EESA10 Chapter 2.docx

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Environmental Science
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Silvija Stefanovic

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CHAPTER 2  Whole communities were engulfed in air pollutants resulting in serious illness and death among individuals with cardiopulmonary diseases. These episodes happened in Belgium (1930), Pennsylvania (1948) and London (1952)  They were caused by air stagnation which resulted in increased concentrations of pollutants including sulfur dioxide and suspended particles  London was the worst case and mortality was due to bronchitis, pneumonia and acute exacerbation of underlying respiratory disease  Air pollution has no boundaries and contaminants are transported, diluted, precipitated and transformed  Primary emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide are polluting cities and towns in Asia, Africa, and America.  Relationship between air pollution and wealth: poorer countries had higher levels of total suspended particles than wealthier nations.  Indoor air pollution contribute to the high mortality rates for acute respiratory disease  Study table on pg 18 Sulfur dioxide and acidic aerosols Acute means short duration; chronic means long  SO2 produced by the combustion of sulfur contained in fossil fuels (coal and crude oil)  Sources: electric power generating plants, oil refineries and smelters  Nations like china greatly depend on coal  SO2 is a clear, highly water soluble gas and so it is absorbed by the mucous membranes of the upper airways with small proportions reaching the distal regions of the lungs  SO2 in atmosphere does not remain gaseous: undergoes chemical reaction to form aerosols  Prolong SO2 particulates in the air allowed the transformation into acid aerosols  Sulfuric acid with fossil fuel combustion (soot, fly, ash, etc) forms smog  Higher particle acidity increased bronchitis while higher levels of gaseous acids increased asthma, wheeze attacks, chronic wheezing, and asthmatic symptoms.  Aerosol acidity and respiratory problems have a positive relationship  Acute bronchoconstrictive effects of sulfur dioxide are well known: Inhalations of high concentrations of SO2 increase airway resistance in healthy normal volunteer  Patients with asthma are sensitive to the bronchoconstrictive effects of S02 and react to much lower levels  Exposed to elevated levels of SO2 leads to chronic airway obstruction Particulates  Particles suspended in the air after various forms of combustion or other industrial activity  Increases suspended particulates led to increased daily mortality  Increase in particulates of 100 led to a 4% mortality  PM10 contains particles<10 in diameter. An increase in particles of 10 led to a 0.68% increase in mortality  PM2.5 contains particles < 2.5 in diameter. They are fine particles and produced by combustion processes. They can penetrate deeply into the lung which larger particles would be trapped in the upper airway  Examples on PM2.5: coal combustion, crustal sources (dust) and motor vehicle exhaust  HRV (heart rate variability): measure of the cyclic variations of beat to beat intervals and instantaneous heart rate  Reduction in HRV associated with higher levels of PM2.5 and PM10. However, we don’t know if particulate air pollution has the same effect on younger kids  Deaths in kids from acute respiratory disease a
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