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Excercise

1. What are the different ways in which water gets contaminated?


Water gets contaminated by the addition of:
Agricultural chemicals: Farmers use excessive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers to
increase crop production. These chemicals get carried away to the water bodies due to rains and
floods which lead to water pollution.
Industrial wastes: Industries release harmful chemical wastes into water sources, thereby
polluting them.
Sewage wastes: Waste materials from kitchens, toilets, and laundry sources are also
responsible for contaminating water.

2. At an individual level, how can you help reduce air pollution?


An individual can reduce air pollution by:
Avoiding the use of cars as much as possible and by using public transport whenever
possible.
By not using vehicles for short distances.
By using clean fuels such as LPG and CNG instead of diesel and petrol.
Always disposing the garbage properly and not burning it.
Controlling the emissions from vehicles and household chimneys.

3. Clear, transparent water is always fit for drinking. Comment.


Clear and transparent water is not always fit for drinking. Water might appear clean, but it may
contain some disease causing micro-organisms and other dissolved impurities. Hence, it is
advised to purify water before drinking. Purification can be done by water purifying systems or
by boiling the water.

4. You are a member of the municipal body of your town.


Make a list of measures that would help your town to ensure the supply of clean water to all its
residents.
To ensure the supply of clean water to all residents the following steps must be taken:
Leakages in pipelines of water should be repaired.
The main water source must be built in clean surroundings and should be maintained
properly.
Open defection in water resources by slum dwellers should be strictly prohibited.
Chemical methods such as chlorination must be used for purifying water.

5. Explain the differences between pure air and polluted air.

Pure Air Polluted air

Pure air contains around 78% nitrogen, 21% Polluted air includes gases like sulfur
oxygen, and 0.03% carbon dioxide also small dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide,
amounts of argon, methane, ozone, and water etc. and other particulate matter.
vapours.

Smog is not present. Smog can be present.

Not harmful for human beings Harmful for human beings as cause
diseases like asthma

6. Explain circumstances leading to acid rain. How does acid rain affect us?
When harmful gases like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, react with moisture present in air,
they form nitric acid and sulphuric acid. These acids when drop down on earth along with rain, is
called acid rain. Effects of acid rain:
Acid rains damage crops, decrease fertility of soil and affect aquatic life.
Acid rains corrode buildings and structures.

7. Which of the following is not a greenhouse gas?


(a) Carbon dioxide
(b) Sulphur dioxide
(c) Methane
(d) Nitrogen
(d) Nitrogen
8. Describe the 'Greenhouse Effect' in your own words.
The greenhouse effect is the rise in the temprature of the Earth's surface due to increased
concentration of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour in the
atmosphere. These gases trap solar radiations released back by the Earth. This helps in keeping
our planet warm and thus, helps in human survival. However, an increase in the amount of
greenhouse gases can lead to an increase in the Earth's temperature leading to global warming.

9. Prepare a brief speech on global warming. You have to deliver the speech in your class.
Global warming is one of the greatest challenges that our planet is facing. It is the unequivocal
and continuing rise in the average temperature of the Earths climate system. It occurs as a result
of an increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases trap solar
radiations released back by the Earth. This helps in keeping our planet warm and thus, helps in
human survival. However, an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases can lead to an increase
in the Earth's temperature leading to global warming.

10. Describe the threat to the beauty of the Taj Mahal.


Acid rain is a major threat to the beauty of the Taj Mahal. When acid rains fall on the monument
made of marble, they react with marble to form a powder-like substance that is then washed
away by the rain. This phenomenon is known as marble cancer. Also, the soot particles emitted
from the Mathura oil refinery located near Agra is leading to the yellowing of the marble.

11. Why does the increased level of nutrients in the water affect the survival of aquatic
organisms?
The increased in the level of nutrients in the water leads to an excessive increase in the
population of algae in the water body. When these algae die, they serve as food for decomposers.
A lot of oxygen is utilised in this process, consequently leading to a decrease in the level of
oxygen dissolved in the water body. This in turn causes fishes and other aquatic organisms to
die.
Substances that cause harmful changes in the air are called pollutants.
Air pollution is caused due to the presence of pollutants in the air.
Air pollution is caused by burning fossil fuels, like coal and petroleum, in industries, power
plants and vehicles, and by burning of firewood and dung cakes.
Pollutants are also released into the air by natural events like a dust storm, forest
fire or volcanic eruption.
Incomplete burning of fossil fuels, like petrol and diesel, results in the production of
colourless, odourless and toxic carbon monoxide gas.
Smog is a mix, in the air, of smoke and chemicals with fog.
The chemical components of smog can include ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide
and carbon monoxide.
Smog can trigger breathing difficulties like asthma and coughing.
Pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are released in large quantities by
petroleum refineries.
These emissions can cause respiratory problems and also permanent lung damage.
CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons are synthetic products that contain carbon, chlorine and
fluorine.
They were formerly used as a refrigerant and as a propellant in aerosol or air sprays.

