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Lecture 15

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Western University
Earth Sciences
Earth Sciences 2250Y
Tom Haffie

Airborne Hazards  Outdoor Air Quality: Six Common Air Pollutants o Ground Level Ozone o Particulate Matter o Carbon Monoxide o Nitrogen Oxides o Sulphur Oxides o Lead OZONE (O 3  VOC (volatile organic compounds) + NOx+ Heat + Sunlight = Ozone  Can be pollutant if formed on ground level (bad) but contributes to the protection from UV radiation high in the stratosphere (good)  Bad ozone is formed summertime and its production also depends on the time of day (e.g. highest in afternoon), season and climate (e.g. higher levels in Mexico City and L.A. compared to Toronto)  Transported over long distances, thus rural areas are equally affected as urban areas and as well they can travel from south (warmer) to the north (colder)  Damages lungs (small airways). Why? Because ozone cannot dissolve into water. It does not dissolve in upper levels of our airways but further down and closer to our lungs and execute damage.  Leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and nausea  It may irritate and damage eyes, nose, sinuses and throat Particulate Matter (PM)  Particles (liquid, solid) found in air (e.g. dust, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets)  They can be produced by combustion process and as well be produced in the air in the combination of solid particles with water or water vapour  They can be big or small  The size is proportional to the amount of
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