Indoor air pollution and urban air quality are listed as two of the world’s worst pollution problems Pollution also needs to be considered inside our homes, offices, and schools. Some of these pollutants can be created by indoor activities such as smoking and cooking. In the United States, we spend about 80-90% of our time inside buildings, and so our exposure to harmful indoor pollutants can be serious. It is therefore important to consider both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Outdoor Air Pollution Smog is a type of large-scale outdoor pollution.
It is caused by chemical sections between pollutants derived from different sources, primarily automobile exhaust and industrial emissions. Cities are often centers of these types of activities, and many suffer from the effects of smog, especially during the warm months of the year. Another consequence of outdoor air pollution is acid rain. When a pollutant, such as sulfuric acid combines with droplets of water in the air, the water (or snow) can become acidified . The effects of acid rain on the environment can be very serious.
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It damages plants by destroying their leaves, it poisons the soil, and it changes the chemistry of lakes and treats. Damage due to acid rain kills trees and harms animals, fish, and other wildlife. The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Environment Canada are among the organizations that are actively studying the acid rain problem. The Greenhouse Effect, also referred to as global warming, is generally believed to come from the build up of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is produced when fuels are burned.
Plants convert carbon dioxide back to oxygen, but the release of carbon dioxide from human activities is higher than the world’s plants can process. The situation is made worse since many of the earth’s forests are being removed, and plant life is being damaged by acid rain. Thus, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is continuing to increase. This buildup acts like a blanket and traps heat close to the surface of our earth. Changes of even a few degrees will affect us all through changes in the climate and even the possibility that the polar ice caps may melt. Ozone depletion is another result of pollution.
Chemicals released by our activities affect the stratosphere , one of the atmospheric layers surrounding earth. The ozone layer in the stratosphere protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Release of chlorofluorocarbons (Cuff’s) from aerosol cans, cooling systems and refrigerator equipment removes some of the ozone, causing ‘holes”; to open up in this layer and allowing the radiation to reach the earth. Ultraviolet radiation is known to cause skin cancer and has damaging effects on plants and wildlife. Indoor Air Pollution Many people spend large portion of time indoors – as much as 80-90% of their lives.
We work, study, eat, drink and sleep in enclosed environments where IR circulation may be restricted. For these reasons, some experts feel that more people suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution than outdoor pollution. There are many sources of indoor air pollution. Tobacco smoke, cooking and heating appliances, and vapors from building materials, paints, furniture, etc. Cause pollution inside buildings. Radon is a natural radioactive gas released from the earth, and it can be found concentrated in basements in some parts of the United States.
Additional information about the radon problem is available from the SWIGS and the Minnesota Radon Project. Pollution exposure at home and work is often greater than outdoors. The California Air Resources Board estimates that indoor air pollutant levels are 25-62% greater than outside levels and can pose serious health problems. Pollutants Pollutants can be classified as primary or secondary. Usually, primary pollutants are directly emitted from a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption, the carbon monoxide gas from a motor vehicle exhaust or sulfur dioxide released from factories.
Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or interact. An important example of a secondary pollutant is ground level ozone -?? one Of the many secondary pollutants that make up photochemical smog. Some pollutants may be both primary and secondary: that is, they are both emitted directly and formed from other primary pollutants. Major primary pollutants produced by human activity include: Sulfur oxides (SOX) – especially sulfur dioxide, a chemical compound with the formula ASS.
ASS is produced by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide. Further oxidation of ASS, usually in the presence of a catalyst such as NON, forms HOSES, and thus acid rain. Nitrogen oxides (Knox) – especially nitrogen dioxide are emitted from high temperature combustion. Can be seen as the brown haze dome above or plume downwind of cities. Nitrogen dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula NON.
Carbon monoxide – is a colorless, odorless, non-irritating but very poisonous gas. It is a product by incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, coal or wood. Vehicular exhaust is a major source of carbon monoxide. Carbon dioxide (CO) – a colorless, odorless, non-toxic greenhouse gas associated with ocean acidification, emitted from sources such as combustion, cement production, and respiration Volatile organic compounds – Voss are an important outdoor air pollutant In this field they are Often divided into the separate categories of methane (CHI) and non-methane (Moves).
