Flashcards in Exam 3 flashcards Deck (145):
What is air pollution?
Chemicals in the air at harmful levels.
Air near the ground is cooler than the air above it.
Trap gases and particulates near the ground.
Human made organic compounds composed of carbon, chlorine and fluorine that had many industrial and commercial applications but were banned because they attack the stratosphere ozone layer.
What does CAFE stand for?
Corporate Average Fuel Economy
Describe the leading technological solutions for air pollution.`
1. Solar Cookers - Reduce particulate inhalation
Describe the leading regulatory solutions for air pollution
1. Clean Air Act
- Authorizes EPA to set permitted limits for specific air pollutants
2. Montreal Protocol
3. Coal Emissions Control
- scrubbers and filters
4. Vehicle emissions control (corporate average fuel economy or CAFE)
What are the main contributors to indoor air pollution?
Inefficient, poorly ventilated stoves
Daily inhalation (cigarettes)
Building structure and contents
Describe the major effects of air pollution
Great Smog disaster.
After Industrial Revolution, Factories were emitting gases and particles. Furnaces and fireplaces emitted particles, and water clings to these particles. London was heavily impacts because there was a high density of factories and homes and it was in a low lying area geographically speaking.
December 5th -9th 1952
Fog was visibility reduced to a few meters
Air contained nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, soot
Most of the city was effected
Indoor and outdoor air quality was bad
Visibility - hard to see
A harmful chemical that enters directly into the atmosphere from either human activities or natural processes.
A harmful substance formed in the atmosphere when a primary air pollutant reacts with substances normally found in the atmosphere or with other air pollutants.
Thousands of different solid or liquid particles suspended in air - huge contributors to air pollution
Air pollution caused by a variety of pollutants.
SO2, NO2 emissions that react w/ water vapor in the atmosphere to form acids that return to the surface as either dry or wet deposition.
Desulfurization systems that are used in smokestacks to decrease the amount of sulfur released in the air by 90% or more.
International negotiations that resulted in a timetable to phase out CFC production.
What is the point of CAFE?
Determines the average fuel economy of passenger vehicles sold by each major automobile manufacturer in the USA.
Which of the following statements about ozone is false? Explain why is it false.
a. Component of photochemical smog
b. Absorbs UV radiation in the stratosphere
c. It is a primary air pollutant in the troposphere
d. Destroyed by CFC's
C - is it a secondary air pollutant, not primary
- Mining, industry, agriculture
- Greatest volume
- Most disposed on site
Municipal solid wastes (MSW)
- Garbage from homes, businesses, schools, etc.
- Paper, plastics, food, metals, glass, wood
- Threaten human health & environment
- Toxic, reactive, ignitable, corrosive
What is hazardous waste?
Wastes posing threats to health, safety, environment, property
What are some statistics of hazardous waste?
- Toxic, corrosive, reactive, ignitable
- 1% of US wastes
- By-product of commercial, domestic, & industrial activities
What are sources of hazardous waste?
auto repair shops
power generation & transmission
E-waste and examples.
Discarded electronic devices & components
(Computers, cell phones, refrigerators)
Hazardous Waste Policy: RCRA
Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (1976)
- Prohibition of open dumps
- “Cradle to grave” regulation of solid and hazardous wastes
What are some RCRA provisions? (6)
Hazardous Waste Policy: CERCLA
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)
What was the point of CERLA? (3)
1. Cleanup of closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites
2. Tax on manufacturers: “Superfund”
3. Liability provisions for responsible parties
What are some solutions to reducing Solid and Hazardous Waste
Reuse, recycle, plastic recycling, composting, integrated waste management
What are the 3 categories of solid and hazardous wastes?
Industrial wastes, Municipal Solid wastes, Hazard wastes
What are some examples of Environmental Hazards? (6)
1. Hazardous and municipal waste
4. Nuclear waste
6. Occupational Hazards
What are the two leading anthropogenic sources of primary air pollutants?
transportation & industry
Which legal agreement is designed to reduce chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere?
Generated by vehicle emissions, temperature inversions, and gas leaks, air pollution in this city ranks among the world's worst.
Which air pollution effect is correctly linked to its cause?
acid deposition — sulfur oxides
The U.S. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 require:
development of automobiles with lower nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbon emissions
Scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators are technologies designed to remove what from industrial smokestacks?
Identify the true statement about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The cleanup is being conducted under the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy.
If we recycled or reused all municipal solid waste that is produced in the US, how much would this reduce our total national production of solid waste?
Which is the most successful recycling program in the U.S.?
Who pays for the cleanup of toxic sites in the Superfund program?
1. those who transported wastes to the site
2. those who dumped wastes on the site
3. prior owners of the site
4. current owners of the site
Identify the false statement about landfills.
Most sanitary landfills in operation today meet current standards for new landfills.
The materials in municipal solid waste that are best for incineration are:
Paper, plastics, and rubber
What is Water Pollution?
