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Lecture

Study Guide for Lecture 2: with information from lecture slides + information added by prof during lecture

7 Pages
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Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA10H3
Professor
Jovan Stefanovic

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EESA10 – Human Health and the Environment
LECTURE 2
-Smog and air pollution became problems in the beginning of the industrial revolution
Slide: Case Study 1: London Smog, 1952
-2 weeks of December 1952, London is known for humid air and during those 15 days,
temperature was relatively low, humidity was high (80%), air was stagnant/still; cold
weather and fog increased the demand for heating (coal burning)
-Huge amount of ash, particulate matter, and sulphuric acid was released in a short period
of time by the burning of coal in still air (in addition to coal already being burnt by
industries)
-About 4000 people died as a result of the air pollution/smog
oThe peak in the number of deaths coincided with the peak in both smoke and
sulphur dioxide levels (as shown in slide figure)
-The crisis was solved by changing the climate; serves as a warning for other countries of
the need to improve air quality
-Southern ON has many heavily polluted cities (Hamilton, Kitchener, etc)
Slide: Case Study 2: Indonesian Fires, 1997
-Slash and burn practices: common in tropical countries; burn down a forest to clear the
area, use the land for agriculture and then after a few years, abandon the area and move
onto to burn another one
-During this particular incident, the rain was late, so people used the period to burn even
more areas, and since the rain was not on time to put out the fire, it spread fast and wide
-Problem solved when the rain came
-Huge amount of particulate matter (ashes) leaked into the atmosphere
Slide: Outdoor Air Pollution
-Air pollution can be divided into human sources and natural sources
oHuman sources can be further divided into stationary (industries) and mobile
(vehicles)
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-All of these sources produce similar primary air pollutants (CO, SO2, NO, CO2, NO2).
When primary pollutants are released into the atmosphere, they will react with the normal
chemicals in the atmosphere to yield secondary air pollutants (HNO2, HNO3, H2O2, O3,
SO3, H2SO4, PANs)
Slide: Health effects of Outdoor Air Pollution
-The effects depend on the dose or concentration
-The primary effects of outdoor air pollution are: toxic poisoning, cancer, birth defects, eye
irritation, respiratory system irritation, increased susceptibility to heart disease,
aggravation to chronic diseases
-Health effects start with non-severe symptoms (i.e. flu, eye irritation)
-If the exposure lasts longer (or the dose is higher), the symptoms may get more severe
(poisoning, cancer, etc.)
Slide: Particulate Matter
-Particles found in the air (dust, soot, smoke, liquid droplets)
-Both solid and liquid forms, big and small
-Particles can be produced in the air or due to combustion processes
-Scientists used to concentrate on particulates less than 10 micros in size (PM10), but they
now focus on those less than 25 micros because it is believed that particulates that small
are able to reach airway openings in the lungs.
-How much harm particulates cause depends on their size; smaller than 2.5 are harmful
because at this size, they can reach the lower levels of our lungs and further still. (those
smaller than 2.5 are created by vehicles, burning, construction)
Slide: Carbon Monoxide
-Odourless, colourless gas created in the incomplete combustion of carbon containing
fuels.
-1000 people die each year as a result of CO poisoning
-Carbon monoxide poisoning is difficult to recognize and diagnose, very fatal
-CO interferes with the delivery of oxygen; RBCs carry oxygen, CO has a higher affinity
to RBCs than to oxygen, so when we come into contact with CO, we take up CO and not
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Description
EESA10 Human Health and the Environment LECTURE 2 - Smog and air pollution became problems in the beginning of the industrial revolution Slide: Case Study 1: London Smog, 1952 - 2 weeks of December 1952, London is known for humid air and during those 15 days, temperature was relatively low, humidity was high (80%), air was stagnantstill; cold weather and fog increased the demand for heating (coal burning) - Huge amount of ash, particulate matter, and sulphuric acid was released in a short period of time by the burning of coal in still air (in addition to coal already being burnt by industries) - About 4000 people died as a result of the air pollutionsmog o The peak in the number of deaths coincided with the peak in both smoke and sulphur dioxide levels (as shown in slide figure) - The crisis was solved by changing the climate; serves as a warning for other countries of the need to improve air quality - Southern ON has many heavily polluted cities (Hamilton, Kitchener, etc) Slide: Case Study 2: Indonesian Fires, 1997 - Slash and burn practices: common in tropical countries; burn down a forest to clear the area, use the land for agriculture and then after a few years, abandon the area and move onto to burn another one - During this particular incident, the rain was late, so people used the period to burn even more areas, and since the rain was not on time to put out the fire, it spread fast and wide - Problem solved when the rain came - Huge amount of particulate matter (ashes) leaked into the atmosphere Slide: Outdoor Air Pollution - Air pollution can be divided into human sources and natural sources o Human sources can be further divided into stationary (industries) and mobile (vehicles) www.notesolution.com
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