Pollution is undeniably a hot topic for just about every aspect of moving and living in today’s world. Globally and locally it has a huge impact on our industry and our economies.
What we know about pollution, and what we don’t know about pollution can harm us and affect us many ways. Concerns over problems in our environment include; climactic effects and health hazards. There are two types of pollution we have categorized, natural pollution and man-made pollution.
Pollutants from natural sources:
· Forest fires emit particulates, gases, and VOCs (substances that vaporize into the atmosphere)
· Ultra-fine dust particles created by soil erosion when water and weather loosen layers of soil, increase airborne particulate levels. And wind sweeping them into the air.
· Volcanoes spew out sulfur dioxide and large amounts of pulverized lava rock known as volcanic ash.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) occurs naturally in crude petroleum, natural gas, volcanic gases, and hot springs. It can also result from bacterial breakdown of organic matter. It is also produced by human and animal wastes. Bacteria found in your mouth and gastrointestinal tract produce hydrogen sulfide from bacteria decomposing materials that contain vegetable or animal proteins. It is commonly known as hydrosulfuric acid, sewer gas, and stink damp. Hydrogen sulfide is a flammable gas that people can smell at low levels.
The list of man-made sources is much larger, here are a few:
To begin with H2S is also a result of the combination of acids to other compounds or chemicals in the paper mill industry, for one example.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of over 100 different chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other organic substances like tobacco or charbroiled meat. PAHs are usually found as a mixture containing two or more of these compounds, such as soot. Some PAHs are manufactured. These pure PAHs usually exist as colorless, white, or pale yellow-green solids. PAHs are found in coal tar, crude oil, creosote, and roofing tar,
but a few are used in medicines or to make dyes, plastics, and pesticides. (Source:http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/pha/pha.asp?docid=147&pg=2).
In these two types we have here essentially : air and something. Not just clean air, but now a compound, air and it’s unwelcome visitor or ‘baggage’. Usually a by product of some kind of burning process. The Environmental Protection Agency was formed back in 1976 to keep watch on the problem of pollution. The NEI or National Emissions Inventory
is the EPA’s database for information about sources that emit criteria air pollutants and their precursors, and hazardous air pollutants. The database includes estimates of annual air pollutant emissions from point, nonpoint and mobile sources for all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The EPA collects and releases updated version of the NEI data every 3 Yrs.
The agency’s Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) is also known as the Air Quality Index. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA was required to establish a nationally uniform air quality index for the reporting of air conditions (and ‘ break it down ‘ on the psi values from 100-200 range into; 101-150 ~ unhealthy for sensitive groups such as asthmatics, to 151-200~ unhealthy for anyone). States monitor the daily levels of five pollutants for which EPA has established national ambient air quality standards: ground-level ozone (smog), particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. The proposal would also provide information for a new national Internet website that includes more timely air quality data, along with forecasts of summertime smog levels in many states (website: www.epa.gov/airnow).
In this article we see some of the pollution problem identified, and in the second part we can continue to see the problem, and some new ways of facing up to the problem in our air, and how some of it is mitigated.