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LECTURE NOTES – BIOLOGY STEPS … A T CY Pr ogr am

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ENVIRONMENT & ENVIRONMENTAL


PROBLEMS
• The physical & Biological world where we live is called environment. It includes
Physical surroundings Organisms
& Soil; Animals, Humans, Microbes
Air & Water Plant

• Major Environmental problems caused by various activities of human beings.


(i) Pollution of air, water, soil
(ii) Soil erosion
(iii) Thinning of ozone layer
(iv) Global Warming
(v) Deforestation
(vi) Salination
(vii) Depletion of natural resources
(viii) Waste accumulation

Pollution: The contamination of air, water & soil with harmful substances is called pollution.

Pollutants: The substances which contaminate air, water & soil are called pollutants. E.g. dust,
CO, CO2, SO2, sewage.

(i) Biodegradable (ii) Non – Biodegradable

(i) Biodegradable: The pollutants which can be broken down into simpler, harmless
substances in nature are called Bio–degradable pollutants e.g. garbage, sewage,
paper & wood, cloth, compost

(ii) Non–Biodegradable: Those pollutants which cannot be broken down into simpler,
harmless substances DDT, insecticides, mercury, lead etc

AIR POLLUTION

An undesirable change in the physical chemical or biological characteristics of air is called Air
pollution.
The substances which pollute the air are called Air pollutants e.g. Dust, Soot (carbon particles),
Ash, CO.

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Sources of Air Pollution

(i) Natural Sources (ii) Mass – made sources


(a) Dust storms (a) Homes
(b) Forest fires (b) Automobiles
(c) Volcanoes (c) Industries
(d) Decay of organic matter (d) Thermal power plants
(e) Pollen grains (e) Nuclear power plants
(f) Agriculture
(g) Deforestation
(h) use of CNG
(i) Mining
(g) Smothing

Harmful Effects of Air Pollution


1. Can cause respiratory problems and diseases such as bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer,
T.B., Pneumonia
2. Can cause Copoisoning leading to suffocation & even death
3. Acid rain which damages crops, trees, buildings, monuments, statues & metal structures &
makes soil acidic.
4. Depletion of ozone layer due to which UV rays can reach earth & cause damage.
5. Global warming due to green house effect which leads to excessive heating of earth.
6. Air pollution caused by certain metals, pesticides, fungicides causes serious ailments.

Occupational Hazards
The diseases which arise due to occupation in which a person is engaged, are called
occupational diseases. These are caused by the continued inhalation of certain substances. E.g.

1. Silicosis: This disease is caused by prolonged inhalation of free silica (SiO2). It is also
called silica– Tuberculosis. The person suffering get chronic cough, Pain in the chest
2. Asbestosis: The disease caused by prolonged inhalation of asbestos dust. Asbestos is
considered a cancer causing agent. So persons working in asbestos factories are prone
to deadly disease cancer.
3. Pneumoconiosis: This disease is caused by prolonged inhalation of coal dust workers in
coal mines usually suffer from this disease. The workers suffer from lung problems.
4. Byssinosis: Disease caused by prolonyed inhalation of cotton fibres. It is a lung disease
marked by chromic cough & chronic bronchitis.

ACID RAIN
It is caused by air pollution. The acidic gases SO2 & NO2 are present in polluted air. SO2
dissolves in water & forms sulphuric acid NO2 dissolves in water to form nitric acid. This rain
water containing the acids in it is called acid rain.

