Notes on Air Pollution
Air Pollution: Obtaining and using certain energy resources -- fossil fuels and nuclear energy can pollute the air.
Most air pollution is caused by motor vehicles.
Temperature Inversion: Cool air near the earth’s surface is trapped under a layer of warm air. Pollutants are trapped with it.
· Pollutants produced by too much industry burning fossil fuels
· Results in eye irritations, lung and heart disease
· Donora Pennsylvania – 1948 had a severe temperature inversion – 20 people died thousands were hospitalized – lasted 4 days
· Los Angeles has many temperature inversions per year.
· Mostly caused by motor vehicles by the release of hydrocarbons due to fuel not being completely burned.
· Carbon monoxide (poisonous gas) is released into the atmosphere.
· These gases react in sunlight to form smog
· Results in eye irritations, breathing problems (especially dangerous to people with lung disease)
· Can damage or kill plants
· Los Angeles has so much smog that the air there is unhealthy 200 days per year!
The scale used to measure acidity is called the Ph scale. The pH scale is from 0 to 14. A pH below 7 is an acid, 7 is neutral, and above 7 is alkaline or a base. Water or precipitation should be 7, however it is usually between 5 and 6.
· Factories release sulfur oxides and nitrous oxides into the air through their smokestacks. (burning fossil fuel)
· These gases combine with water vapor in the atmosphere and form sulfuric acid and nitric acid.
· These acids fall back to the Earth by precipitation (Acid Rain) and pollute the air, land and waters of the Earth.
· Acid Rain is carried by wind currents to places far from their original source.
Indoor air pollution: Any gases released into the air inside buildings.
· Appliances, fireplaces, stoves, ovens, air fresheners, disinfectants, cleaning supplies and cigarette smoke are all sources of indoor air pollution
· Building insulation help to hold the pollutants inside longer.
· Breathing in the smoke of one cigarette is the equivalent of breathing in the smoggy air of Los Angeles for one week.