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Pollution

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by

Alexis Guillory

on 17 December 2012

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Transcript of Pollution

Pollution Keeping the Environment Healthy Air Pollution Acid Precipitation Preventing Acid Rain People can help safeguard the environment by paying attention to how their use of natural resources affects air, land, and water Air pollutants include soot, smoke, ash, and gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides
Can be caused by motor vehicles factories, forest fires, and the evaporation of chemicals
Smog is a form of air pollution created when sunlight reacts with pollutants produced by burning fuel Forms when air pollutants in the atmosphere react with water in the atmosphere
Has a pH below 5.6
Can wash nutrients from soil which can kill plants
Can contaminate lakes and ponds and cause the death of organisms in that water Using low-sulfur fuels can reduce acid precipitation
These fuels are less plentiful and more expensive
Some smokestacks can actually remove sulfur dioxide before it enters the atmosphere
Reducing automobile use and nitrogen oxide pollution Greenhouse Effect How our atmosphere traps heat
Without it, temperatures on Earth probably would be too cold to support life
Gases in the atmosphere trap this heat, the most important of which is carbon dioxide (CO2)
It is a normal part of the atmosphere, but burning fossil fuel increases the percentage of CO2 which causes the Earth to trap more of the Sun's heat Global Warming Is the general idea of Earth's average temperature increasing over the past 100 years
No one is certain whether it is caused by humans or is part of Earth's weather cycle
For example the Sun's output of energy varies over time which might cause climate change
Might cause rainfall patterns to change and could affect the rate of plant growth Ozone Depletion Ozone is a form of oxygen that absorbs some of the Sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation
The thinning of the ozone is caused by certain pollutant gases especially chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
These leak into the atmosphere and break ozone molecules apart
With the ozone thinning, it is allowing too much UV radiation into our atmosphere
This UV radiation could be causing more skin cancer cases in humans as well as harm other animals Indoor Air Pollution Can come from cigarette smoke, paint, carpet, glues, printing and photocopying machines
We are exposed to them more now today than before because buildings are better insulated causing poor air flow
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced from burning certain fuels
It is difficult to detect and can cause serious illness and even death
Equipment that releases CO must be vented outside Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas given off by some types of rock and soil
Also colorless and odorless, it seeps into basements and lower floors of buildings
It is the second leading cause of lung cancer Indoor Air Pollutants (con't) Water Pollution Caused when pollutants enter water
Rain can wash land pollutants into waterways (pesticides and fertilizers)
Waste water from factories and sewage treatment plants is often released into waterway
In some places, laws exist that require wastewater to be treated to remove pollutants before it is released
Pollution also enters water when people litter and cleaning materials into waterways Soil Loss Topsoil is important for plants to grow
Topsoil can be removed by wind or water (erosion)
Erosion occurs naturally, but human activities can increase it
Soil can become polluted when air pollutants drift to the ground or water pollutants get left behind as they flow through the soil Solid Wastes The trash we throw away goes to landfills
Landfills are designed to prevent pollutants from getting into water and soil, but this slows the decay process down
It is important to try to generate less trash so as to not overfill landfills Hazardous Wastes Includes pesticides, petroleum-based products, and radioactive wastes
Many household items are considered hazardous wastes and should be handled separately from regular trash
These should be taken to a facility to be contained in steel drums to prevent them from polluting the environment
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