ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
Air pollution from World War II production.
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment due to human activity
that causes harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damage the
environment. Pollution can be in the form of chemical substances, or energy such as
noise, heat, or light. Pollutants can be naturally occurring substances or energies, but are
considered contaminants when in excess of natural levels. Pollution is often categorized
into point source and nonpoint source pollution.
Pollution %ontrol
Pollution control is a term used in environmental management. It means the control of
emissions and effluents into air, water or soil. Without pollution controls the undesirable
waste products from human consumption, industrial production, agricultural activities,
mining, transportation and other sources will accumulate or disperse and degrade the
natural environment. In the hierarchy of controls, pollution prevention and waste
minimization are more desirable than pollution control.
Pollution %ontrol de'i%e(
• Dust collection systems
o yclones
o !lectrostatic precipitators
o "aghouses
• #crubbers
o "affle spray scrubber
o yclonic spray scrubber
o !$ector venturi scrubber
o %echanically aided scrubber
o #pray tower
o Wet scrubber
• #ewage treatment and Wastewater treatment
o API oil&water separators
o #edimentation +water treatment,
o Dissolved air flotation +DA-,
o Activated sludge biotreaters
o "iofilters
o Powdered activated carbon treatment
• .apor recovery systems
)a*or $or!( o$ pollution and !a*or polluted area(
/he ma$or forms of pollution are listed below along with the particular pollutants relevant
to each of them0
• Air pollution, the release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere.
ommon examples include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons
+-s,, and nitrogen oxides produced by industry and motor vehicles.
Photochemical ozone and smog are created as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons
react to sunlight.
• Water pollution via runoff, leaching to groundwater, li1uid spills, wastewater
discharges, eutrophication and littering.
• #oil contamination occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground
storage tan2 lea2age. Among the most significant soil contaminants are
hydrocarbons, heavy metals, %/"!
, herbicides, pesticides and chlorinated
• 4adioactive contamination, added in the wa2e of (5th century discoveries in
atomic physics. +#ee alpha emitters and actinides in the environment.,
• 6oise pollution, which encompasses roadway noise, aircraft noise, industrial
noise as well as high&intensity sonar.
• 7ight pollution, includes light trespass, over&illumination and astronomical
• .isual pollution, which can refer to the presence of overhead power lines,
motorway billboards, scarred landforms +as from strip mining,, open storage of
trash or municipal solid waste.
• /hermal pollution, is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by
human influence, such as use of water as coolant in a power plant.
/he "lac2smith Institute issues annually a list of the world8s worst polluted places. In the
(559 issues the ten top nominees are located in Azerbai$an, hina, India, Peru, 4ussia,
:2raine and ;ambia.
Sour%e( and %au(e(
%otor vehicle emissions are one of the leading causes of air pollution. hina, :nited
#tates, 4ussia, %exico, and <apan are the world leaders in air pollution emissions=
however, anada is the number two country, ran2ed per capita. Principal stationary
pollution sources include chemical plants, coal&fired power plants, oil refineries,

petrochemical plants, nuclear waste disposal activity, incinerators, large livestoc2 farms
+dairy cows, pigs, poultry, etc.,, P. factories, metals production factories, plastics
factories, and other heavy industry.
#ome of the more common soil contaminants are chlorinated hydrocarbons +->,, heavy
metals +such as chromium, cadmium&&found in rechargeable batteries, and lead&&found in
lead paint, aviation fuel and still in some countries, gasoline,, %/"!, zinc, arsenic and
benzene. ?rdinary municipal landfills are the source of many chemical substances
entering the soil environment +and often groundwater,, emanating from the wide variety
of refuse accepted, especially substances illegally discarded there, or from pre&@A95
landfills that may have been sub$ect to little control in the :.#. or !:. /here have also
been some unusual releases of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, commonly called dioxins
for simplicity, such as /DD.
Pollution can also be the conse1uence of a natural disaster. -or example, hurricanes often
involve water contamination from sewage, and petrochemical spills from ruptured boats
or automobiles. 7arger scale and environmental damage is not uncommon when coastal
oil rigs or refineries are involved. #ome sources of pollution, such as nuclear power
plants or oil tan2ers, can produce widespread and potentially hazardous releases when
accidents occur.