Methane is an extremely efficient greenhouse gas which contributes to enhanced global warming.. Particulate matter – Particulates, alternatively referred to as particulate matter (PM) or fine particles, are tiny articles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas. In contrast, aerosol refers to particles and the gas together. Increased levels affine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart altered lung function and lung cancer. Persistent free radicals connected to airborne fine particles could cause cardiopulmonary disease.  Toxic metals, such as lead, cadmium and copper.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CIFS) – harmful to the ozone layer emitted from products currently banned from use. Ammonia (NH) – emitted from agricultural processes. Ammonia is a compound with the formula NH. Although in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous. Odors such as from garbage, sewage, and industrial processes Radioactive pollutants produced by nuclear explosions, war explosives, and natural processes such as the radioactive decay of radon. Secondary pollutants include: Particulate matter formed from gaseous primary pollutants and compounds in photochemical smog.
Smog is a kind of air pollution; the word “smog” is a portmanteau of smoke and fog. Classic smog results from large amounts of coal burning in an area caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide. Modern smog does not usually come from coal but from vehicular and industrial emissions that are acted on in the atmosphere by ultraviolet light from the sun to form secondary pollutants that also combine with the primary emissions to form photochemical smog. Ground level ozone (03) formed from Knox and Voss. Ozone (03) is a key constituent of the troposphere.
It is also an important constituent of certain regions of the stratosphere commonly known as the Ozone layer Approximately nitrate (PAN) – similarly formed from Knox and Voss. Minor air pollutants include: * A large number of minor hazardous air pollutants. Some of these are regulated in USA under the Clean Air Act and in Europe under the Air Framework Directive. * A variety of persistent organic pollutants, which can attach to particulate matter. How can air pollution hurt my health? Air pollution can affect our health in many ways with both short-term and long-term effects.
Different groups of individuals are affected by air pollution in different ways. Some individuals are much more sensitive to pollutants than are others. Young children and elderly people often suffer more from the effects of air pollution. People with health problems such as asthma, earth and lung disease may also suffer more when the air is polluted. The extent to which an individual is harmed by air pollution usually depends on the total exposure to the damaging chemicals, I. E. , the duration of exposure and the concentration of the chemicals must be taken into account.
Examples of short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Other symptoms can include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution can aggravate the medical conditions of individuals with asthma and emphysema. In the great “Smog Disaster” in London in 1952, four thousand people died in a few days due to the high concentrations Of pollution. Eng-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys.
Continual exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and may aggravate or complicate medical conditions in the elderly. It is estimated that half a million people die prematurely every year in the United States as a result of smoking cigarettes. Reduction efforts Air pollution has many disastrous effects that need to be curbed. In order to accomplish this, governments, scientists and environmentalists are using or testing a variety of methods aimed at reducing pollution. There are two main types of pollution control.
Input control involves preventing a problem before it occurs, or at least limiting the effects the process will produce. Five major input control methods exist. People may try to restrict population growth, use less energy, improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, and move to non-polluting renewable forms of energy production. Also, automobile-produced pollution can be decreased tit highly beneficial results. Different Ways To Prevent Air Pollution Vehicle Care: Timely servicing of the car helps to keep it in a good condition and also minimizes fuel exhaust. Driving the car at an average speed and turning off in traffic is a key to save fuel.
Make sure to use unleaded petrol and opt for regular pollution checking of your car. Public Transport: Whenever possible, try to travel by public transports. This helps in two ways; prevents air pollution and increases public income. If you are going to a nearby place, go by walking Or use bicycle, instead of using your vehicle. The objective is to minimize the use of fuels, as far as possible. Alternative Energy Source: Another effective way to prevent air pollution is to use alternative energy sources such as solar energy, hydroelectric energy and wind energy.