Physical or chemical degradation of water quality that harms human &environmental health
Process where water bodies acquire high concentrations of nutrients
Dissolved oxygen (DO)
Improves drinking water taste
Crucial for aquatic plants & animals
BOD indicator (biological oxygen demand)
Biotic oxygen deficiency
What are some sources of DO?
atmospheric diffusion, photosynthesis, aeration
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
The amount of oxygen needed to decompose organic material (dead plants, manure, sewage, food)
What can lead to high BOD?
Nitrates & phosphates
E-coli (Escherichia coli)
One of the 6 fecal coliform bacteria species found in animal waste and human sewage.
Most strains are harmless, some strains are multi-drug resistant
Six species that are found in animal waste and human sewage
What is Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
National fuel efficiency standards for cars & trucks
What 6 air pollutants does the Clean Air Act focus on reducing?
Which is not a typical characteristic of eutrophic water body?
Low microbial activity
Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (1976) aka RCRA
Prohibition of open dumps
What are some problems associated with incinerators?
Produces hazardous air pollutants
Produces solid waste (ash)
Chlorine-based byproducts of combustion
Produces a persistent amount of organic pollutants
Affect air quality
What are some problems associated with landfills?
1. Surface & groundwater contamination
2. Methane generation
3. Long-term viability
4. Few new facilities opening
5. Expensive to close when full
Describe geographic and temporal trends in waste generation and recycling
1. Solid waste: highest generation in MDCs
2. The US has the highest solid waste per capita
3. US recycles ~35% of municipal waste
4. U.S.: ~70% of Ewaste ends up in landfills
5. Limited legislation & disposal options for Ewaste especially in LDCs
6. US recycles ~60% of yard waste
What is distributive justice?
Equitable distribution of environmental risks and benefits
- Hazardous & municipal waste
- Air pollution
- Nuclear waste
- Occupational hazards
What are some topics that are the focus of modern day EJ controversies?
It is much more than landfills & race.
They focus on...
•Industrial & agricultural pollution
Any of a family of mildly to extremely toxic chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds that are formed as byproducts in certain industrial processes.
Integrated waste management
Combine multiple waste minimization techniques
Strategies include: regulation, taxes, credits, market prices, research
Focused on the Control of Transboundary Wastes and Their Disposal.
- International treaty
- Combats “toxic trade”
- Adopted 1989 in Basel, Switzerland
What were the objectives of the Basel Convention?
1. Reduce hazardous waste generation, sound disposal management
2. Restrict transboundary hazardous waste movement except when using sound management
3. Regulatory system for transboundary movement
What are 3 approaches to reducing Municipal Solid Wastes?
1. Sanitary landfills
what are sanitary landfills?
Compact and bury waste under a shallow layer of soil
Most common disposal method
What is incineration?
Burn waste at high temps.
Reduce volumes up to 90%
What is procedural justice?
Equal protection and meaningful involvementof all people in development, implementation, & enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies
Measure of water clarity
Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
Water pollution that begins at a specific identifiable location (5)
1. Industrial facilities
3. Oil & gas extraction
4. Military bases
5. Waste water treatment plants
Nonpoint Source Pollution
Pollutants that occur over a wide area and from multiple sources
Clean Water Act of 1972
Primary U.S. law governing water pollution
Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs)
The maximum permissible amount of a water pollutant that might adversely affect human health
Why does water pollution matter?
Half of all world rivers are heavily polluted and water is needed for aquatic and human life
How does eutrophication work?
1. Nutrient loading
2. Excessive algae growth
4. Oxygen depletion
5. Organisms suffocate & die
The little beads in face washes. They get past water purification and lead to water pollution.
Point source pollution
Water pollution that begins at a specific identifiable location (Industrial facilities, Mining, Oil & gas extraction, Military bases, Waste water treatment plants)
How do agricultural chemicals lead to water pollution?
Industrialized agriculture heavily relies on chemical use; ~70% of water pollution in riversis from agriculture
How are pesticides related to water pollution?
Almost all major streams & rivers polluted with agricultural pesticides and they may pass through water treatment causing harm to our drinking water leading to longterm human health risks.
Natural elements essential for biological growth, maintenance, and reproduction
Examples or nutrients
Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Magnesium, calcium, iron, silica
Main sources of nutrients
What is something negative about nutrients?
Environmental problems at high concentrations; leading to nutrient pollution
How is nutrient pollution measured?
Dissolved oxygen (DO)
What are dead zones?
Large areas of hypoxic conditions. Dead zones form when excess nutrients enter coastal waters and fertilize algal blooms
What is Sewage pollution?
Wastewater containing urine, feces
More than 99% water
Waterborne pathogens, organic content, nutrients
What are sources of sewage pollution?
Residences, businesses, Agriculture, Surface runoff
Why is sewage pollution a major concern in LDCs?
Because the lack infrastructure and water treatment
How do you measure sewage pollution?