In the case of noise pollution the dominant source class is the motor vehicle, producing
about ninety percent of all unwanted noise worldwide.
+u!an health
Adverse air 1uality can 2ill many organisms including humans. ?zone pollution can
cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain, and
congestion. Water pollution causes approximately @3,555 deaths per day, mostly due to
contamination of drin2ing water by untreated sewage in developing countries. ?il spills
can cause s2in irritations and rashes. 6oise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood
pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance.
• #ulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen can cause acid rain which reduces the p>
value of soil.
• #oil can become infertile and unsuitable for plants. /his will affect other
organisms in the food web.
• #mog and haze can reduce the amount of sunlight received by plants to carry out
• Invasive species can out compete native species and reduce biodiversity. Invasive
plants can contribute debris and biomolecules +allelopathy, that can alter soil and
chemical compositions of an environment, often reducing native species
• "iomagnification describes a situation where toxins may be pass through trophic
levels, becoming exponentially more concentrated in the process.
Regulation and !onitoring
/o protect the environment from the adverse effects of pollution, many nations
worldwide have enacted legislation to regulate various types of pollution as well as to
mitigate the adverse effects of pollution.
Regulation and !onitoring ,& region
/he Cyoto Protocol
is an amendment to the :nited 6ations -ramewor2 onvention on
limate hange +:6-,, an international treaty on global warming. It also reaffirms
sections of the :6-. ountries which ratify this protocol commit to reduce their
emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions
trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases.
A total of @3@ countries
have ratified the agreement. 6otable exceptions include the :nited #tates and Australia,
who have signed but not ratified the agreement. /he stated reason for the :nited #tates
not ratifying is the exemption of large emitters of greenhouse gases who are also
developing countries, li2e hina and India.
An :6 environmental conference held in "ali * & @3 December (559 with the
participation from @B5 countries aims to replace the Cyoto Protocol, which will end in
(5@(. During the first day of the conference :#A, #audi Arabia and anada were
presented with the D-ossil&of&the&day&awardD, a symbolic bag of coal for their negative
impact on the global climate. /he bags included the flags of the respective countries.
hina8s rapid industrialization has substantially increased pollution. hina has some
relevant regulations0 the @A9A !nvironmental Protection 7aw, which was largely
modelled on :.#. legislation. "ut the environment continues to deteriorate.
years after the law, only one hinese city was ma2ing an effort to clean up its water
/his indicates that hina is about *5 years behind the :.#. schedule of
environmental regulation and @5 to (5 years behind !urope. In <uly (559, it was reported
that the World "an2 reluctantly censored a report revealing that 9E5,555 people in hina
die every year as a result of pollution&related diseases. hina8s #tate !nvironment
Protection Agency and the >ealth %inistry as2ed the World "an2 to cut the calculations
of premature deaths from the report fearing the revelation would provo2e Dsocial unrestD.
The United -ingdo!
In the @B35s, the :nited Cingdom brought onto the statute boo2s legislation to control
water pollution. It was extended to all rivers and coastal water by @AF@. >owever,
currently the clean up of historic contamination is controlled under a specific statutory
scheme found in Part IIA of the !nvironmental Protection Act @AA5 +Part IIA,, as
inserted by the !nvironment Act @AAE, and other GrulesH found in regulations and
statutory guidance. /he Act came into force in !ngland in April (555.
Within the current regulatory framewor2, Pollution Prevention and ontrol +PP, is a
regime for controlling pollution from certain industrial activities. /he regime introduces
the concept of "est Available /echni1ues +D"A/D, to environmental regulations.
?perators must use the "A/ to control pollution from their industrial activities to
prevent, and where that is not practicable, to reduce to acceptable levels, pollution to air,
land and water from industrial activities. /he "est Available /echni1ues also aim to
balance the cost to the operator against benefits to the environment. /he system of
Pollution Prevention and ontrol is replacing that of Integrated Pollution ontrol +IP,
+which was established by the !nvironmental Protection Act @AA5, and is ta2ing effect
between (555 and (559. /he Pollution Prevention and ontrol regime implements the
!uropean Directive +!IAFIF@, on integrated pollution prevention and control.
