effects of air pollution

vocs

VOCs are toxic to humans and other living things. In people, they can cause a wide range of problems, from eye and nose irritation to brain damage and cancer. Levels of VOCs are often higher indoors than out. Thats because they are released by products such as paints, cleaning solutions, and building materials. How might you reduce your exposure to VOCs?

acid rain

Acid rain is rain that has a pH less than 5 (see Figure 22.9). The pH of normal rain is 5.6. Its slightly acidic because carbon dioxide in the air dissolves in rain. This forms carbonic acid, a weak acid.

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how acid rain forms

Acid rain forms when nitrogen and sulfur oxides in air dissolve in rain (see Figure 22.10). This forms nitric and sulfuric acids. Both are strong acids. Acid rain with a pH as low as 4.0 is now common in many areas. Acid fog may be even more acidic than acid rain. Fog with a pH as low as 1.7 has been recorded. Thats the same pH as toilet bowl cleaner!

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effects of acid rain

Figure 22.11 shows some of the damage done by acid rain. Acid rain ends up in soil and bodies of water. This can make them very acidic. The acid strips soil of its nutrients. These changes can kill trees, fish, and other living things. Acid rain also dissolves limestone and marble. This can damage buildings, monuments, and statues.

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loss of highlevel ozone

Ozone near the ground harms human health. But the ozone layer in the stratosphere protects us from solar rays. Thats why people were alarmed in the 1980s to learn that there was a hole in the ozone layer.

cause of ozone loss

Whats destroying the ozone layer? The chief cause is chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These are human-made chemicals that contain the element chlorine (Cl). In the past, CFCs were widely used in spray cans, refrigerators, and many other products. CFCs are stable compounds that can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. Once CFCs are in the air, they float up into the stratosphere. What happens next is shown in Figure 22.12. Sunlight breaks apart the molecules. This releases their chlorine atoms (Cl). The free chlorine atoms may then combine with oxygen atoms in ozone. This breaks down the ozone molecules into an oxygen molecule and an oxygen atom. One CFC molecule can break down as many as 100,000 ozone molecules in this way! These forms of oxygen do not protect the planet from ultraviolet radiation.

ozone hole

Most ozone loss it taking place over the South Pole and Antarctica. This is the location of the ozone hole. The ozone hole is also seasonal. The hole forms during the early part spring in the Southern Hemisphere and then grows northward. You can see the hole in Figure 22.13. Besides the ozone hole, the ozone layer is thinner over the Northern Hemisphere.

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effects of ozone loss

With less ozone in the stratosphere, more UV rays reach the ground. More UV rays increase skin cancer rates. Just a 1 percent loss of ozone causes a 5 percent increase in skin cancer. More UV rays also harm plants and phytoplankton. As a result, they produce less food. This may affect entire ecosystems.

nitrogen and sulfur oxides

Both nitrogen and sulfur oxides are toxic to humans. These compounds can cause lung diseases or make them worse. Nitrogen and sulfur oxides form acid rain, which is described below.

ozone

The ozone in smog may damage plants. The effects of ozone add up over time. Plants such as trees, which normally live a long time, are most affected. Entire forests may die out if ozone levels are very high. Other plants, including crop plants, may also be damaged by ozone. You can see evidence of ozone damage in Figure 22.5. The ozone in smog is also harmful to human health. Figure 22.6 shows the levels of ozone to watch out for. Some people are especially sensitive to ozone. They can be harmed by levels of ozone that would not affect most other people. These people include those with lung or heart problems.

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particulates

Particulates cause lung diseases. They can also increase the risk of heart disease and the number of asthma attacks. Particulates block sunlight from reaching Earths surface. This means there is less energy for photosynthesis. Less photosynthesis means that plants and phytoplankton produce less food. This affects whole ecosystems.

effects of pollutants

All air pollutants are harmful. Thats why theyre called pollutants. Some air pollutants damage the environment as well as the health of living things. The type of damage depends on the pollutant.

heavy metals

Heavy metals, such as mercury and lead, are toxic to living things. They can enter food chains from the atmosphere. The metals build up in the tissues of organisms by bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation is illustrated in Figure 22.8. As heavy metals are passed up a food chain they accumulate. Imagine a low-level consumer eating a producer. That consumer takes in all of the heavy metals from all of the producers that it eats. Then a higher-level consumer eats it and accumulates all the heavy metals from all of the lower-level consumers that it eats. In this way, heavy metals may accumulate. At high levels in the food chain, the heavy metals may be quite become quite concentrated. The higher up a food chain that humans eat, the greater the levels of toxic metals they take in. Thats why people should avoid eating too much of large fish such as tuna. Tuna are predators near the top of their food chains. They have been shown to contain high levels of mercury. In people, heavy metals can damage the brain and other organs. Unborn babies and young children are most affected. Thats because their organs are still developing.