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Harmful Effects
1. It damages a lot of crop plants every year & causes a big loss to formers.
2. It corrodes the statues, buildings & movements made of marble.
3. It corrode metal structures like steel bridges gradually reducing their life span.
4. Makes soil acidic & decreases its fertility

Prevention & control of Air Pollution caused by Gaseous (SO2, ammonia CO,
Hydrocarbons) Pollutants

1. Combustion: This method is used when pollutants are in the form of organic
gases/vapours. Here the organic air pollutants are subjected to catalytic combustion
where it is converted into less harmful products like CO2 & H2O
2. Absorption: The polluted air containing gaseous pollutants is passed thru a scrubber
where a suitable liquid is absorbent. This liquid absorbs the harmful gaseous pollutants &
air gets cleaned.
3. Adsorption: The polluted air is passed thru porous solid adsorbents kept in suitable
containers. The gaseous pollutants are adsorbed at the surface of porous solid & clean air
passes thru it.

Methods of Controlling Air pollution caused by Particulate pollutants.

1. Fabric Filters: In this method, polluted air is passed thru fabric filters. The particles are
held back by the walls of fabric filters & clean air passes through.
2. Wet scrubbers: They are the tanks which wash of the parliculate water, dissolves the
harmful gases & discharges clean air thru chiminey
3. Electrostatic Precipitator: The polluted air is passed thru electrostatic precipitator
where electric current is passed thru it. This device induces an electric charge on the
particles present. These charged particles are attracted to the oppositely charged plate &
get deposited on it.
4. Mechanical Devices: Such devices work on 2 principles:
(i) gravity
(ii) Sudden change in direction of air flow.

WATER POLLUTION

Potable water
The water is fit for drinking is called potable water.
1. It should be clear, colorless, odourless
2. It she be free from harmful chemicals & coliform bacteria
3. It should contain sufficient dissolved O2.

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Water Pollution
The contamination of water of rivers & lakes with unwanted & harmful substances is called
water pollution.

Sources of water Pollution


(i) Point sources: c are fixed at a place
Factories, Power plants, Coal mines, Oil Wells.
(ii) Non–point sources: c are scattered & have no specific location.
Run–offs from fields
Rain water from roads streets
Dirty water from different construction sites

Sources of water pollution


(i) Industrial wastes
(ii) Sewage
(iii) Synthetic Detergents
(iv) Chemical fertilizers
(v) Petroleum oil

Prevention & control of water pollution


1. Sewage should be treated before it is discharged into river.
Modern technique of sewage treatment consists of 3 steps.
(a) Primary Treatment (b) Secondary Treatment (c) Tertiary Treatment
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(a) 1 Treatment: First of all, sewage is passed thru a grinding mechanism. It is then
passed through several setting chambers & line is added to neutralize it
(b) 2o Treatment: It is also called Biological treatment. The neutralized sewage still
contains a lot of pathogenic & non–pathogenic organisms & organic matter. It is
sent to a reactor called UASB (Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket). Here anaerobic
bacteria decompose biodegradable organic matter present in sewage. This
process removes foul small & produces methane. Now sewage is converted into
clean water which is aerated & mixed c bacteria. These bacteria destroy small
organic waste material left in it.
(c) Tertiary: This is a disinfection process to remove traces of organic matter; bacteria
dissolved organic & Exchange absorption to obtain pure water.
2. Industrial waste should be neuralized before discharging into rivers
3. Wastes should not be thrown in open areas.
4. Solid organic wastes should be sent to biogas plants

Some imp modes of waste Disposal


1. Landfills 2. Recycling 3. Compost forming
4. Production of Bio–gas & Manure 5. Incineration

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Soil Erosion: The removal of fertile top soil from a region by wind rain or river water is called
soil erosion.
It occurs easily where the soil is not covered by vegetation.

Causes of Soil Erosion: Wind, Rain, Improper farming, Human activities, Floods, Improper
drainge of water, Hilly areas

NAMES OF A FEW NATIONAL PARKS IN INDIA


Corbett National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Desert National Park

NAMES OF SANCTURIES OF INDIA


Gir sanctuary – Gujrat
Rann of Kutch Sanctuary
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – Rajasthan
Simplipal Biosphere Reserve – Orissa.

ENVIRONMENT LAWS
The motor vehicles Act 1983
Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
Forest (Protection) Act 1980
Environment (Protection) Act 1986

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