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AS.280.335 (10)
Lecture 6

AS.280.335 Lecture 6: Lecture 6 Notes
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Department
AS Public Health Studies, AS Earth & Planetary Sciences, EN Geography & Environmental Engineering
Course Code
AS.280.335
Professor
Yager, James D.; Bressler, Joseph P.

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September 22, 2016
Air Pollution
Donora, PA was a big reason the Clean Air Act was passed
Units are important because they drive regulation
A massive source of air pollution is automobiles
Secondary – not released at the source but they’re involved in transport and fate
(something happens in the atmosphere that changes the primary pollutant to a
secondary one)
It makes a big deal if we reduce emissions of air pollutants because such reductions
save on medical expenditures, as treatment of these diseases in terms of
hospitalizations are prevented
Federal government does cost-benefit analysis in setting standards: how many lives are
going to be saved versus how much money it’s going to cost
EPA monitors air quality in order to enforce standards
If the data suggests that these standards are too high, then policy on these standards
will change (the law itself – Clean Air Act doesn’t).
PM of all sizes is emitted from a range of combustions – in terms of the law, we
regulate 2.5s and 10s.
Levels of PM emissions are different from state to state (have different types of toxicity
based on different chemicals bound to PM)
The PAH’s you are breathing in can cause lung cancer and the PAH’s you are ingesting
can give you intestinal cancer (route of exposure can determine the type of adverse
health outcome)
Allergens are big particles
PM are small enough to almost reach the alveolar sacs – they are carriers of not only
particles, but gases, which can diffuse into bloodstream easily
Ground-level ozone is produced by a photochemical interaction between nitrogen
dioxide, VOCs and sunlight
Ozone in stratosphere helps prevent harmful UV radiation, reducing the prevalence of
skin cancer and cataracts
oMontreal Protocol
Ozone levels change daily because of a difference in traffic activity/concentration
Many HAPs are carcinogens
There are no enforceable national air quality standards for HAPs; instead, they are
monitored
Temperature inversion – warm level of layer below a layer of cooler air that traps air
pollutants closer to ground
Children born to mothers who lived near highways were at an increased risk of
developing autism
Many air pollutants outside of the house enters inside the house
Radon lung cancer – synergistic effect between smoking and radon inhalation
New car smell – volatile organic carbons
In the developing world, many women with babies strapped on their backs are very
susceptible to the inhalation of indoor air pollutants when cooking food with burning of
biofuels
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Description
September 22, 2016 Air Pollution • Donora, PA was a big reason the Clean Air Act was passed • Units are important because they drive regulation • A massive source of air pollution is automobiles • Secondary – not released at the source but they’re involved in transport and fate (something happens in the atmosphere that changes the primary pollutant to a secondary one) • It makes a big deal if we reduce emissions of air pollutants because such reductions save on medical expenditures, as treatment of these diseases in terms of hospitalizations are prevented • Federal government does cost-benefit analysis in setting standards: how many lives are going to be saved versus how much money it’s going to cost • EPA monitors air quality in order to enforce standards • If the data suggests that these standards are too high, then policy on these standards will change (the law itself – Clean Air Act doesn’t). • PM of all sizes is emitted from a range of combustions – in terms of the law, we regulate 2.5s and 10s. • Levels of PM emissions are different from state to state (have different types of toxicity based on different chemicals bound to PM) • The PAH’s you are breathing in can cause lung cancer and the PAH’s you are ingesting can give you intestinal cancer (route of exposure can determine the type of adverse health outcome) • Allergens are big particles
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