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This is a unit introduction regarding general pollution topics. Vocabulary listed is from the IB Environmental Systems and Societies guide.

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  1. 1. POLLUTION An overview
  2. 2. Important Vocabulary• Pollution - The addition to an environment of a substance or an agent (such as heat) by human activity, at a rate greater than that at which it can be rendered harmless by the environment, and which has an appreciable effect on the organisms within it.• Contamination - making something unfit for use due to undesirable materials (contaminated water due to hazardous waste)• Toxic - materials that are poisonous to living things• Carcinogen - a toxin that increases the risk of cancer
  3. 3. Point Source Pollution• Point source pollution - The release of pollutants from a single, clearly identifiable site; for example, a factory chimney or the waste disposal pipe of a factory into a river.• More easily managed because its impact is more localized and easier to control.
  4. 4. Non-Point Source Pollution • Non-point source pollution - The release of pollutants from numerous, widely dispersed origins; for example, gases from the exhaust systems of vehicles. • Difficult to isolate and correct.
  5. 5. Major Sources of Pollutants• Combustion (burning) of fossil fuels• Domestic waste (paper, glass, metal, plastics, organic waste, packaging)• Industrial waste• Manufacturing systems• Agricultural systems
  6. 6. Measuring Pollution• Units are needed to describe the amount or concentration of a pollutant or toxin in the environment.• Air pollution measured in ppm (parts per million) or ppb (parts per billion).• Water pollution measured in mg/L or ug/L.• These are all very small amounts!• US:official&biw=1024&bih=577&tbm=isch&tbnid=oim4sVLnpOztkM:&imgrefurl= treatment.html&docid=o5hPUj78gWpSXM&imgurl= fluorosis.jpg&w=400&h=375&ei=VKeOUNvrPI2I8QS4loCwDQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=307&sig=110564946614323100926&page=1&tbnh=149&tbnw=166&start =0&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0,i:78&tx=55&ty=54 When fluoride exceeds 4 ppm
  7. 7. Monitoring Water Pollution: BOD levels• Eutrophication- When a body of water has high concentration of nutrients (nitrates, phosphates), which cause an increase in plant, algae, and bacteria growth. This growth shades water and reduces photosynthetic activity.• BOD (biochemical oxygen demand)- amount of oxygen needed to decompose organic material in water.• When bacteria and algae die and decompose, BOD increases and oxygen in water is consumed. If oxygen is consumed, organisms die.• BOD levels can be used to see how polluted the water is. More organic waste = higher BOD.
  8. 8. Eutrophication• The natural or artificial enrichment of a body of water, particularly with respect to nitrates and phosphates, that results in depletion of the oxygen content of the water. Eutrophication is accelerated by human activities that add detergents, sewage or agricultural fertilizers to bodies of water. •
  9. 9. Monitoring Water Pollution: Biotic Index• Biotic Index: a scale used to measure the quality of the environment by showing the types of organisms present in it.• Bio-indicators: organisms used to monitor the health of streams because the have different pollution tolerance ranges.• Bio-indicators can be highly sensitive to pollution, slightly pollution tolerant, or highly pollution tolerant.• Bio-indicators are collected in streams and used to calculate biotic index.
  10. 10.
  11. 11. Monitoring Air Pollution• Measure particulate matter (particles suspended in air that we breathe)• Measure critical pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen monoxide, ground level ozone. http://www.solarthermalm
  12. 12. Size of Air Particulates•
  13. 13. Measuring Soil Pollution• Soil pollution can lead to water pollution due to water run-off into rivers.• Measure inorganic contaminants (nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals, radioactive materials)• Measure organic contaminants (detergents, pesticides, fuels)
  14. 14. Soil Contamination•
  15. 15. Sources• Point Source Pollution••• x4LEC1ybE/T10pOSQ8PbI/AAAAAAAAAcg/dSGEe3J_oZE/s1600/point+source+pollut.jpg• Non-point source pollution•••