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Stationary and mobile sources of air pollution

Stationary Sources have relatively fix location
Point Sources emit pollutants from one or more controllable sites
Fugitive Sources generate air pollutants from open areas exposed to
wind processes
Area Sources well defined areas within which are several sources of air
Mobile Sources air pollutants move from place to place while emitting

General effects of air pollution

Visual Qualities


-air pollutants affect visual resources by discoloring the

atmosphere and by reducing visual range and atmospheric
clarity so that the visual contrast of distant objects is decreased
- damage to leaf tissue, needles and fruit
- Reduction of growth rates or suppression of growth
- increased susceptibility to a variety of diseases, pests and adverse weather
- Disruption of reproductive processes
-impairment of the respiratory system, damage to eyes, teeth

and bones
Water Quality

increased susceptibility to diseases, parasites and other stressenvironmental hazards

reduced ability to successful reproduction
-air pollution and degrade soil and water resources
when pollutants from the air are deposited

Natural and
Artificial Structures -discoloration, erosion and decomposition of building materials
Human Health
-toxic poisoning, cancer, birth defects, eye irritation and
irritation of the respiratory system
- Healthy people tend to acclimate to pollutants in a
relatively short period of time

Primary and secondary pollutants, natural and human

Particulate matter (PM) particles of solid or liquid substances less than 10 m
in diameter and may be organic or inorganic

Gaseous pollutants
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Ozone (O3)
Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
Primary pollutants emitted directly into the air
Secondary pollutants produced through reactions between primary pollutants
and normal atmospheric compound
example, ozone

Primary pollutants that account for nearly all air pollution problems:
-CO (58%)
-VOC (11%)
-NOx (15%)
-SOx (13%)
-PM (3%)

Natural emission of air pollutants

Release of sulfur dioxide from volcanic eruptions (vog volcanic smog)
Release of hydrogen sulfide from geysers and hot springs and from biological
decay of bogs and marshes
Release of ozone in the lower atmosphere as a result of unstable
meteorological conditions (thunderstorms)
Emission of particles from wildfires and windstorms
Natural hydrocarbon seeps (La Brea Tar Pits, LA)
Major air pollutants: some details

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

-Colorless and odorless gas normally present at Earths surface at low
-Major anthropogenic source is the burning of fuels, mostly coal in power
-An important precursor to acid rain
-Capable of causing severe damage to the lungs of human and animals,
particularly in the sulfate form
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
-Occurs in many forms in the atmosphere, emitted largely in two
forms: nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide(NO 2)
-Among the two, NO2 is more important. It is a yellow-brown to reddishbrown gas
-Both NO and NO2 are major contributors of smog and NO2 is a major
contributor to acid rain

-Environmental effects on human are variable but include irritation of

eyes, nose, throat and lungs
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
-Colorless, odorless gas that even at very low concentrations is extremely
toxic to humans and other animals.
-High toxicity results from a physiological effect
Ozone and Other Photochemical Oxidants
Results from atmospheric interactions of nitrogen dioxide and sunlight
Common photochemical is ozone (O3) a colorless gas with a significantly
sweet odor.
PANs (peroxyacyl nitrates) occur with photochemical smog
At very low concentration, ozone can reduce growth rates while not
producing any visible injury.
At higher concentrations, ozone kills leaf tissue, and if pollutant level
remains high, whole plants
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Hydrocarbons compounds composed of hydrogen and carbon
comprise one group of VOCs
Some hydrocarbons react with sunlight to produce photochemical
On a global basis, only about 15% of hydrocarbon emissions are
Particulate Matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5)
PM 10 is made of particles less than 10 m in diameter
a very fine particle pollutants PM 2.5 less than 2.5 10 m in diameter
When measured, particulate matter is often reffered to as total
suspended particulates (TSPs)
Particulates are linked to both lung cancer and bronchitis
Hazardous to the elderly and to individuals with respiratory problems,
such as asthma
Hydrogen Sulfide (HF)
Gaseous pollutant released by some industrial activities such as
production of aluminum, coal gasification and burning of coal in power
Extremely toxic
Other Hazardous Gases
Chlorine gases and a variety of other materials used in chemical and
agricultural processes
Sewage treatment plants source of gaseous air pollution

Important constituent of automobile batteries and many other

industrial products

Once released, lead can be transported through the air as particulates

to be taken up by plants through the soil or deposited directly on plant

Atmospheric inversion -occurs when warmer air is found above cooler air and
it poses a particular problem when there is a stagnant air mass

Two major types of Smog:

Photochemical smog (L.A-type smog or brown air)
-Solar radiation is particularly important in formation of photochemical smog
-Development of photochemical smog is directly related to automobile use
Sulfurous smog (London type smog, gray air, industrial smog)
-Produced primarily by the burning of coal or oil at large power plants.
-Sulfur oxides and particulates combine under certain meteorological
conditions to produce concentrated sulfurous smog
-protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.