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CEE final review


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Problems caused by poor air quality:
Acid Rain, lung/skin cancer, visibility problems, eye irritation, death, asphyxiation, global warming
What happened in Denora, PA in 1948?
-Steel Mill town
-6 days of intense smog caused by an inversion layer
-6000 illnesses, 20 deaths
-highest per capita death rate due to air quality
What is smog?
Anything that causes poor air quality or impairment to the atmosphere.
List some things that cause smog
PM, VOCs, NOx, SOx, O3, CO
What is the Clean Air Act of 1970?
NAAQS: National Ambient Air Quality Standards - set standards for acceptable pollutant levels in the air
NSPS: New Source Performance Standards
-limited pollution from new industrial plants and technologies and set standards for industry and vehicles
What 2 ammendments were made to the CAA of 1970?
Emmission offsets (1977) - so that credits for emmissions could be banked and traded among industries
1990 - acid rain causing SO2 credits created for banking and trading
What happens when CO is inhaled?
Causes asphyxiation when it binds to hemoglobin in the blood stream
Where does CO in the air come from?

What helps to reduce CO emmissions?
Imcomplete combustion at low temperatures, low concentrations of O2, and in areas of low air mixing

77% of CO emmisions come from vehicles

-Catalytic converters
What does Particulate matter do to the body?

Some examples of carcinogenic PM?

How can it be prevented in industrial settings?
Sticks to lungs when it's between .5 and 10 micrometers... the heart must work harder because there is less oxygen available through lungs.

Coal dust, concrete dust, silica dust, asbestos dust

Bag houses and cyclones
What kind of damage does Pb cause to the body?

What is the main source of Pb emmissions?
Neurological/kidney damage

Gasoline emmissions
What does NO do?

What does NO2 do?

What is the main source of NOx?
-harmless, but makes more NO2, reduces O3

- irritates lungs, produces O3 and acid rain

-Transportation/coal fire powerplants
O3: where in the atmosphere is it good? Where is it bad?

What does it do when it is bad?
-Good in the stratosphere, blocks heat from sun

-Bad in the troposphere because it causes irritation to eyes, lungs, kills plants, and causes smog
What are VOCs?

What is the main source of VOCs?

What do VOCs do that is so bad?
Volatile Organic Compounds: Organic compounds that have turned to gases.

-industry (66%)

- They help to form NOx, which produces more O3
SOx: What does it do that's bad?

Where does it come from, predominantly?

How can it be limited?
Produces acid rain, damages plants, marble, limestone, and concrete, acidifys surface water, and produces sulfuric acid

Predominantly from Coal Fire power plants

Use low sulfur coal, use scrubbers, natural gas power plants
What fraction of women have too much Hg in their bodies?

Why is that bad?

How has it been regulated?

Causes disabilities in children

Clinton planned to reduce it by a lot, but Bush has backed off the plan, and it will not be reduced much at all over the next 15 years
Would we rather have a stable atmosphere or an unstable atmosphere?
Unstable, because it allows mixing to occur
What is a dobson unit?
a measure of O3 in the stratosphere - the amount you'd have if it was brought down to STP.
What are some pros and cons to UV radiation that makes its way down to the troposphere?

A 1% decrease in the ozone layer has what affect?
Pros: Vitamin D, germicide

Cons: Skin cancer, cateracts

An increase of 10000 skin cancers yearly
What do free radicals do?
They react with O3 to produce less O3 and more O2... biggest problems Cl and Br
Where are CFCs found?

What are some problems associated with CFCs?
Foams, fire extingushers, refrigerants, solvents in electronics

Very stable, not soluble in water, long life in atmosphere, a source of ozone destroying elements (Cl)
Where is the current ozone hole, and why did it get so much bigger recently?
Over antarctica

A volcanic erruption, which released a lot of Cl free radicals
What did several countries unite to try to do in 1987?

Why hasn't it been a huge success?
Attempt to reduce production of CFCs

US resisting compliance because China isn't participating...we also don't want to reduce our Br emmissions.
What does a catalytic converter do?
It adds a catalyst that allows the combustion reaction to go to completion so that incomplete reactions don't cause as much pollution
What are some cons of using a gasoline powered automobile?
Cons: Less efficient combustion
More VOCs and CO produced
More physical parts
Does not last as long
What are some pros and cons to using a diesel powered automobile?
Pros: MOre complete combustion
Higher fuel economy, less refining, less moving parts, better reliability

Cons: Louder, slower, more NOx, PM, and SOx
What are some possible effects of global warming?
Health effects
ecological effects
less land b/c of water rising
food and water resources
What may affect global warming?
Earth's orbit, tilt, and wobble
Reflection of particles in space and atmosphere
What do greenhouse gases do?
Limit the amount of heat that can leave the earth's atmosphere, causing a net increase in global temperature
Where does CO2 go when it is emmitted?
Ocean, atmosphere, plants, sediments, magma...and some mystery unidentified source
Is air quality worse indoors or outdoors?
What are some sources of indoor air quality problems?
Stoves, heaters, furnaces
Paints, dyes, wood preservatives
air cleaners and photocopiers, smoking, mold, bacteria
Why don't people better ventilate their houses to improve air quality?
Non-ventilation conserves heat and energy... there needs to be a good balance of ventilation and non-ventilation
Why has mold become such a problem recently?
People can actually file insurance claims for mold damage and it is REALLY expensive to repair.
How does Radon get into homes?
What is the problem with Radon in homes?
It seeps up through cracks

It is inert, but radioactive, so its byproducts are carcinogenic
What can each type of radioactive particle not penetrate?
alpha- a piece of paper
beta - a sheet of metal
gamma - lead
Where does Radon come from?
Comes from uranium in the soil below houses
How can radon be reduced in a home?
Sealing cracks, installing an exhaust system, testing the house for radon before purchase
What is the main contributor to solid waste in the US?
How much total trash does the US produce daily?
How much trash does the average person produce daily?
4.4 pounds
What are some waste disposal options?
Landfills, waste to energy, recycling
What are some pros and cons of using a landfill?
Pros: helps with jobs and economy, can be turned into public space after use

Cons: Leaks can happen, uses up lots of space, ugly and smelly
What are some pros and cons to Waste to energy waste disposal?
Pros: Takes up little space, provides energy, less weight, don't have to mine and dispose of coal

Cons: Bad public perception, used to produce air pollution and ash (but not anymore)
What are some problems associated with Recycling?
Not many end uses
Weak government regulations
weak market economy
What does MSW stand for?
Municipal solid waste
What are the 3 main domestic trash contributors?
Food waste, paper products, yard waste

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