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
Different industries generate different pollutants, contaminating different parts of the water column
Food processing plants, paper mills:
Plants with hydrocarbons, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals
Minings contribution to industrial pollution?
Material left after extraction of minerals from ore (heavy metals)
Acid mine drainage
High concentrations of sulfuric acid
Occurs in active & abandoned mines
Pollution that results form Acid mine drainage, and Mine tailings
High amounts of suspended soil particles
Problems with seeming pollution
Carries insoluble toxins into waterways
Limits light penetration
Affects benthic animals and plants
Increases water temps
Where does sediment pollution originate from?
Degraded stream banks
Overgrazed range lands
How is sediment pollution measured?
Heated water released into waterways
How is thermal pollution measured?
Remote sensing: thermal infrared (IR)
Underground drainage systems (solution to water pollution)
Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974
Sets health-based standards for pollutants in drinking water
What is water treatment a solution for?
Sewage and industrial pollution
What is Wastewater Treatment a solution for?
point source pollution
Total Maximum Daily Loads
Max pollutant amount a waterbody can receive, & still meet water quality standards
Disease-causing organisms: pathogens
Infectious disease previously unobserved in humans
Existed in the past, recently increasing in incidence
What are toxic chemicals?
Chemicals causing adverse human health effects:
What are persistent chemicals?
Extremely stable chemicals that resist degradation by natural processes
Buildup of persistent toxic substance in the body
Increased concentration of toxic chemicals in tissues of organisms at higher levels in food webs
What are PCBs?
Chemicals that mimic hormones
PCBs, Dioxins, DDT, Heavy metals –lead and mercury
how many children die before 1 year old
All of the following are examples of nonpoint source pollution, EXCEPT?
a.) Agricultural runoff
b.) Construction sediment
c.) Industrial factories
e.) All are examples.
Secondary water treatment:
uses aerobic microorganisms to decompose organic wastes.
A large amount of sewage:
generates high BOD, which lowers dissolved oxygen in water
Which of the following associations correctly pairs the current law with its goal for controlling water pollution?
Safe Drinking Water Act (1974) – sets uniform federal standards for public drinking water supplies
Which of the following is OK to dispose of in a toilet?
It's OK to dispose of all of these in a toilet
Escherichia coli is......
a leading indicator of sewage present in water
Environmental contaminants are associated with each of the following effects, except:
b.) birth defects
c.) reproductive problems
e.) All of these are related to environmental contaminants
This process quantifies the odds that a person will have an adverse health effect:
If a chemical with a toxicity level of 1 is mixed with a different chemical with a toxicity level of 1, the combined effect of exposure to the mixture is 1. This is an example of chemical mixtures interacting through:
What has prevented the eradication of polio on a global basis?
public fear & suspicion of the safety of the polio vaccine
Identify the false statement:
a.) A dose-response curve shows the effect of different doses on a population.
b.) Doses lower than the threshold level will have no measurable effect on organisms.
c.) The smaller the LD50, the more toxic the chemical.
d.) A dose-response curve illustrates the inverse relationship between LD50 and acute toxicity of a chemical.
e.) The threshold level for a dose-response is the minimum dose with a measurable effect.
A dose-response curve illustrates the inverse relationship between LD50 and acute toxicity of a chemical.
Differences in health and health care between HDCs and LDCs are caused by all of the following factors, EXCEPT:
a.) access to immunization services for children
b.) adequate nutrition for normal growth and development
c.) average number of children a mother has
d.) average life expectancy
e.) money available for health care
average life expectancy
How do the main types of environmental health hazards differ?
Biological Hazards: Disease-causing organisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites)
Chemical hazards: harmful chemicals in air, water, soil, food (natural and human sources)
Cultural and lifestyle health hazards: poverty, conflict, work conditions, individual choices and habits
What are the main reasons for disease reemergence?
Evolution of disease toward human hosts
Urbanization & overcrowding
Poverty & social inequality
Growing elderly population susceptible to disease
Growth in international travel & commerce
Why is it difficult to link pollution and disease?
Presence may be unknown
Many exposure pathways
Exposure may be undetected
Genetics interact w/ exposure
Difficult to identify exact cause of illness
Why isn't risk assessment a silver bullet?
Humans can be more or less susceptible than test animals
Interactions with other chemicals possible
Children are more susceptible to chemicals
emerging vs. reemerging disease
emerging disease is an infectious disease previously unobserved in humans and a reemerging disease existed in the past, recently increasing in incidence
extremely stable chemicals that resist degradation by natural processes
Increased concentration of toxic chemicals in tissues of organisms at higher levels in food webs
glands that produce hormones to regulate metabolism, growth, sexual development and function (chemicals the mimic hormones)
studies effects of toxic chemicals and diseases on human populations. Historical exposure of groups of people
studies effects of toxicants on the human body. Doses administered to animals in precise amounts, difficult to extrapolate results to humans
probability of particular adverse effect will result from exposer