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Air and Noise Pollution
Air and Noise Pollution
Ch. 12
Ch. 12
Food for thought
Food for
thought
 “I thought I saw a blue jay this morning. But the smog was so bad,
“I thought I saw a blue jay
this morning. But the
smog was so bad, it turned
out to be a cardinal holding
its breath.”
Michael J. Cohen
Food for thought  “I thought I saw a blue jay this morning. But the smog
Food for thought  “I thought I saw a blue jay this morning. But the smog
 Humor is often used to get people’s attention. With your neighbor, use humor to complete
Humor is often used to get
people’s attention. With
your neighbor, use humor
to complete the following
sentence to draw attention
the air pollution problem.
You know the air is
polluted when….
What is in air?
What is in air?
Mixture of gases – 78% nitrogen – 21% oxygen – 1% argon, carbon dioxide, water vapor
Mixture of gases
– 78% nitrogen
– 21% oxygen
– 1% argon, carbon dioxide,
water vapor
Pollutants – harmful
materials that enter the
environment – picked up by
air currents

Air pollution 
Air pollution

Air pollution collection of harmful substances released into the atmosphere

 Some from natural sources – (sand, dust storms, volcanic eruptions, forest fires)  Human activity
Some from natural sources – (sand, dust
storms, volcanic eruptions, forest fires)
Human activity = major source of pollutants
that continues to grow
History of air pollution  Industrial revolution 1700’s – dependent on burning of wood and coal
History of air pollution
Industrial revolution 1700’s – dependent on
burning of wood and coal for fuel
Elevated air pollution to a widespread status
Illness and death due to air pollution sky
rocketed
Primary and secondary  Primary pollutants – put directly into the air by humans, i.e. smoke
Primary and secondary
Primary pollutants – put
directly into the air by
humans, i.e. smoke
Secondary pollutants –
primary pollutants react
with other substances in
the air, i.e ground-level
ozone
Outdoor pollutants Particulates – tiny solids suspended in the air – ash, dust, soot, plant pollen
Outdoor pollutants
Particulates – tiny solids suspended in the air
– ash, dust, soot, plant pollen
– Can be inhaled and become trapped in the lungs

Gases – usually oxides – compounds of oxygen and another element – Released when fossil fuels
Gases – usually oxides – compounds of
oxygen and another element
– Released when fossil fuels are burned

Outdoor pollutants Particulates – tiny solids suspended in the air – ash, dust, soot, plant pollen
 Photochemical smog – yellow brown haze formed when sunlight reacts with pollutants from cars –
Photochemical smog – yellow brown haze
formed when sunlight reacts with pollutants
from cars
– I. e. Ozone (O ) very corrosive, nitrogen dioxide –
brown gas, methane – from livestock and decaying
matter
3
Chlorofluorocarbons – (CFC’s) – compounds
of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon once used in
refrigerators, ac’s, aerosol cans, and the
production of foams
Indoor Pollutants  Indoor Pollutant effects are multiplied by poor air circulation and the long amounts
Indoor Pollutants
Indoor Pollutant effects are multiplied
by poor air circulation and the long
amounts of time people spend inside
Cigarette smoke – deadliest of all IP
Microorganisms – bacteria and fungi
from air ducts and vents
Radon – colorless, odorless, radioactive
gas – comes from soil when radium
breaks down
Asbestos – minerals that form in long
thin fibers – banned in US
Air pollution and living things  Pollution linked to many health problems and can worsen existing
Air pollution and living things
Pollution linked to many health
problems and can worsen existing
medical conditions
Carbon monoxide – binds to
hemoglobin in oxygen’s place
Ozone and oxides – irritate eyes
and respiratory tract
Emphysema – disease in which tiny
air sacs in the lungs break down
Lung Cancer – 150,000 deaths /
year in US

How does air pollution effect an ecosystem? Ozone and sulfur oxides – hazardous to plants, cause
How does air pollution effect an
ecosystem?
Ozone and sulfur oxides – hazardous to plants, cause
stems to be brittle and leaves spotted
US loses $10 million of crops / year due to AP
Loss of plants disrupts the food web and deprive
animals of food
Same health problems for animals as for humans
(cancer, lung irritation, etc.)
Temperature Inversions – usually warm air rises and
takes pollutants up into atmosphere
Sometimes the air near the ground is colder than the air
above
Pollutants become trapped near the surface of the
ground
– i.e. Los Angeles – cities in vallies
Global effects of air pollution – Acid rain – precipitation that is more acidic than normal
Global effects of air pollution
– Acid rain – precipitation that is more
acidic than normal
Normal precip = 5.6 pH
– Water in the atmosphere reacts with
sulfur and nitrous oxide to form nitric
acid and sulfuric acid
Strong and corrosive
– Falls on forests and accumulates in
mtn. lakes making them uninhabitable
by fish
Absence of aquatic life disrupts
ecosystems
– Damages trees and destroys forests
Controlling Air Pollution  Natural controls – precipitation is most effective – particles in air stick
Controlling Air Pollution
Natural controls – precipitation is most
effective
– particles in air stick to precip and fall to the
ground
– many aerosols dissolve in rain
– CO 2 removed biologically by plants and
microorganisms, also removed by ocean waters
(cooler temps hold more)
 Human controls – – Emission control standards for automobiles  catalytic converters remove pollutants from
Human controls –
– Emission control standards for automobiles
catalytic converters remove pollutants from
exhaust
Use unleaded gas, cars get better gas mileage
than in past (reduce lead pollution by 90%)
Will always put out some pollution when gas is
burned
Electric cars, hybrid cars
– Zero Emissions Vehicles – no tailpipe emissions
– Legistlation (EPA)– Clean Air Act 1970
Require pollution control devices in factories
Regulates vehicle emissions
– Power plants – Burn fossil fuels to produce
electricity
use techniques to remove pollutants from exhaust
Scrubbers – machine that moves gases through a
spray of water that removes many pollutants
Electrostatic precipitators – remove dust particles
from smoke stacks
Noise Pollution  Comes from airplanes, machinery, loud concerts, etc.  Causes annoyance, stress, hearing loss
Noise Pollution
Comes from airplanes,
machinery, loud concerts, etc.
Causes annoyance, stress,
hearing loss
Living things harmed by loud or
high-pitched sounds
Sound measured in decibels
– 70-80 dB = annoyance, hearing
loss
– 120 – 130 dB = physical pain and
hearing damage
Noise Control Act 1972 – sets
standards for maximum noise
levels in workplace