United State(
/he :nited #tates !nvironmental Protection Agency +!PA, established threshold
standards for air pollutants to protect human health on <anuary @, @A95. ?ne of the ratings
chemicals are given is carcinogenicity. In addition to the classification Dun2nownD,
designated levels range from non&carcinogen, to li2ely and 2nown carcinogen. #ome
scientists have said that the concentrations which most of these levels indicate are far too
high and the exposure of people should be less. In @AAA, the :nited #tates !PA replaced
the Pollution #tandards Index +P#I, with the Air Juality Index +AJI, to incorporate new
P%(.E and ?zone standards.
/he :nited #tates ongress passed the lean Air Act in @AF* to legislate the reduction of
smog and atmospheric pollution in general. /hat legislation has subse1uently been
amended and extended in @AFF, @A95, @A99 and @AA5. 6umerous state and local
governments have enacted similar legislation either implementing or filling in locally
important gaps in the national program. /he national lean Air Act and similar state
legislative acts have led to the widespread use of atmospheric dispersion modeling
order to analyze the air 1uality impacts of proposed ma$or actions.
Passage of the lean Water Act amendments of @A99 re1uired strict permitting for any
contaminant discharge to navigable waters, and also re1uired use of best management
practices for a wide range of other water discharges including thermal pollution.
Passage of the 6oise ontrol Act established mechanisms of setting emission standards
for virtually every source of noise including motor vehicles, aircraft, certain types of
>.A e1uipment and ma$or appliances. It also put local government on notice as to their
responsibilities in land use planning to address noise mitigation. /his noise regulation
framewor2 comprised a broad data base detailing the extent of noise health effects.
/he state of alifornia8s ?ffice of !nvironmental >ealth >azard Assessment +?!>>A,
has maintained an independent list of substances with product labeling re1uirements as
part of Proposition FE since @ABF.
With the @AA5 lean Air Act, the !PA began a controversial carbon trading system in
which tradable rights to emit a specified level of carbon are granted to polluters.
/he :nited #tates has a maximum fine of :#K(E,555 for dumping toxic waste.
In anada the regulation of pollution and its effects are monitored by a number of
organizations depending on the nature of the pollution and its location. /he three levels
of governemnt +-ederal & anada Wide= Provincial= and %unicipal, e1ually share in the
responsibilities, and in the monitoring and correction of pollution.
-or the Air there is the organization D!nvironment anadaD, and for specific provincial
duties, there are the respective branches of the Provincial entities that deal with areas
such as potable water, ?ceans, and the 6atural 4esources of the lands and waters.All
together 1uite a hodgepodge of offices
/here are laws and regulations written for the Air, Water, and #oil, but these are sub$ect
to change at any given time depending on the Lovernment of the Day.
>uman2ind has some effect upon the natural environment since the Paleolithic era during
which the ability to generate fire was ac1uired. In the Iron Age, the use of tooling led to
the practice of metal grinding on a small scale and resulted in minor accumulations of
discarded material probably easily dispersed without too much impact. >uman wastes
would have polluted rivers or water sources to some degree. >owever, these effects could
be expected predominantly to be dwarfed by the natural world.
An%ient %ulture(
/he first advanced civilizations of %esopotamia, !gypt, India, hina, Persia, Lreece and
4ome increased the use of water for their manufacture of goods, increasingly forged
metal and created fires of wood and peat for more elaborate purposes +for example,
bathing, heating,. #till, at this time the scale of higher activity did not disrupt ecosystems
or greatly alter air or water 1uality.
)iddle Age(
/he !uropean Dar2 Ages during the early %iddle Ages were a great boon for the
environment, in that industrial activity fell, and population levels did not grow rapidly.
/oward the end of the %iddle Ages populations grew and concentrated more within
cities, creating poc2ets of readily evident contamination. In certain places air pollution
levels were recognizable as health issues, and water pollution in population centers was a
serious medium for disease transmission from untreated human waste.
#ince travel and widespread information were less common, there did not exist a more
general context than that of local conse1uences in which to consider pollution. -oul air
would have been considered a nuissance and wood, or eventually, coal burning produced
smo2e, which in sufficient concentrations could be a health hazard in proximity to living
1uarters. #eptic contamination or poisoning of a clean drin2ing water source was very
easily fatal to those who depended on it, especially if such a resource was rare.
#uperstitions predominated and the extent of such concerns would probably have been
little more than a sense of moderation and an avoidance of obvious extremes.
