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GGRA03 Ch-9

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Andre Sorensen

Ch-9 air pollution and city Primary air pollutants: - Air pollutants are composed of either visible particles – ash, smoke or dust OR invisible particles – fumes, mists and odors - Primary air pollutants are generated when fossil fuels are used – 3 primary fossil fuels – coal, natural and petroleum – used for energy and transportation - These fossil fuels are carbon based, release carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide when combusted, coal also contains sulfur and nitrogen oxides - Most common pollutants are called criteria pollutants b/c EPA uses them as basis for setting permissible levels. One set of limits, called primary standard – to protect health, another set of limits called, secondary standard – to prevent environmental and property damage - Criteria pollutants are most regulated air pollutants – focused on limiting their usage and discharge, not eliminate the cause - Difficulty arises from variety of sources – generation of energy, use and combustion of fossil fuels in transportation and agriculture, motor vehicle exhaust – due to increase in # of vehicles on road - City that does not meet standard pollutant – called non-attainment area must create an action plan – must include targets for reduction of pollutants, ways to encourage use of public transportation, decrease use of single-occupancy vehicles, outreach and educate people, - Ozone smog – most challenging pollution problem – most urban areas exceed air qualities concentration for ozone and progress on ozone has been slowest Photochemical smog: - Smog occurs when VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) react with nitrogen and oxygen oxides in presence of heat and sunlight – smog is not emitted, is created through series of chemical reactions – produced by combinations of pollutants from many sources – smoke-stacks, cars, paint and solvents - Smog is found primarily in urban areas, worse in summer due to heat and sunlight at peak, highly corrosive to rubber, metals and lung tissue - Short-term exposure – eye irritation, wheezing, coughing, headaches, chest pain; long-term – scars lungs, makes them less elastic and efficient, asthma, respiratory illness - Geography location – cities located in basins and valleys – LA, Mexico, Denver – high altitudes, frequent temperature warm air trapped under cold air - Cities with high concentration of fossil-fuel burning power plants, melting smelters, cement and fertilizer factories, high density of cars, trucks - Air quality index – educate people about how to respond high levels of smog. When ozone is high, smog alerts to warn people with asthma, chronic disease, stay indoors, healthy people shouldn’t exercise outside o Another category of pollutants that are hazard & toxic – can cause cancer or kill swiftly – 1984 Bhopal accidental leakage of pesticide – report of mouth cancer, kidney, liver damage o In urban areas toxic air pollutants are serious concern because of conc
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