Chapter 9: Pollution and Waste Management
What pollutants may be present in the air and water where you live?
What is a watershed, and why is the concept important in environmental science?
Criteria air pollutants: the six most common air pollutants, which include carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide
Source–receptor relationship: the science of understanding how air pollutants move from the emission source to where they end up or deposit and the effects that they have on people or other organisms once they end up there
Primary air pollutants: pollutants that are emitted directly into the atmosphere
Secondary pollutants: pollutants that are formed through chemical reactions in the atmosphere
Clean Air Act: a law that was passed in 1963, and then amended in 1970 and 1990, that details the EPA’s role in protecting and improving air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer
Emissions: release of pollutants into the atmosphere from stationary sources (such as factories) and vehicles
Oxidation: the chemical combination of a substance with oxygen
As human population growth and urbanization continues to expand, air pollution is becoming an increasingly important environmental concern. Aside from global climate change, air pollution also directly effects human health. As pollutants accumulate above major cities, instances of cancer, asthma rates, and numerous other health risks increase along with decreases in air quality. Check out the following website http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.national… to find the current air quality in your specific city.
Eutrophication: the changes that take place when excess nutrients, such as nitrogen or phosphorous, are added to lakes, rivers, or other aquatic systems resulting in overgrowth of algae and aquatic plant life
Acidification: the process of becoming acid or being converted into an acid
Air Pollution Control Act: enacted in 1955, first Clean Air Act in United States to address the national environmental problem of air pollution
Increased deposit of nitrogen and other major pollutants through agricultural practices, uncleaned wastewater, and household detergents (among other things) has created a number of adverse environmental effects. Two of these are eutrophication, which depletes the oxygen levels in water (needed for fish to live) and lead to large algal growths. See the pictures below for two examples of eutrophication in a lake.
In 2012, Americans alone produced over 250 million tons of garbage. One large component of this waste consisted of oil based plastic bags, which are utilized excessively by grocers, restaurants, and stores nationwide. In order to reduce this source of waste, many countries are banning plastic bags or taxing customers for their use. For your main post his week, discuss at least two environmental problems caused by our extensive use of plastic bags. If you were in charge, what plan might you propose to reduce or eliminate their use? Discuss the economic impacts of implementing your plan versus the financial impacts of making no change in our current use.
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Utilize at least two scholarly