidified lakes Burn low-sulfur coal Remove SO2 particulates & NOx from smokestack gases Remove NOx from motor vehicular exhaust Tax emissions of SO2 Fig. 19-10, p. 452 INDOOR AIR POLLUTION Indoor air pollution usually is a greater threat to human health than outdoor air pollution. According to the EPA, the four most dangerous indoor air pollutants in developed countries are: Tobacco smoke. Formaldehyde. Radioactive radon-222 gas. Very small fine and ultrafine particles. Chloroform Para-dichlorobenzene Tetrachloroethylene Formaldehyde 1, 1, 1Trichloroethane Styrene Nitrogen Oxides Benzo--pyrene Particulates Tobacco Smoke Asbestos Carbon Monoxide Radon-222 Methylene Chloride Fig. 19-11, p. 453 INDOOR AIR POLLUTION Household dust mites that feed on human skin and dust, live in materials such as bedding and furniture fabrics. Can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions in some people. Figure 19-12 Case Study: Radioactive Radon Radon-222, a radioactive gas found in some soils and rocks, can seep into some houses and increase the risk of lung cancer. Sources and paths of entry for indoor radon-222 gas. gas Figure 19-13 Outlet vents for furnaces and dryers Open window Openings Cracks around in wall pipes Slab joints Wood stove Clothes Furnace dryer Sla b Radon-222 gas Cracks in floor Sump pump Uranium-238 Soil Fig. 19-13, p. 454 HEALTH EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION Your respiratory system can help protect you from air pollution, but some air pollutants can overcome these defenses. Figure 19-14 Epithelial cell Cilia Goblet cell (secreting mucus) Nasal cavity Oral cavity Pharynx (throat) Mucus Trachea (windpipe) Bronchioles Bronchus Alveolar duct Right lung Alveolar sac (sectioned) Alveoli Bronchioles Fig. 19-14, p. 455 HEALTH EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION Normal human lungs (left) and the lungs of a person who died of emphysema (right). Figure 19-15 Air Pollution is a Big Killer Each year, air pollution prematurely kills about 3 million people, mostly from indoor air pollution in developing countries. In the U.S., the EPA estimates that annual deaths related to indoor and outdoor air pollution range from 150,000 to 350,000. According to the EPA, each year more than 125,000 Americans get cancer from breathing diesel fumes. Air Pollution is a Big Killer Spatial distribution of premature deaths from air pollution in the United States. Figure 19-16 PREVENTING AND REDUCING AIR POLLUTION The Clean Air Acts in the United States have greatly reduced outdoor air pollution from six major pollutants: Carbon monoxide Nitrogen oxides Sulfur dioxides Suspended particulate matter (less than PM-10) PREVENTING AND REDUCING AIR POLLUTION Environmental scientists point out several deficiencies in the Clean Air Act: The U.S. continues to rely on cleanup rather than prevention. The U.S. Congress has failed to increase fuelefficiency standards for automobiles. Regulation of emissions from motorcycles and two-cycle engines remains inadequate. There is little or no regulation of air pollution from oceangoing ships in American ports. PREVENTING AND REDUCING AIR POLLUTION Airports are exempt from many air pollution regulations. The Act does not regulate the greenhouse gas CO2. The Act has failed to deal seriously with indoor air pollution. There is a need for better enforcement of the Clean Air Act. PREVENTING AND REDUCING AIR POLLUTION Executives of companies claim that correcting these deficiencies would cost too much, harm economic growth, and cost jobs. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access the “Polls Clicker Questions” from the PowerLecture main menu. Should the 1990 U.S. Clean Air Act be strengthened? a. No. Strengthening the Act would be too expensive and would harm the economy. b. Yes. Strengthening the Act would improve the environment and people's health, save energy, and ultimately save money. Using the Marketplace to Reduce Outdoor Air Pollution To help reduce SO2 emissions, the Clean Air Act authorized and emission trading (capand-trade) program. Enables the 110 most polluting power plants to buy and sell SO2 pollution rights. Between 1990-2002, the emission trading system reduced emissions. In 2002, the EPA reported the cap-and-trade system produced less emission reductions than were projected. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access the “Polls Clicker Questions” from the PowerLecture main menu. Should emissions trading be used to help control emissions of all major air pollutants? a. No. Emissions trading has no system for verifying compliance and eliminating "hot spots" of air pollution. b. Yes. Emissions trading is an efficient and effective way of reducing air pollution. Solutions: Reducing Outdoor Air Pollution There are a of ways to prevent and control air pollution from coal-burning facilities. Electrostatic precipitator: are used to attract negatively charged particles in a smokestack into a collector. Wet scrubber: fine mists of water vapor trap particulates and convert them to a sludge that is collected and disposed of usually in a landfill. Electrostatic Precipitator