O$$i%ial a%knowledge!ent
"ut gradually increasing populations and the proliferation of basic industrial processes
saw the emergence of a civilization that began to have a much greater collective impact
on its surroundings. It was to be expected that the beginnings of environmental awareness
would occur in the more developed cultures, particularly in the densest urban centers.
/he first medium warranting official policy measures in the emerging western world
would be the most basic0 the air we breathe.
/he earliest 2nown writings concerned with pollution were Arabic medical treatises
written between the Ath and @*th centuries, by physicians such as al&Cindi +Al2indus,,
Justa ibn 7u1a +osta ben 7uca,, %uhammad ibn ;a2arMya 4Nzi +4hazes,, Ibn Al&
<azzar, al&/amimi, al&%asihi, Ibn #ina +Avicenna,, Ali ibn 4idwan, Ibn <umay, Isaac
Israeli ben #olomon, Abd&el&latif, Ibn al&Juff, and Ibn al&6afis. /heir wor2s covered a
number of sub$ects related to pollution such as air contamination, water contamination,
soil contamination, solid waste mishandling, and environmental assessments of certain
Cing !dward I of !ngland banned the burning of sea&coal by proclamation in 7ondon in
@(9(, after its smo2e had become a problem.
"ut the fuel was so common in
!ngland that this earliest of names for it was ac1uired because it could be carted away
from some shores by the wheelbarrow. Air pollution would continue to be a problem
there, especially later during the industrial revolution, and extending into the recent past
with the Lreat #mog of @AE(. /his same city also recorded one of the earlier extreme
cases of water 1uality problems with the Lreat #tin2 on the /hames of @BEB, which led to
construction of the 7ondon sewerage system soon afterward.
It was the industrial revolution that gave birth to environmental pollution as we 2now it
today. /he emergence of great factories and consumption of immense 1uantities of coal
and other fossil fuels gave rise to unprecedented air pollution and the large volume of
industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste.
hicago and incinnati were the first two American cities to enact laws ensuring cleaner
air in @BB@. ?ther cities followed around the country until early in the (5th century, when
the short lived ?ffice of Air Pollution was created under the Department of the Interior.
!xtreme smog events were experienced by the cities of 7os Angeles and Donora,
Pennsylvania in the late @A35s, serving as another public reminder.
)odern awarene((
!arly #oviet poster, before the modern awareness0 D/he smo2e of chimneys is the breath
of #oviet 4ussiaD
Pollution began to draw ma$or public attention in the :nited #tates between the mid&
@AE5s and early @A95s, when ongress passed the 6oise ontrol Act, the lean Air Act,
the lean Water Act and the 6ational !nvironmental Policy Act.
"ad bouts of local pollution helped increase consciousness. P" dumping in the >udson
4iver resulted in a ban by the !PA on consumption of its fish in @A93. 7ong&term dioxin
contamination at 7ove anal starting in @A39 became a national news story in @A9B and
led to the #uperfund legislation of @AB5. 7egal proceedings in the @AA5s helped bring to
light hromium&F releases in alifornia&&the champions of whose victims became
famous. /he pollution of industrial land gave rise to the name brownfield, a term now
common in city planning. DD/ was banned in most of the developed world after the
publication of 4achel arson8s Silent Spring.
/he development of nuclear science introduced radioactive contamination, which can
remain lethally radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. 7a2e Carachay, named by
the Worldwatch Institute as the Dmost polluted spotD on earth, served as a disposal site for
the #oviet :nion thoroughout the @AE5s and @AF5s. #econd place may go to the to the
area of helyabins2 :.#.#.4. +see reference below, as the D%ost polluted place on the
6uclear weapons continued to be tested in the old War, sometimes near inhabited areas,
especially in the earlier stages of their development. /he toll on the worst&affected
populations and the growth since then in understanding about the critical threat to human
health posed by radioactivity has also been a prohibitive complication associated with
nuclear power. /hough extreme care is practiced in that industry, the potential for
disaster suggested by incidents such as those at /hree %ile Island and hernobyl pose a
lingering specter of public mistrust. ?ne legacy of nuclear testing before most forms were
banned has been significantly raised levels of bac2ground radiation.
