Common Environmental Factors Air Pollution Noise Pollution Soil and Water Pollution and Related Contamintants.

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Post on 25-Dec-2015




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  • Common Environmental Factors Air Pollution Noise Pollution Soil and Water Pollution and Related Contamintants
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  • i) Air Pollution a) Carbon Monoxide (CO) - Clear, odourless gas; results from partially burning organic material without enough oxygen; released when people smoke, use spray paint, pain remover, etc.
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  • Air Pollution b) Sulphur Dioxide (SO 2 ) - smells; results from burning fuels that contain sulphur - Example: fossil fuels (oil, coal); volcanoes release SO 2 ; 90% SO 2 in North America comes from human activity; can combine with different chemicals in air and form harmful contaminants ie) sulphuric acid in acid rain
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  • c) Oxides of Nitrogen (NO x ) -formed when oxygen reacts with Nitrogen at high temperatures; almost all NO x comes from burning fossil fuels in automobile engines and at power stations; cigarette smoke etc; can also react with different chemicals in air to form other contaminants...... Air Pollution
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  • d) Particulate Matter -results from many different human activities -air outside can contain: ash from factory smokestacks, smoke from forest fires, manure, soil, fertilizer particles -air inside can contain: fibreglass particles, concrete and wood dust - irritating to skin and respiratory system; acts as vehicle for other harmful contaminants ie) nitric and sulphuric acid o SO 2 + NO x + particulate matter = sulphuric acid (H 2 SO 4 ), causing acid rain o Acid Rain lakes too acidic to support aquatic life; reacts with limestone and damages buildings and monuments
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  • e) Hydrocarbons and Photochemical Smog - Hydrocarbons: combination of hydrogen & carbon that evaporates from fuel, such as gasoline, left over fuels that only partially combusted; only cause health effects to humans when combined with other pollutants - ex. photochemcial smog ultraviolet radiation from the sun helps hydrocarbons to combine with NO x to produce photochemical smog photochemical smog: has ozone (O 3 ) and nitrates in it Ozone destroys plants and injures human lungs Nitrate irritates eyes Air Pollution
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  • Overall, large cities surrounded by mountains suffer most; mountains prevent wind from blowing smog away; Calgary, Vancouver, and Los Angeles all receive significant smog when west wind does not disperse airborne pollutants
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  • Air Pollution Ultraviolet Radiation (UV Rays) Assists in forming photochemical smog & impacts on human health on its own Form of energy that sun emits; type of electromagnetic radiation Can cause cell damage & deformities in living organisms (so much energy in waves) 3 types: UVA, UVB, UVC UVC has most energy = most dangerous; UVA least energetic
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  • Air Pollution: UV Rays Ozone layer used to filter out 99% of UV rays, has been depleted by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from human built mechanisms (fridges, air conditions, etc) = more UV rays penetrating earths surface CFCs no longer being used in most appliances but already existing ones will continue to erode ozone layer for years until they eventually break down Chlorofluorocarbons: group of air pollutants called Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) = global warming GHGContribution to Global Warming (%) Carbon Dioxide60 Chlorofluorocarbons22 Methane12 Nitrous Oxide6
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  • Air Pollution more heat = number and strength of hurricanes and storms increase extreme heat waves are more common now Example: Europe, 2003 caused drought in southern Europe and over 30,000 people died because of heat
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  • Air Pollution Increase temperature = effect on living organisms at north and south poles Global Warming = reduce sea ice in arctic ~ ice reflects suns heat back into atmosphere & open water absorbs heat, therefore more heat is being retained Polar Bears need ice to hunt seals and other prey = may not survive Global Warming
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  • Sources of emissions of air pollutants:


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