Nowadays, sophisticated technologies such as wind turbine, solar water heaters are introduced to generate electricity and other energy forms for the household use. Saving Energy: Saving energy will, of course, help to prevent air pollution. Switch off the lights, fans, air conditioners, televisions, and other appliances, when not in use. You can also share a room with others when the air intentioned or fan is on, instead of switching them on in every room. Minimize Air Pollutants: Always try to minimize smoke emission, as it can contribute to air pollution.
One way is to compost dried leaves and kitchen waste, instead of burning them. Composting will also give you organic fertilizer for your garden. While buying the products, always choose air- friendly and recyclable products that will minimize the emission of pollutants. Floods There are few places on Earth where people need not be concerned about flooding. Any place where rain falls is vulnerable, although rain is not the only impetus for flood. A flood occurs when water overflows or inundates land that’s normally dry.
This can happen in a multitude of ways. Most common is when rivers or streams overflow their banks. Excessive rain, a ruptured dam or levee, rapid ice melting in the mountains, or even an unfortunately placed beaver dam can overwhelm a river and send it spreading over the adjacent land, called a floodplain. Coastal flooding occurs when a large storm or tsunami causes the sea to surge inland. Most floods take hours or even days to develop, giving residents ample time to prepare or evacuate. Others generate quickly and with little warning.
These flash floods can be extremely dangerous, instantly turning a babbling brook into a thundering wall of water and sweeping everything in its path downstream. Types of Floods Revering * Slow kinds: Runoff from sustained rainfall or rapid snow melt exceeding the capacity of a river’s channel. Causes include heavy rains from monsoons, hurricanes and tropical depressions, foreign winds and warm rain affecting snow pack. Unexpected drainage obstructions such as landslides, ice, or debris can cause slow flooding upstream of the obstruction.
Fast kinds: include flash floods resulting from convective precipitation (intense thunderstorms) or sudden release from an upstream impoundments created behind a dam, landslide, or glacier. Estuarine * Commonly caused by a combination of sea tidal surges caused by storm- force winds. A storm surge, from either a tropical cyclone or an extraterritorial cyclone, falls within this category. Coastal * Caused by severe sea storms, or as a result of another hazard (e. G. Tsunami or hurricane). A storm surge, from either a tropical cyclone or an extraterritorial cyclone, falls within this category.
Catastrophic * Caused by a significant and unexpected event e. G. Dam breakage, or as a result of another hazard (e. G. Earthquake or volcanic eruption). Human- induced * Accidental damage by workmen to tunnels or pipes. Muddy * A muddy flood is produced by an accumulation of runoff generated on cropland. Sediments are then detached by runoff and carried as suspended matter or bed load. Muddy runoff is more likely detected when it reaches inhabited areas. Muddy floods are therefore a hill slope process, and confusion with mudflows produced by mass movements should be avoided.
Other Floods can occur if water accumulates across an impermeable surface (e. G. From rainfall) and cannot rapidly dissipate (I. E. Gentle orientation or low evaporation). * A series of storms moving over the same area. * Dam-building beavers can flood low-lying urban and rural areas, often causing significant damage. Effects of Floods Primary effects * Physical damage – Can damage any type of structure, including bridges, cars, buildings, sewerage systems, roadways, and canals. Secondary effects * Water supplies – Contamination of water. Clean drinking water becomes * Diseases -?? Unhygienic conditions.
Spread of water-borne diseases. Scarce. * Crops and food supplies – Shortage of food crops can be caused due to loss of entire harvest.  However, lowlands near rivers depend upon river silt deposited by floods in order to add nutrients to the local soil. * Trees – Non- tolerant species can die from suffocation.  * Transport – Transport links destroyed, so hard to get emergency aid to those who need it. Tertiary/long- term effects Economic – Economic hardship, due to: temporary decline in tourism, rebuilding costs, food shortage leading to price increase, etc.
