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Air Pollution
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Air Pollution


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  • 1. Air pollution
  • 2. Pollution: A situation whereby contamination occurs, causing ill-effects to humans and the natural environment
    Pollutant: An agent that causes pollution
  • 3. Carbon dioxide CO2
  • 4. Air consists of 0.03% CO2
  • 5.
  • 6. Why are people worried about increasing CO2 in the atmosphere?
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas
    Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere
    Trapped heat causes climate change
    Climate change is expected to bring about an increase in extreme weather events such as hurricanes, drought and flooding, as well as a rise in sea levels.
  • 7. Which picture (A or B) shows the Greenhouse Effect?
  • 8.
  • 9. Mitigation through increasing Carbon sinks-
    Afforestation (planting trees)
    Increase oceanic biomass (controversial)
    Decreased energy use
    Renewable energy sources, e.g. solar, wind
    Sequestration (e.g. injecting Carbon into lithosphere)
  • 10. Carbon monoxide (CO)
    A colourless, odourless gas that is very poisonous.
    Comes from combustion of fossil fuels, e.g. vehicle tailpipes, smoke stacks, gas stoves
    A precursor to greenhouse gases
    Carbon monoxide elevates the concentrations of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) and ozone in the atmosphere.
    CO eventually oxidises into carbon dioxide.
  • 11. Effects of Carbon monoxide CO
  • 12. Nitrogen oxides (NOX)
    2 MOLECULES - nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
    NO2 is more toxic than NO
    Occurs naturally from lightning strikes, bacteria and volcanoes
    Manmade sources includes fossil fuel combustion (transport & power generation) & agriculture (esp. synthetic fertilisers)
  • 13. Effects of Nitrogen oxides NOX
  • 14. NOx- Damage to vegetation
  • 15. Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
    Comes from the combustion of fossil fuels for power generation & motor vehicles
    Nasty (bad) smell – like burnt matches
    Colourless gas
  • 16. Effects of Sulphur dioxide -SO2
  • 17. SO2
  • 18. Where does lead (Pb) come from?
    Lead smelters
    Old paint (pre-1970)
    Leaded petrol
    Lead pipes
    Some agro-chemicals
    Car radiators
    Products from China
  • 19. Lead (Pb)
  • 20. A house painter affected by chronic lead poisoning. Wasted muscles and wrist drop are tell-tale symptoms of lead poisoning.
  • 21. Particles
    Sea salt
  • 22. The smaller the particle, the more easily it can be inhaled into the body and cause problems.
    Particles with a diameter less than 10µm can be inhaled
    Particles can carry other pollutants, e.g. SO2
    Particles can exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma, hay-fever
  • 23. Ozone O3
    Good ozone (17-50km from ground level) –protects earth from harmful UV rays
    Bad ozone (below 17km-ground level) –can combine with water vapour to produce smog; causes respiratory problems, skin inflammation and can also decrease plant productivity
  • 24. CFCs
    Used as coolants, insulation and propellants in aerosols, foam and refrigerants (known a “Freons”)
    CFCs remain in troposphere for a long time
    Eventually CFCs find their way to the stratosphere where the UV rays cause the Cl to destroy countless O3 molecules
    This process has resulted in a huge hole on the ozone layer
    CFCs can also cause sore eyes, dry skin & irregular heartbeat
    CFCs are banned in the UAE from January 2010
  • 25. Methane CH4
    Colourless, odourless
    Methane is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • 26. Where does Methane come from?
    Anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in soils & landfill
    Wastewater treatment
    Natural gas (methane is the primary constituent)
  • 27. Indoor air pollution
    Pollutants can be more concentrated indoors than outdoors.
    Build up of indoor pollutants can cause “sick building syndrome”
    Indoor pollutants can come from paints, sprays & solvents, electrical equipment & printers
    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can result in eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination; nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system; cancer.
    Good ventilation is essential.
  • 28. Effects of indoor air pollution