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Lecture 2

EESA10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Dander, Asbestosis, Formaldehyde

Environmental Science
Course Code
Jovan Stefanovic

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Week 2- Lecture 2
Airborne Hazards and Human Health
Case Study
1) London Smog of December 1952 “Great Smog”
- was a severe air pollution event that affected London during December 1952. A
period of cold weather, combined with an anticyclone and windless conditions,
collected airborne pollutants mostly from coal burning to form a thick layer of smog
over the city.
- . The peak in the number of deaths coincided with the peak in both smoke and
sulphur dioxide pollution levels- the deaths are mostly from lung infections
exacerbated by chronic bronchitis- on the graph = 3600 deaths
2) Indonesian Fires of 1997
- Caused mainly by slash and burn techniques adopted by farmers in Indonesia
Airborne Hazards
Outdoor air pollution
- Primary pollutants from human sources eg. Factories, automobiles
o Particulate matter (big/small has serious health effects)
o Particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5)
o Particles found in the air (dust, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets)
o Vehicles, factories, construction sites, tilled fields, stone crashing, burning
o Some formed in the air
o Carbon monoxide
Odourless, colourless gas
Incomplete burning of carbon containing fuels
Heaters, woodstoves, gas stoves, fireplaces, water heaters, automobile
exhaust, tobacco smoke
1 000 people die each year in USA as result of CO poisoning
Have the same symptoms as of flu or food poisoning
Fetuses, infants, elderly and people with heart and respiratory illnesses
are at high risk for adverse health effects
CO can interfere with the binding of Oxygen to the blood can
worsen cardiovascular conditions, nausea, headache, vomiting.
o Nitrogen oxides
Formed in any type of combustion process
Involved in formation of ground level ozone
Form nitrate particles, acid aerosols
Contribute in formation of acid rain
Transported over long distances
o Sulphur oxides
Burning of coal and oil, extraction of metals from ore
SO2 dissolve in water vapour to form acids
Acids react with other gases and particles and form sulphates
Transported over long distances
Respiratory illnesses, aggravates existing heart and lung diseases
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