Air is a mixture of many gases including: Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, Water Vapor and trace other gases. Any change in the atmosphere that has harmful effects is called pollution Any substance that causes pollution is called a pollutant.
Solid particles and gases that are released into the air are called emissions. Main cause of emissions is by motor vehicles releasing carbon monoxide into the air When certain gases in the air react with sunlight it can create a think brownish haze called photochemical smog When the smog level is high it can settle over a city creating a dirty haze. Potential threats to humans are breathing trouble, throat irritation, and burning eyes. Major sources of smog are the gases emitted by vehicles
Acid rain is another type of air pollution
It is caused by power plants and factories that burn _coal and oil_and release chemicals into the air These gases react with water vapor in the atmosphere forming acids which return to Earth’s surface in the form of precipitation Acid rain affects many things in the environment including: fish, plants, buildings, statues. Etc. The air inside buildings can be polluted too= Indoor air pollution Dust, pet hair, air fresheners, smoke and toxic fumes from cleaning supplies can all contribute to air pollution Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an indoor air pollutant that is a colorless and odorless gas that forms when wood, coal, oil or gas is not completely burned Radon is another colorless and odorless gas formed naturally by certain rocks underground that is radioactive. Humans are the leading factor in creating air pollution and other hazardous wastes on earth Humans contribute to deforestation (cutting down trees which produce oxygen) Humans also effect the natural process on earth called the greenhouse effect Hazardous waste is any material that can be harmful to human health or the environment if not properly disposed of Greenhouse gases trap heat in the air which aids in keep the earth a suitable temperature for us to survive Humans add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere through everyday activities including driving and burning fossil fuels The more greenhouse gases that are trapped in the atmosphere the more likely it is for our overall temperature of earth to increase (global warming) Toxic waste = or poisonous wastes are wastes that can damage health of humans or other organisms Explosive waste= wastes that react very quickly when exposed to the air or water or that explode when they are dropped Flammable wastes = catch fire easily and can begin burning at fairly low temperatures Corrosive waste= wastes that dissolve or eat through many materials Radioactive waste = contain unstable atoms that give off radiation that can cause cancer and other diseases Short term exposure to hazardous wastes may cause irritation to certain body parts or more severe health problems Long term exposure may cause diseases such as cancer and may damage body organs including: brain liver kidneys, lungs Methods of hazardous waste disposal include burial in landfills Liquid wastes can be stored in deep rock layers
Most often Hazardous wastes are disposed in carefully designed landfills These landfills are lined with plastic and clay to keep chemicals from seeping into the soil and groundwater (which could cause serious contamination and health problems) The best way to manage hazardous waste is to produce less of them and educate consumers on finding substitutes for common household chemicals