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Lecture 2- Airborn Pollutants.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies

Lecture 2: Airborne Hazards and Human Health 18/01/2012 Case study #1: London Smog, 1952 -tremendous amount of gases released -the level of gases was very high where the environment began to struggle -the major evidence was the London smog in December 1952 this event lasted no longer than 5 -7 days -the temperature was around minus 1 or 2 around this time which required intense heating of the homes - the whole economy relied on coal as energy supply The coal that was burn at that time was called soft coal with a significant supple of sulphur which was released in the atmosphere -the smog was so thick -people got choked because of the chemical substance of sulphuric acid -industry contributed to it not just heating homes -nothing could be done for this problem around time -about 4000 people died due to adverse effect of sulphur -this was the landmark of the problem of air pollutants -the governments: the first thing is they replaced coal with something else Case study #2: Indonesian Fires, 1997 -Agricultural practise: is called slash and burn: trees are cut and or burned ignited fire which is controlled, in order to clear the landed to be used for agriculture -1997 year was very dry and the rain arrived later than usual Airborne hazards Sources of outdoor air pollution - can be several different chemical elements and compounds -not all of from the ground some are made in the air Health Effects of Outdoor air pollution -some people can get asthma when exposed or already have it Particular Matter - PM10 is particle is 10 or less - PM 2.5 is equal to smaller which is more focused today and they are the most dangerous; they can travel farthest in our breathing system and can damage our lungs can cause bigger problems Carbon Monoxide - Usually too late when something is wrong because its very toxic and poisoning - The person will loose coordination, headache, weakness and confusion, struggling to do something (opening door, or car with struggle) Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) -any form of combustion -ground level ozone formation -may damage upper airways with intensive exercise (jogging, breathing more air) -air pollution is not a localized problem; it is a global problem Sulphur Oxides - Crude oil burning, and coal - Very soluble in water and effect upper airways - Can form compounds which are very toxic VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) - In roo
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