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carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is toxic to both plants and animals. CO is deadly to people in a confined space, such as a closed home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so people cant tell when they are breathing it. Thats why homes should have carbon monoxide detectors. You can see one in Figure 22.7.

instructional diagrams

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This diagram depicts how the acid rain forms. There are factories, vegetation, houses, river and ocean in the picture. Houses and venation is on the earth's surface. First, the acidic gases are emitted from the factories. Those acid gases include sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The acid gases are included in cloud forming process by wind. The clouds containing acid gases dissolve in rainwater to form the acid rain. The acid rain poured to the earth's surface. The acid rain is absorbed to the earth and is flowing to the river. Now, the river contains the acid rain. The river flows to the ocean. The river of acid rain kills plantlife, pollutes rivers and streams, and erodes stonework. This process continues as long as the factories emit the acid gases.

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This diagram shows how acid rain is caused by air pollution. Acid rain is mainly caused when air pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides mix with water vapor in the atmosphere. Nitrogen and sulphur oxides are generated on the earth's surface by man-made sources such as factories. A natural source of nitrogen oxides are volcanoes. These air pollutants generated then move upwards into the earth's atmosphere and get deposited back on the earth as dry or wet deposits. Wet deposits happen when gases and particulate matter mixes with water vapor which causes acid-rain/precipitation. Dry deposits come back to earth in the form of acidic gases and particulate matter.

questions

type of pollutant that is usually higher in indoor than outdoor air

a. ozone

b. bioaccumulation

c. particulate

d. carbon monoxide

-->  e. VOC

f. CFC

g. UV

Particulates

-->  a. increase asthma attacks

b. significantly reduce rates of skin cancer

c. are responsible for neurological diseases

d. have no effect on human health

buildup of heavy metals in the tissues of organisms

a. ozone

-->  b. bioaccumulation

c. particulate

d. carbon monoxide

e. VOC

f. CFC

g. UV

Ozone is a pollutant in the _, but is beneficial in the _.

a. stratosphere; thermosphere

b. thermosphere; troposphere

c. ionosphere; thermosphere

-->  d. troposphere; stratosphere

harmful radiation blocked by the ozone layer

a. ozone

b. bioaccumulation

c. particulate

d. carbon monoxide

e. VOC

f. CFC

-->  g. UV

Limestone buildings and sculptures are eroded primarily by which of the following?

a. UV radiation

-->  b. acid rain

c. ozone pollution

d. CFCs

The phenomenon of pollutants adding up in an organism for life is known as

-->  a. bioaccumulation

b. accumulation

c. bio addition

d. biopollutants

gas in smog that is harmful to plants and people

-->  a. ozone

b. bioaccumulation

c. particulate

d. carbon monoxide

e. VOC

f. CFC

g. UV

type of air pollutant that destroys the ozone layer

a. ozone

b. bioaccumulation

c. particulate

d. carbon monoxide

e. VOC

-->  f. CFC

g. UV

Which fish species would typically contain the most mercury?

a. krill

-->  b. shark

c. trout

d. oyster

type of air pollutant that blocks sunlight from reaching Earths surface

a. ozone

b. bioaccumulation

-->  c. particulate

d. carbon monoxide

e. VOC

f. CFC

g. UV

odorless, colorless gas that is deadly to people in a confined space

a. ozone

b. bioaccumulation

c. particulate

-->  d. carbon monoxide

e. VOC

f. CFC

g. UV

Lung cancer rates are increasing entirely due to more people smoking.

a. true

-->  b. false

Ozone loss near the North and South Poles is about the same.

a. true

-->  b. false

On a pH scale, numbers below 7 are basic.

a. true

-->  b. false

Particulates reduce the amount of sunshine that reaches the ground.

-->  a. true

b. false

Acid rain is produced by nitrogen and sulfur-oxides in the atmosphere.

-->  a. true

b. false

Breathing polluted air increases the risk of lung cancer.

-->  a. true

b. false

Ozone in smog can kill entire forests.

-->  a. true

b. false

Some people are more sensitive to smog than others.

-->  a. true

b. false

Small fish are likely to contain higher levels of lead than large fish.

a. true

-->  b. false

Exposure to heavy metals can cause brain damage in unborn babies.

-->  a. true

b. false

Acid rain contains higher-than-normal levels of carbonic acid.

a. true

-->  b. false

Acid rain damages structures but does not harm living things.

a. true

-->  b. false

The hole in the ozone layer shows that air quality is improving.

a. true

-->  b. false

The ozone hole is bigger in some seasons than in others.

-->  a. true

b. false

Ground-level ozone is especially harmful to people with heart disease.

