Acid Rain and Indoor Air Pollution

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Transcript Acid Rain and Indoor Air Pollution

Acid Rain and Indoor Air
Inversion Layers
What effect
will this
have on
local and
regional air
Formation of Acid Rain
• Most coal-burning plants, ore smelters, and other
industrial plants use tall smokestacks to emit sulfur dioxide
into the troposphere.
• Here wind can mix and dilute the particles.
• This reduces local pollution but can increase regional
pollution because these pollutants can be carried far away
by prevailing winds.
• During the trip, they form secondary pollutants like nitric
acid vapor, droplets of sulfuric acid, and acid-forming
sulfate and nitrate salts.
Precipitation has a
pH of 5.6!!!
Some areas are more affected than others…
What are the effects?
• Plants and soils—when pH falls
below 5.1, the acid leaches
essential nutrients (calcium and
magnesium) from the soil. Acids
can also dissolve insoluble
compounds (aluminum, lead,
cadmium, and mercury). Trees
also weaken.
• Humans—contributes to
respiratory disease.
• Aquatic systems—when pH falls
below 6, can result in fish kills.
Reducing Acid Deposition
• Coal-burning power plants in the US have started
using low-sulfur ignite coal. This coal has a lower
heating value, thus more must be used. This
contributes to higher amounts of other pollutants
(CO2, mercury, radioactive particles).
• China, India, and Russia have a strong incentive to
use coal because they have a lot of it. Owners of
plants maintain that to reduce sulfur emissions, the
cost to the consumer would be too high.
What do you think about this?
Your House is Killing You!!!
Poverty and Environmental Quality
• Sources: plywood, particle board, paneling,
high-gloss woods, furniture, drapes,
upholstery, adhesives, insulation, permanentpress clothing, fingernail hardener.
1 in 5,000 who live in
these for more than
10 years will die of
lung cancer from
How do reduce your exposure…
Avoid buying uncoated pressed wood products made with urea-formaldehyde (UF) resin: these include
many plywood and particleboard products used indoors, such as cabinets and desks.
Consider using formaldehyde-free materials such as solid wood, gypsum board, some hardboard products,
stainless steel, adobe, bricks, tile, and plastic.
Use formaldehyde-free insulation.
Consider buying used or antique furniture; formaldehyde emissions decrease as products age.
Exhaust all combustion appliances directly to the outdoors; have them checked annually by a professional
to assure proper operation and venting.
Wash permanent press clothing, sheets, and other fabrics before using: one washing can reduce
formaldehyde emissions from these products by up to 60 percent!
Do not allow tobacco smoking in your home; avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.
Air out new carpet, new furniture made with pressed wood products, new draperies, and other permanent
press textiles in a ventilated area for several days before bringing them into the home.
Keep fresh outdoor air circulating when applying fingernail hardeners, nail polish, and other cosmetic
products that may contain formaldehyde. These products can be high-emitters.
Keep doors and windows open when painting your home and when installing wallpaper.
Radioactive Radon Gas
• Radon-222
– Naturally occurring gas
– Odorless, colorless, tasteless
– Made by the decay of uranium-238 naturally
found in rocks and soil
– Much more concentrated in underground deposits
– Seeps into basements and sub-floors through
cracks in foundation or sump-pumps
– Radon is the second leading cause of lung-cancer
Your Home Can be Tested
Short term test kits (3-4 days) are $15, which
includes all costs. Just follow the instructions
on the package and return the kit to the
manufacturer for analysis at no extra charge.
Long term test kits (3-12 months) are $25,
which includes all costs. Just follow the
instructions on the package and return the kit
to the manufacturer for analysis at no extra
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
encourages all homeowners to test their
residences for radon gas concentrations. The
National Radon Program Services at Kansas
State University (K-state) has radon test kits
available for purchase by homeowners for
personal use.