Control In many countries across the world, rivers prone to floods are often carefully managed. Defenses such as levees, funds, reservoirs, and weirs are used to prevent rivers from bursting their banks. When these defenses fail, emergency measures such as sandbags or portable inflatable tubes are used. Coastal flooding has been addressed in Europe and the Americas with coastal defenses, such as sea walls, beach nourishment, and barrier islands. Many governments mandate that residents flood-prone areas purchase flood insurance and build flood-resistant structures.
Massive efforts to taiga and redirect inevitable floods have resulted in some of the most ambitious engineering efforts ever seen, including New Orleans extensive levee system and massive dikes and dams in the Netherlands. And highly advanced computer modeling now lets disaster authorities predict with amazing accuracy where floods will OCCUr and how severe they’re likely to be. Drought Drought is a period or condition of unusually dry weather within a geographic area where rainfall is normally present. During a drought there is a lack of precipitation.
Droughts occur in all climatic zones. However, its characteristics array significantly from one region to another. Drought usually results in a water shortage that seriously interferes with human activity. Water-supply reservoirs empty, wells dry up, and crop damage ensues. Its seriousness depends on the degree of the water shortage, size Of area affected, and the duration and warmth Of the dry period. In many underdeveloped countries, such as India, people place a great demand on water supply. During a drought period there is a lack of water, and thus many of the poor die.
Most precipitation depends on water vapor carried by winds from an ocean or other source of moisture. If these moisture-carrying winds are replaced by winds from a dry region, or if they are modified by downward motion, as in the center of an anticyclone, the weather is abnormally dry and often persistently cloudless. If the drought period is short, it is known as a dry spell. A dry spell is usually more than 14 days without precipitation, whereas a severe drought may last for years. Impacts of Drought Drought produces a large number of impacts that affects the social, environmental, and economical standard of living.
Its affects spread far beyond the physical effects of drought itself. Water is integral to produce odds and provide certain services-Some direct impacts of drought are reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity; reduced Water levees; increased fire hazard; increased livestock and wildlife death rates; and damage to wildlife and fish habitat. A reduction in crop productivity usually results in less income for farmers, increased prices for food, unemployment, and migration. The many effects of drought can be listed as economic, environmental, or social.
Effects of Drought Economic – Loss of national economic growth, slowing down of economic development – Damage to crop quality, less food production Increase in food prices – Increased importation of food (higher costs) – Insect infestation – Plant disease – Unavailability of water and feed for livestock which leads to high livestock mortality rates – Disruption of reproduction cycles (breeding delays or unfilled pregnancies) Environmental – Increased desertification – Damage to animal species – Reduction and degradation offish and wildlife habitat – Lack of feed and drinking water – Disease – Increased predation.
Social – Food shortages – Loss of human life from food shortages, heat, suicides, violence and physical stress – Water user conflicts Political conflicts – Increased poverty Types of Drought Meteorological, Hydrological, Agricultural and Socioeconomic Meteorological Drought – Mental Meteorological drought is the amount of dryness and the duration of the dry period. Atmospheric conditions that result in deficiencies of precipitation change from area to area. Agricultural Drought Agricultural drought mainly effects food production and farming.
Agricultural drought and precipitation shortages bring soil water deficits, reduced ground water or reservoir levels, and so on. More of these effects can be listed by clicking here. Deficient topsoil moisture at planting may stop germination, leading to low plant populations. Hydrological Drought Hydrological drought is associated with the effects of periods of precipitation shortages on water supply. Water in hydrological storage systems such as reservoirs and rivers are often used for multiple purposes such as flood control, irrigation, recreation, navigation, hydrophone, and wildlife habitat.
Competition for water in these storage systems escalates during drought and conflicts between water users increase significantly. Socioeconomic Drought Socioeconomic drought occurs when the demand for an economic good exceeds supply as a result of a weather-related shortfall in water supply. The supply of many economic goods, such as water, forage, food grains, fish, and hydroelectric power, depends on weather. Due to variability of climate, water supply is sufficient in some years but not satisfactory to meet human and environmental needs in other years.