Can remove 99% of particulate matter Does not remove hazardous ultrafine particles. Produces toxic dust that must be safely disposed of. Uses large amounts of electricity Figure 19-18 Clean gas out Negatively charged electrode Positively charged precipitator wall Dirty gas (smoke) in Dust falls off into collector Taken to landfill Fig. 19-18a, p. 460 Wet Scrubber Can remove 98% of SO2 and particulate matter. Not very effective in removing hazardous fine and ultrafine particles. Figure 19-18 Clean gas out Separator Liquid water in Dirty gas (smoke) in Polluted liquid (sludge) out Fig. 19-18b, p. 460 Solutions Stationary Source Air Pollution Prevention Dispersion or Cleanup Burn low-sulfur coal Disperse emissions above thermal inversion layer with tall smokestacks Remove sulfur from coal Convert coal to a liquid or gaseous fuel Shift to less polluting fuels Remove pollutants after combustion Tax each unit of pollution produced Fig. 19-17, p. 459 Solutions: Reducing Outdoor Air Pollution In 2003, fourteen states and a number of U.S. cities sued the EPA to block new rules that would allow older coal-burning power plants to modernize without having to install the most advanced air pollution controls. How Would You Vote? To conduct an instant in-class survey using a classroom response system, access “JoinIn Clicker Content” from the PowerLecture main menu for Living in the Environment. Should older coal-burning power and industrial plants have to meet the same air pollution standards as new facilities? a. No. The private sector should not have to upgrade existing facilities every time the regulations change. b. Yes. All facilities should comply with current regulations so that the environment and human health are effectively protected. Solutions: Reducing Outdoor Air Pollution There are a of ways to prevent and control air pollution from motor vehicles. Because of the Clean Air Act, a new car today in the U.S. emits 75% less pollution than did pre1970 cars. There is and increase in motor vehicle use in developing countries and many have no pollution control devices and burn leaded gasoline. Solutions Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Prevention Mass transit Bicycles and walking Cleanup Emission control devices Less polluting engines Less polluting fuels Improve fuel efficiency Car exhaust inspections twice a year Get older, polluting cars off the road Give buyers large tax write-offs or rebates for buying low-polluting, energy efficient vehicles Stricter emission standards Fig. 19-19, p. 460 Indoor Air Pollution Little effort has been devoted to reducing indoor air pollution even though it poses a much greater threat to human health than outdoor air pollution. Environmental and health scientists call for us to focus on preventing air pollution (especially indoor) in developing countries. Solutions Indoor Air Pollution Prevention Cover ceiling tiles & lining of AC ducts to prevent release of mineral fibers Ban smoking or limit it to well ventilated areas Set stricter formaldehyde emissions standards for carpet, furniture, and building materials Prevent radon infiltration Use office machines in well ventilated areas Use less polluting substitutes for harmful cleaning agents, paints, and other products Cleanup or Dilution Use adjustable fresh air vents for work spaces Increase intake of outside air Change air more frequently Circulate a building’s air through rooftop green houses Use exhaust hoods for stoves and appliances burning natural gas Install efficient chimneys for wood-burning stoves Fig. 19-20, p. 461 What Can You Do? Indoor Air Pollution • Test for radon and formaldehyde inside your home and take corrective measures as needed. • Do not buy furniture and other products containing formaldehyde. • Remove your shoes before entering your house to reduce inputs of dust, lead, and pesticides. • Test your house or workplace for asbestos fiber levels and for any crumbling asbestos materials if it was built before 1980. • Don't live in a pre-1980 house without having its indoor air tested for asbestos and lead. • Do not store gasoline, solvents, or other volatile hazardous chemicals inside a home or attached garage. • If you smoke, do it outside or in a closed room vented to the outside. • Make sure that wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, and keroseneand gas-burning heaters are properly installed, vented, and maintained. • Install carbon monoxide detectors in all sleeping areas. Fig. 19-21, p. 461 Solutions Air Pollution Outdoor Improve energy efficiency to reduce fossil fuel use Rely more on lower-polluting natural gas Rely more on renewable energy (especially solar cells, wind, & solar-produced hydrogen) Transfer technologies for latest energy efficiency, renewable energy, & pollution prevention to developing countries Indoor Reduce poverty Distribute cheap & efficient cookstoves or solar cookers to poor families in developing countries Reduce or ban indoor smoking Develop simple and cheap tests for indoor pollutants such as particulates, radon, and formaldehyde Fig. 19-22, p. 462 ...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern