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Fig. 18.

Atmospheric pressure (millibars) 0 200 400 600 800 120 110 100 90 Temperature Pressure Thermosphere Mesopause Heating via ozone Mesosphere Stratopause Stratosphere 25 Tropopause Ozone layer Heating from the earth Troposphere 80 40 0 40 Temperature (C) 80 15 45 55 1,000 75 65

78%N, 21% O Ozone layer Greenhouse effect

Altitude (kilometers)

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0


(Sea Level)

120Pressure = 1,000 millibars at ground level

Altitude (miles)

Primary Air Pollutants

Are those pollutants which entered directly in the atmosphere.

Secondary Air Pollutants

Are those pollutants which are formed due to the reaction of primary air pollutants in atmosphere Are the result of human activities Are harmful for humans Eg. Sulphur oxides

Is a highly reactive gas that is a major component of photochemical smog. It can Cause and aggravate respiratory

illness Aggravate heart disease.

It is one of the most serious air pollutant. It is colourless , odourless and tasteless. It is 96.5% as heavy as air. Sources: Incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Conversion of methane products by bacteria. Reaction of co2 with carbon compounds at high temperature.

The Two oxides of sulphur i.e. SO2 and SO3 are the most serious pollutants of the atmosphere . Both are the colourless gases with pungent smell. Sources: Volcanic Erruption Thermal Power Plants Smelting Industries

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.

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

Spatial distribution of premature deaths from air pollution in the United States.

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.

What is the Greenhouse effect?

The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere trap heat from the Suns rays.

One of the greatest threats caused by air pollution is global warming. Global warming is caused by a build-up of greenhouses gases, which leads to an increase in the Earths temperature. A greenhouse gas is an atmospheric gas that absorbs infrared light. Key greenhouses gases include: carbon dioxide (CO2) methane (CH4) vapour (H2O) water nitrous oxide (N2O)

Carbon dioxide is released when fuels like gas, coal, oil, petrol and wood are burned. Greenhouse gases cause the temperature of the Earth to rise slowly. This causes climate change. Methane released from cattle and rice fields is also a greenhouse gas.

Most fuels contain carbon Carbon dioxide released when fuel burned

Extra carbon dioxide in the air slows down heat loss from Earth

Climate change

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.

Respiratory diseases Toxic metal leaching Decreased visibility Damage to structures, especially containing limestone Decreased productivity of fisheries, forests, and farms

Acid deposition consists of rain, snow, dust, or gas with a pH lower than 5.6.

Clean Air Act National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Primary and secondary standards Emission Trading Policy

What is the carbon sink?

Before the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels were usually kept in check by the carbon sink forests and oceans that capture and store carbon. forests - All green plants absorb carbon dioxide as part of photosynthesis. The absorbed carbon is only released back into the atmosphere when the plant dies and rots, or is burned. oceans Carbon dioxide dissolves in sea water, depending on the temperature and pressure. Tiny marine animals called phytoplankton extract carbon from the carbon dioxide to make their skeletons and shells.

To help reduce SO2 emissions, the Clean Air Act authorized and emission trading (cap-and-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.


are a of number 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 pre-1970 cars. There is and increase in motor vehicle use in developing countries and many have no pollution control devices and burn leaded gasoline.

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 kerosene- and gas-burning heaters are properly installed, vented, and maintained. Install carbon monoxide detectors in all sleeping areas.