-->  a. true

b. false

Air pollutants that increase the risk of asthma include

a. ozone.

b. particulates.

c. heavy metals.

-->  d. two of the above

An air quality index of 120 parts of ozone per million parts of air is

a. safe only for young people.

-->  b. unhealthy for some people.

c. unhealthy for all people.

d. safe for all people.

Nitrogen and sulfur oxides

a. are toxic to humans.

b. can cause lung diseases.

c. form acid rain.

-->  d. all of the above

Which organisms in a food chain have the highest levels of heavy metals?

a. producers

b. primary consumers

c. secondary consumers

-->  d. tertiary consumers

Sources of VOCs include

a. cleaning solutions.

b. building materials.

c. paints.

-->  d. all of the above

Normal rain is slightly acidic because it contains dissolved

a. oxygen.

b. nitrogen.

-->  c. carbon dioxide.

d. nitrogen dioxide.

The ozone layer in the atmosphere

-->  a. occurs in the stratosphere.

b. is being destroyed by acid rain.

c. protects Earth from harmful CFCs.

d. forms only over the South Pole and Antarctica.

diagram questions

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In the diagram below, what happens to the Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrous Oxides emitted by the factory?

a. turn into clouds

b. makes the lake healthy

c. nothing

-->  d. Turns in to acid rain

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What chemicals cause dry deposition?

-->  a. SO2 and NOx

b. HNO3

c. H2O

d. H2SO4

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What happens to the lakes?

-->  a. Turn acidic

b. Dry decomposition

c. Acidification of soil

d. Acid rain

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Identify the source that destroys plants, pollutes water sources and soil and erodes building?

a. SO2

b. Acidic gases

-->  c. Acid rain

d. CO2

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How many compound elements are shown in the diagram?

-->  a. 3

b. 4

c. 1

d. 2

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Gases combine with water droplets to combine what?

-->  a. Acid Rain

b. Plants

c. Acid Gases

d. Buildings

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What part of the diagram shows the water vapor rising?

a. H2O in Clouds

-->  b. H2O Vapor

c. NO2

d. H2SO4

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What contaminants are present in acid rain?

-->  a. Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) and Nitric Acid (HNO3)

b. Sodium Biocarbonate (NaHCO3) and Carbon Tetrachloride (CaCl4)

c. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

d. Ozone (O3) and Carbon Monoxide (CO)

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Acidic contents in clouds comes back to ground in how many forms?

a. 2

-->  b. 3

c. 1

d. 4

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How many contributors to Acid Precipitation are shown in this image?

a. 4

b. 1

c. 3

-->  d. 2

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What comes from the sunlight during acid precipitation?

a. NO2

-->  b. H20 Vapor

c. SO2

d. H2O in Clouds

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Which of these produces sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions?

a. acid rain

b. sunlight

c. clouds

-->  d. coal-burning power plant

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What happens after acidic gases are released from a factory?

a. Gases dissolve in rainwater

-->  b. Gases are carried by the wind

c. Gases form acid rain

d. Acid rain kills plantlife

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Where does the acidic gases from the factory go?

a. They stay in the forest

b. They roam around the forest

c. They were absorbed by the river

-->  d. They go up to the sky

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In the picture below, which kills plant life, pollutes rivers and streams, and erodes stonework?

a. Oxygen

b. Rainfall

c. Wind

-->  d. Acid Rain

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What symbol shows the Mercury in the diagram below?

a. SO2

b. VOC

c. NOx

-->  d. Hg

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Which pollutants are introduced to the atmosphere solely by humans?

a. VOC only

-->  b. SO2 and Hg

c. NOx and Particulate pollutants

d. VOC and NOx

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What chemical does not come from anthropogenic sources?

a. NOx

b. SO2

c. VOX

-->  d. VOC

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Where do pollutants go after wet deposition?

a. sources

-->  b. ground

c. factory

d. clouds

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How many types of pollutants in the diagram?

a. 4

b. 1

-->  c. 2

d. 3

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What types of pollutants result in wet deposition?

-->  a. Gaseous and Particulate pollutants

b. Carbon dioxide

c. Nitrogen oxide

d. acid rain

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Which change of state is responsible for carrying the nitric acid and sulfuric acid to the ground in the form of acid rain?

-->  a. condensation

b. freezing

c. melting

d. sublimation

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How many processes are shown in the diagram?

a. 5

b. 8

c. 6

-->  d. 7

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If we use more cars for transportation what would happen to emission to atmosphere?

a. Vanish

-->  b. Increase

c. Decrease

d. Stay the same

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What harmful emissions from burned fossil fuels cause the formation of acid rain?

-->  a. nitrogen and sulfur

b. nitrogen and sulfur oxides

c. Dry Fallout

d. fog and mist