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Chapter 2

ENSP 102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Toxics Release Inventory, Indoor Air Quality, Tropospheric Ozone

Environmental Science and Policy
Course Code
ENSP 102

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Judging the State of the Environment
Air quality
Most pervasive environmental problem
Causes are difficult to address
US air quality has improved since Clean Air Act
Globally air can still be very unhealthy
Ground level ozone effects:
Reduced lung function
Eye irritation
Respiratory difficulties
Makes plants more suceptible to disease and pests
Indoor air quality
EPA ranks indoor air pollutants as one of the top risks to public health
Acid precipitation
CFCs can deplete the stratospheric ozone layer
Water quality
Pollution of surface waters
Reduction in raw pollution
Nationas water quality has been and continues to be unsatisfactory
Biggest source is from nutrient runoff from agriculture
Loss of wetlands increases pollution since they can clean pollutants from
the water
Drinking water quality
Toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes
Over 90% of chemicals are considered safe despite never having a full toxicity
Toxics Release Inventory
Superfund law
1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act
Hard to track where hazardous wastes go, making it extremely dangerous
Hazardous chemicals can lead from containers, landfills to contaminate
Contaminated federal facilities
Military bases
Former nuclear weapons production plants
Generally larger and are harder to clean up
Radioactive wastes
Difficult to resolve
Blue Ribbon Commissionon America’s Nuclear Future in 2010
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