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Air Quality Basics Excerpts from EPA


Air Quality Basics Excerpts from EPA s Air Quality Management Course Developed by EPA OAQPS and OIA Provided by Lourdes Morales, EPA – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Air Quality Basics Excerpts from EPA

Air Quality BasicsExcerpts from EPAs Air
Quality Management CourseDeveloped by EPA OAQPS
and OIAProvided by Lourdes Morales, EPA
Chapter Overview
  • Early History of Air Pollution Problems
  • Hazardous Effects of Air Pollutants
  • Human Body
  • Environmental Effects
  • Overview of Air Quality Management System
  • Strategic Planning Session Involving South
    Africas Developing Air Quality Management Program

Early History of Air Pollution
Air Pollution Episodes
  • 1930, Muese River Valley, Belgium - 63 deaths
  • 1948, Donora, Pennsylvania - 23 deaths, 7,000
    people affected
  • 1950, Poza Rica, Mexico - 22 deaths, 320
  • 1952, London - 4,000 deaths
  • 1953, New York City - 200 deaths
  • 1962, London 700 deaths
  • 1984, Bhopal, India - 4,000 immediate deaths,
    15,000 deaths later

Air Pollution Episode London Fog (1952)
Why Focus on Air Quality?
  • Air pollution causes human health effects
  • Major air pollution episodes
  • Relationship between exposure and health effects
  • Environmental activists
  • Rachel Carson
  • Environmental Organizations
  • Human health care and economy
  • Increased lifespan in US (from 40 to 75 years)
  • Understanding of a connection of long term
    exposures, and dangers to childrens health.
  • Its not the economy OR the environment, we can
    have both

Hazardous Effects of Air Pollutants
  • Air Pollutant Entry into the Human Body
  • Health Effects of Criteria Pollutants
  • Health Effects of Toxic Air Pollutants
  • Health Effects on Children
  • Environmental Effects of Air Pollution

Air Pollutants Enter the Body through
  • Breathing, exposing the nose, throat, and lungs,
  • Ingestion air pollutants can deposit on food or
    vegetation that will be eaten by humans
  • or livestock, or
  • Absorption through the skin.

Pollutants in the Respiratory System
  • Pollutants are inhaled through the nose or mouth
  • Defenses
  • Cilia
  • Phagocyte cells
  • Soluble toxins may enter the bloodstream

Effects of Air Pollutants
  • Effects can include
  • Decreased respiratory efficiency, diminished
    pulmonary circulation, enlargement and weakening
    of the heart and blood vessels, skin and eye
    irritation, inflammation, and allergic reaction.
  • Impedance of the lungs ability to absorb oxygen
    from the air and remove harmful carbon dioxide
    from the bloodstream.
  • Long-term health effects can include
  • lung cancer, pulmonary emphysema, bronchitis,
    asthma, and other respiratory infections.

US EPA Air Pollutants
  • Major Air Pollutants (known as Criteria
  • Particulate Matter (PM)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Toxic Air Pollutants
  • Not criteria pollutants
  • 188 substances defined as hazardous air pollutants

Health Effects of Criteria Pollutants
Health Effects of Toxic Air Pollutants
  • Toxic or hazardous air pollutants cause or may
  • cancer or other serious health effects, such as
    reproductive disorders or birth defects
  • adverse environmental and ecological effects.
  • Examples of toxic air pollutants include
  • benzene, found in gasoline
  • perchloroethylene, emitted from some dry cleaning
  • methylene chloride, used as a solvent by a number
    of industries
  • Originate from
  • man-made sources
  • natural sources such as volcanic eruptions and
    forest fires

Environmental Effects of Air Pollution
  • Acid Rain
  • SOx and NOx react in the atmosphere to form acids
  • Acid rain falls on the soil and water bodies
    making the water unsuitable for fish and other
  • Speeds the decay of buildings, statues and
  • The Greenhouse Effect
  • Ozone, methane, CO2,
  • and other gases may
  • contribute to global
  • warming

Environmental Effects of Air Pollution (cont.)
  • Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
  • Certain substances deplete the amount of ozone in
    the stratosphere, increasing the amount of UV-b
  • Mercury
  • Mercury in the air can settle into water bodies
    where it can change it into methylmercury, a
    highly toxic form that builds up in fish,
    shellfish and animals that eat fish.
  • Agriculture Impacts
  • Crop yields

Transport of Air Pollution
  • Air pollution crosses many boundaries
  • Ozone, particulates and persistent pollutants
  • Causes episodic problems
  • Increases background
  • Requires Regional and Intergovernmental

Pollutants in the Ambient Air
  • Major Pollutants
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
  • Particulate Matter
  • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Hazardous Air Pollutants
  • Benzene
  • Perchlorethylene
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Dioxin
  • Asbestos
  • Toluene
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Chromium
  • Many others

What Causes Air Pollution?
  • Processes of nature that produce pollutants are
    classified as biogenic sources.
  • Mans activities that produce air pollutants are
    classified as anthropogenic sources.

Biogenic (Naturally Occurring) Sources of Air
Anthropogenic (Man-Made) Sources
  • Mobile
  • Stationary
  • Point
  • Area

Mobile Sources
Onroad Mobile Sources
  • Vehicles used on roads for transportation of
    passengers or freight, including
  • light-duty vehicles (passenger cars),
  • heavy-duty vehicles, and
  • motorcycles.
  • Typically fueled with
  • gasoline,
  • diesel fuel, or
  • alternative fuels, such as alcohol or natural gas.

Nonroad Vehicles and Equipment Emissions
  • Nonroad (also called off-road) includes
  • Outdoor power equipment
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Farm and construction machinery
  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Marine vessels
  • Locomotives

U.S. Nonroad Engine Emissions
Diesel Engines
  • Diesel engines power many trucks, buses, trains,
    ships, and off-road machinery.
  • Diesel exhaust is a mixture containing over 450
    different components, including vapors and fine
  • For the same load and engine conditions, diesel
    engines spew out 100 times more particulates than
    gasoline engines.

Air Pollutants From Stationary Sources
  • Air pollutants from stationary sources are
    produced by activities such as
  • Combustion of fuel such as coal and oil at
    power generating facilities and
  • Industrial processes that release pollutants into
    the air

Air Pollutants From Stationary Sources (contd)
  • Stationary sources are classified as
  • Point Source
  • Fixed point such as a smokestack or storage tank.
  • Area Source
  • Series of small sources that individually release
    small amounts of a given pollutant, but
    collectively can release significant amounts of a

Fugitive Sources
  • Fugitive emissions are emissions which could not
    reasonably pass through a stack, chimney, vent,
    or other functionally-equivalent opening.
  • Examples include
  • Open land masses
  • Chemical storage piles
  • Open vats and chemical containers
  • Road-side dust
  • Agriculture and farming
  • Natural emissions