CFCs contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer that protects us from the harmful
ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Soot is released when automobiles burn fossil fuels, like petrol and diesel.
Pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, which are produced by industries like
rubber processing, automobile chemicals and the Mathura oil refinery near Agra, are
responsible for the decolourisation of the Taj Mahal.
These gases react with water vapour in the atmosphere and form sulphuric acid and nitric
acid.
Precipitation carries these acids back to the earth as acid rain.
The corrosion of the Taj Mahal due to acid rain is called marble cancer.
Global warming has already started melting the polar ice caps, which has resulted in a rise in
the global sea level.
Gases, like methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour, also contribute to the greenhouse
effect, and, along with carbon dioxide, are collectively called the greenhouse gases.
Steps to prevent air pollution:
Use of fuels like CNG and unleaded petrol in automobiles.
Switching to alternative fuels, like solar energy, hydropower and wind energy.
Planting trees.
Travelling to school on a bicycle or on public transport or car pooling.
Avoiding the burning of leaves, trash and vegetable matter.
Restricting cigarette smoking.
Water covers two-thirds of the earths surface and makes up 75 per cent of the human body.
A water body is said to be polluted when toxic substances damage it, making
it undrinkableand also dangerous for organisms to live in it.
Harmful substances, like sewage, silt, toxic chemicals and domestic waste, are called water
pollutants. They spoil the quality of water by altering its smell and colour, and render it unfit
for drinking.
Pollution can enter a body of water in many ways, such as domestic sewage, agricultural run-
off containing fertilisers and pesticides, eroded soil, acid rain, chemicals released from
industries or other wastes from cities and towns.
At places along the Ganga, people bathe, wash clothes and even defecate in the water. They
also throw huge quantities of garbage, flowers, idols of gods and goddesses, untreated
sewage, animal carcases and non-biodegradable polythene bags directly into the river.
Chemical contamination of water due to chemicals, such as compounds of arsenic, fluorides
and lead, cause plants and animals to die. The soil is also affected by polluted water, causing
changes in its acidity, and, therefore, the growth of plant life.
Polluted water is unsuitable for drinking, recreation, agriculture and industry.

Contaminated water destroys aquatic life and reduces its reproductive ability.
Water pollution drastically reduces the quantity of dissolved oxygen in water, which results in
the death of aquatic organisms. Anaerobic micro-organisms release gases like methane and
hydrogen sulphide, leaving a foul-smelling, waste-filled body of water.
The large quantities of chemicals that are washed in from the fields are responsible for
theexcessive growth of algae. Once the algae die, it serves as a food for bacteria. As a result,
a lot of oxygen in the water is used up and many aquatic organisms die.
Water that is suitable for drinking is called potable water. Sewage treatment
plants treatwastewater to purify it before releasing it back into rivers and lakes. Municipal
bodies treatwater before supplying it to our households.
Some popular ways of making water potable are:

Using candle type water filters

Boiling
Chlorination
Reduce, reuse and recycle is a popular mantra and one that is so important for us topractise.
Steps to conserve water:
Rain water harvesting
Using drip irrigation method in agriculture
Reusing the water used to wash vegetables
Minimising water consumption

