EESA10 - Lecture 2.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Lecture 2 Airborne Hazards and Human Health Airborne HazardsToday we will discuss two types of air pollutants1Outdoor air pollution2Indoor air pollutionWhat are the major sources of air pollution They are natural and manufacturedNatural include forest fires volcanoesmost of them that we cannot avoidManufactured has different kinds of industry and the burning of fossil fuelsOutdoor Air PollutionListed are 6 common air pollutantsThey are regulated by the US Actit is called the Clean Air Act of USAA strict threshold is placed on these six pollutantsDiscuss pollutants that are not regulated in Canada or US as they still represent a hazard to human healthOzoneIs a chemical gas that has three oxygen atoms combinedThere are two different types of ozoneOne is good ozoneozone layer in stratosphere protects us from harmful ultraviolet UV radiationThere are ozone holes and problems with the pollution is the good ozone and this ozone is not formed on ground levelIt is formed in the upper level of atmosphereWhat is the subject of concern is the ground level of ozoneozone formed just a little bit above the ground and how this ozone is formedVolatile Organic Compounds VOC react with Nitric Oxides NOx and with some effect of heat and sunlight this is actually photochemical reactionPhotochemical Reaction is any chemical reaction that is triggered by light sunlightWhen heat and sunlight has effect on the formation of ozone we can discuss where is the higher risk of being poisoned or having adverse effect of human health on these gasHot warm sunny climates are a big problem for these types of photochemicals photochemical oxidantsie Mexico CityWe all know that Mexico City receives a lot of sunshine because of its warmer climateIn Los Angeles there is also a big problem with photochemical smogIn cold climates the problem is not that it is less significantIn the morning and in the evening the concentration is lowerIn the middle of the day especially around rush hour when traffic is heavy heat is higher and sunshine is combined with pollution thus the concentration of ozone increases significantlyOzone is a summertime pollutant even in Toronto or in Canadacontamination and pollution with the ozone is much higher during the summerOzone is transported over very long distancesit doesnt matter where it is formed can be formed in Asia or Europe but can affect us here in North AmericaWhat does the ozone do to our health to our bodiesIt causes lung damage we call it lung disease affect small airways which means in the lower levels of our lungs some changes and some problems can be seenThis results in shortness of breath chest tightness pressure on the chest awful cough nausea and can irritate and damage eyes nose sinuses throat But we believe that if we go outside if you exercise you will get healthy and probably more resistant and not be such a burner about todays chemicalScientists and experts found something very interesting that people that exercise outside a lot are more vulnerableIt is logical because many urban people exercise on the street to gather with the emissions and gases and they breathe deeper take in much more air in their lungsParticulate matter PMWhat is the particulate matter in air Particles found in the airParticles can be solid particles or can be liquid particlesaerosolsThese particles vary significantly in size from really large with black soot sticky tack materialie smoke that is somewhat very visible to very tiny particles of liquid aerosolsThat is why we often find in literature particles and PM10 and PM25What does this meanPM 25particles smaller than 25 micronsExperts believe that these particles are small enough to be transported in lower level part of your lungs in the narrower airways because they are so small they can hurt your lungs on very small alveolisBigger particles will stay in upper level nose a little bit in the mouth in the upper level of the respiratory systemMajor source of particles particulate matter are vehicles vehicle exhaust factories different types of industry construction sites demolition reconstruction stone crashing or burning emit soot and smokeBut not all particle matter is emitted as some is formed in the airSerious health effects why These particulate matter can be associated with acidic materialacids as these acids damage the lungs a lot very dangerous to our lungsCarbon Monoxide Why does carbon monoxide need more discussion and attentionYou are exposed and it is very hard to know that you are poisoned but it is also a very common pollutantIt is everywhere in outside pollution outside air also indoorbig problem indoorBoth critical for indoor pollution as well as for outdoor pollutionOdourless colourless gasemitted during the burning process but incomplete burning burning of fossil fuelsanything that has carbon as a content and if it is partially burned process is not finished until end when emits carbon monoxideCouple of examples include heaters indoor woodstoves gas stoves fireplaces poorly ventilated thus carbon monoxide can spread water heaters automobile exhaust tobacco smoke1000 people die each year in US as a result of CO poisoningIf someone is exposed to the lower dosage of carbon monoxide not something very visible right awayFor a longer time especially for a fireplace that is not ventilated you want experience for an significantly adverse amount of time but what might happen is you might have symptoms similar to the flu or similar to food poisoning vomiting dizziness nausea something like thatMany physicians get confused as it is hard for them to determinedetect what is going on if you dont give them some clue usually you dont knowSome people are even more vulnerableinfants elderly and people that already have problems such as heart and respiratory illnesses before thatThey experience adverse effects in much lower concentrations than other healthy peopleare at a higher risk Health effects of Carbon MonoxideWhat does carbon monoxide actually do and why do we experience that adverse affectCarbon monoxide interferes with delivery of oxygen because carbon monoxide has a much higher affinity for hemoglobin part of our blood red in colourAbout two hundred or even more than two hundred times higher affinity for hemoglobin than oxygenAs a result of this we can experience some health problemsproblems include fatigue detected or undetected that we do not know reason for headaches some weaknessesWhen a concentration increases in the air then symptoms get worse as there is confusion disorientationie we usually dont know that we are poisoned and when we realize that we can leave the room or the car because of disorientation and that confusionloss of coordination cannot open the doorWe definitely need fresh air but we cannot leave the carthis is why carbon monoxide is such a dangerous chemicalIf the concentration is increasing this poisoning can result in death definite deathPreventionWhat to do how to try to solve the problemA couple of informed tips to try to solve the problemnever leave the car engine running in a shed or a garage you have definitely heard about that because it results in carbon dioxide poisoningProper selection installation and maintenance of different appliances heaters as suchAnd of coursegood use of these appliancesread instructionsGood ventilationdefinitely all houses and apartments need good ventilation to avoid these kinds of problemsUse CO detectorsyou should have them in your homes apartments roomsHave to check batteries regularly and make updates as neededNitrogen oxides NOxIs a common name for a group of the nitrogen gasesthey have nitrogen and oxygen and different number of atoms of oxygenThey are formed in many types of combustion processnot very much in industries but mostly in combustion processThese nitrogen oxides are involved in formation of ozoneit is also an important characteristicHow are solid particles formed from the nitrogen oxides We say that it is a gasusually in the air these nitrogen oxides react they changeThey can react and form aerosols for example with some carbonate or with some ammonia and form ammonia nitrate or ammonia sulfate or ammonia chloratethose are hard solid particles of aerosolsAlso can affect formation of acid rain or acidic depositionsIt is not very much dissolving water but still is partially dissolving of water and thus as a result of that some acids are formedIt is also transported over very long distances same as ozoneThis means it can be formed in some other place thousands of kilometres away but still affect our healthSulfur oxides SoxAre emitted during the combustion processCombustion processburning process any type of burning is the major source of air pollutionBurning different kinds of burning but not only burning of the coal and oil
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