Definition: Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes


instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living
organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances, or energy, such as noise, heat, or
light energy. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies, or
naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when they
exceed natural levels. Pollution is often classed as point source or non point source pollution.
Air Pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that
cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the natural
environment, into the atmosphere.
The atmosphere is a complex, dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on
planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a
threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems.
Causes of Air Pollution:
The substances which contaminate the air are called air pollutants. Sometimes, such substances
may come from natural sources like smoke and dust arising from forest fires or volcanic
eruptions. Pollutants are also added to the atmosphere by human activities. The sources of air
pollutants are factories, power plants, automobile exhausts and burning of firewood and dung
cakes.
Vehicles produce high levels of pollutants like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides
and smoke. Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete burning of fuels such as petrol and
diesel. It is a poisonous gas. It reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. There is thick
fog-like layer in the atmosphere, especially during winters. This is smog which is made up of
smoke and fog. Smoke may contain oxides of nitrogen which combine with other air pollutants
and fog to form smog. The smog causes breathing difficulties such as asthma, cough and
wheezing in children. Many industries are also responsible for causing air pollution. Petroleum
refineries are a major source of gaseous pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Sulphur dioxide is produced by combustion of fuels like coal in power plants. It can cause
respiratory problems, including permanent lung damage.
Other kinds of pollutants are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are used in refrigerators, air
conditioners and aerosol sprays. CFCs damage the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
In addition to the above mentioned gases, automobiles which burn diesel and petrol also produce
tiny particles which remain suspended in air for long periods. They reduce visibility. When
inhaled, they cause diseases. Such particles are also produced during industrial processes like
steel making and mining. Power plants give out tiny ash particles which also pollute the
atmosphere.
Case Study: - The Taj Mahal
Over the past 2 decades, Indias most famous tourist attraction, Taj Mahal located in Agra, has
become a matter of concern. Experts have warned that pollutants in air are discolouring its white
marble. So, it is not only living organisms that get affected by polluted air but non-living things
like buildings, monuments and statues also get affected. The industries located in and around
Agra like rubber processing, automobile, chemicals and especially the Mathura oil refinery, have
been responsible for producing pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. These gases
react with the water vapour present in the atmosphere to form sulphuric acid and nitric acid. The
acids drop down with rain, making the rain acidic. This is called acid rain. Acid rain corrodes the
marble of the monument. The phenomenon is also called Marble cancer. Suspended particulate
matter, such as the soot particles emitted by Mathura oil refinery, has contributed towards
yellowing of the marble.
Greenhouse Effect
We know that the suns rays warm the earths surface. A part of the radiation that falls on the
earth is absorbed by it and a part is reflected back into space. A part of the reflected radiation is
trapped by the atmosphere. The trapped radiations further warm the earth. The trapped heat
warms the green house. The trapping of radiations by the earths atmosphere is similar. That is
why it is called the greenhouse effect. Without this process, life would not have been possible on
the earth. But now it threatens life. CO2 is one of the gases responsible for this effect.
Global Warming
CO2 is continuously being released because of human activities. On the other hand, area under
forests is decreasing. Plants utilize CO2 from the atmosphere for photosynthesis, thereby
decreasing the amount of CO2 in the air. Deforestation leads to an increase in the amount of
CO2in the air because the number of trees which consume CO2 is reduced. Human activities,
thus, contribute to the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 traps heat and does not allow
it to escape into space. As a result, the average temperature of the earths atmosphere is gradually
increasing. This is called global warming.
Water Pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and
groundwater caused by human activities, which can be harmful to organisms and plants that live
in these water bodies. It occurs when pollutants are discharged directly into water bodies without
treating it first.
Causes of Water Pollution
There are many causes for water pollution but two general categories exist: direct and indirect
contaminant sources. Direct sources include effluent outfalls from factories, refineries, waste
treatment plants etc. that emits fluids of varying quality directly into urban water supplies. In the
United States and other countries, these practices are regulated, although this doesn't mean that
pollutants can't be found in these waters.
Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils/groundwater
systems and from the atmosphere via rain water. Soils and groundwaters contain the residue of
human agricultural practices (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) and improperly disposed of industrial
wastes. Atmospheric contaminants are also derived from human practices (such as gaseous
emissions from automobiles, factories and even bakeries).
Contaminants can be broadly classified into organic, inorganic, radioactive and acid/base.
Effects of Water Pollution
The effects of water pollution are varied. They include poisonous drinking water, poisonous food
animals (due to these organisms having bioaccumulated toxins from the environment over their
life spans), unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support full biological
diversity, deforestation from acid rain, and many other effects. These effects are, of course,
specific to the various contaminants.

Corrective Actions Required

Science provides many practical solutions to minimizing the present level at which pollutants are
introduced into the environment and for remediating (cleaning up) past problems. All of these
solutions come with some cost (both societal and monetary). In our everyday lives, a great deal
can be done to minimize pollution if we take care to recycle materials whose production creates
pollution and if we act responsibly with household chemicals and their disposal. Additionally,
there are choices we make each day that also can affect the quantity of pollutants our actions will
introduce into the environment.
Heavily packaged foods, for instance, contain boxes, cartons, bottles etc. made with polluting
dyes, many of which are released from groundwater at municipal land fills. Whether we choose
to drive to the corner store rather than walk or ride a bicycle will determine how much we
personally contribute to acid and hydrocarbon emissions to the atmosphere (and ultimately to
global fresh water supplies).
Potable Water & Purification of Water
Water which is suitable for drinking is called potable water. Various physical and chemical
processes in the sewage treatment plants help to clean water before discharging it into water
bodies. Similarly, municipal bodies treat the water before supplying it to households.
Water can be made safe for drinking:
Water is filtered. This is a physical method of removing impurities. A popular household filter
is a candle type filter.
Many households use boiling as a method for obtaining safe drinking water. Boiling kills the
germs present in the water.
Chlorination is a commonly used chemical method for purifying water. It is done by adding
chlorine tablets or bleaching powder to the water.
Water pollution: The contamination of water that changes in the physical, chemical and
biological conditions of water is called water pollution. This makes water unfit for human
consumption.
Whenever harmful substances such as sewage, toxic chemicals, silt, etc., get mixed with water,
the water becomes polluted.
The substances that pollute water are called water pollutants.
1.Many industries discharge harmful chemicals into rivers and streams, causing the pollution of
water.
2.Use of pesticides and weedicides . These chemicals dissolve in water and are washed into
water bodies from the fields. They also seep into the ground to pollute ground water.
3. The bacteria present in the faeces of mammals.
4. Throwing untreated sewage directly into rivers.
Water which is suitable for drinking is called potable water.
water can be made
safe for drinking:
1. By filtering water. A popular household filter is a candle type filter.
2. By boiling Water.Boiling kills the germs present in the water
3. Chlorination is a commonly used chemical method for purifying water.It is done by adding
chlorine tablets or bleaching powder to the water
WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNT
1. Water pollution is the contamination of water by substances harmful to life.
2. Sewage, agricultural chemicals and industrial waste are some of the major
contaminants of water.
3. Water which is purified and fit for drinking is known as potable water.
4. Water is a precious natural resource. We must learn to conserve it.
Air pollution is described as any change in the composition of air either by physical or
chemical methods so as to cause harmful effects on health.
The substances which contaminate the air are called air pollutants.
Sources of Air Pollution are :
1. Natural sources 2. Man-made (anthropogenic) sources.
Natural sources: Volcanic eruption, forest fire, sea salt sprays, biological decay, photochemical
oxidation of terpenes oil , marshes, pollengrains, spores, etc.,
Man made sources : Industrial emissions, vehicles, aeroplanes, power stations and burning of
fuels, etc.,
Mainly air pollution is caused due to burning of fuels to run vehicles, and from chimneys of
factories and power stations.
The Green House Effect : Some of the infrared radiation from the earth passes through the
atmosphere but most is absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gas molecules
and clouds. This warms up the Earths surface and the lower atmosphere
Global Warming : CO2 is continuously being released because of human activities. On the
other hand, area under forests is decreasing. Plants utilize CO2 from the atmosphere for
photosynthesis, thereby decreasing the amount of CO2 in the air. Deforestation leads to an
increase in the amount of CO2 in the air because the number of trees which consume CO2is
reduced. Human activities, thus, contribute to the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere.
CO2 traps heat and does not allow it to escape into space. As a result, the average temperature of
the earths atmosphere is gradually increasing. This is called global warming.
Ozone layer is thinning due to the emission of pollutant into the
atmosphere. Holes caused in the ozonelayer allow the harmful UV rays to reach the earth.
Radioactivity: Radio active minerals present in the earths crust are the sources of radioactivity
in the atmosphere.

Acid Rain : Oxides of nitrogen, sulphur, carbon produced by combustion of coal, petroleum,
etc,. dissolve in atmospheric water vapour. They form their corresponding acids like nitric acid,
sulphuric acid, etc., and reach the earths surface as acid rain.
Effects of acid rain
It irritates eyes and skin of human beings.
It inhibits germination and growth of seedlings.
It changes the fertility of the soil, destroys plants and aquatic life.
It causes corrosion of many buildings, bridges, etc.,
Control of air pollution :Air pollution can be minimized by the following methods:
1. Use of crude oil should be avoided and use of high quality fuels, unleaded petrol, bio-diesel
and compressed natural gas(CNG) should be recommended.
2. Use of automobiles should be minimized.
3. Industrial smokes must be filtered before releasing into the atmosphere.
4. By planting more trees to get pure air (O2) and reduce the CO2 content of the environment.