International catastrophes such as the wrec2 of the Amoco adiz oil tan2er off the coast
of "rittany in @A9B and the "hopal disaster in @AB3 have demonstrated the universality of
such events and the scale on which efforts to address them needed to engage. /he
borderless nature of the atmosphere and oceans inevitably resulted in the implication of
pollution on a planetary level with the issue of global warming. %ost recently the term
persistent organic pollutant +P?P, has come to describe a group of chemicals such as
P"D!s and P-s among others. /hough their effects remain somewhat less well
understood owing to a lac2 of experimental data, they have been detected in various
ecological habitats far removed from industrial activity such as the Arctic, demonstrating
diffusion and bioaccumulation after only a relatively brief period of widespread use.
Lrowing evidence of local and global pollution and an increasingly informed public over
time have given rise to environmentalism and the environmental movement, which
generally see2 to limit human impact on the environment.
Philo(ophi%al re%ognition
/hroughout history from Ancient Lreece to Andalusia, Ancient hina, central !urope
during the 4enaissance until today, philosophers ranging from Aristotle, Al&-arabi, Al&
Lhazali, Averroes, "uddha, onfucius, Dante, >egel, Avicenna, 7ao /se, %aimonedes,
%ontes1uieu, 6ussbaum, Plato, #ocrates and #un /zu wrote about the pollution of the
body as well as the mind and soul.
/he earliest precursor of pollution generated by life forms would have been a natural
function of their existence. /he attendant conse1uences on viability and population levels
fell within the sphere of natural selection. /hese would have included the demise of a
population locally or ultimately, species extinction. Processes that were untenable would
have resulted in a new balance brought about by changes and adaptations. At the
extremes, for any form of life, consideration of pollution is superseded by that of
-or man2ind, the factor of technology is a distinguishing and critical consideration, both
as an enabler and an additional source of byproducts. #hort of survival, human concerns
include the range from 1uality of life to health hazards. #ince science holds experimental
demonstration to be definitive, modern treatment of toxicity or environmental harm
involves defining a level at which an effect is observable. ommon examples of fields
where practical measurement is crucial include automobile emissions control, industrial
exposure +eg ?ccupational #afety and >ealth Administration +?#>A, P!7s,, toxicology
+eg 7D
,, and medicine +eg medication and radiation doses,.
D/he solution to pollution is dilutionD, is a dictum which summarizes a traditional
approach to pollution management whereby sufficiently diluted pollution is not harmful.
It is well&suited to some other modern, locally&scoped applications such as
laboratory safety procedure and hazardous material release emergency management. "ut
it assumes that the dilutant is in virtually unlimited supply for the application or that
resulting dilutions are acceptable in all cases.
#uch simple treatment for environmental pollution on a wider scale might have had
greater merit in earlier centuries when physical survival was often the highest imperative,
human population and densities were lower, technologies were simpler and their
byproducts more benign. "ut these are often no longer the case. -urthermore, advances
have enabled measurement of concentrations not possible before. /he use of statistical
methods in evaluating outcomes has given currency to the principle of probable harm in
cases where assessment is warranted but resorting to deterministic models is impractical
or unfeasible. In addition, consideration of the environment beyond direct impact on
human beings has gained prominence.
Oet in the absence of a superseding principle, this older approach predominates practices
throughout the world. It is the basis by which to gauge concentrations of effluent for legal
release, exceeding which penalties are assessed or restrictions applied. /he regressive
cases are those where a controlled level of release is too high or, if enforceable, is
neglected. %igration from pollution dilution to elimination in many cases is confronted
by challenging economical and technological barriers.
Industry and concerned citizens have battled for decades over the significance of various
forms of pollution. #alient parameters of these disputes are whether0
• a given pollutant affects all people or simply a genetically vulnerable set.
• an effect is only specific to certain species.
• whether the effect is simple, or whether it causes lin2ed secondary and tertiary
effects, especially on biodiversity
• an effect will only be apparent in the future and is presently negligible.
• the threshold for harm is present.
• the pollutant is of direct harm or is a precursor.
• employment or economic prosperity will suffer if the pollutant is abated.
"looms of algae and the resultant eutrophication of la2es and coastal ocean is considered
pollution when it is caused by nutrients from industrial, agricultural, or residential runoff
in either point source or nonpoint source form +see the article on eutrophication for more
>eavy metals such as lead and mercury have a role in geochemical cycles and they occur
naturally. /hese metals may also be mined and, depending on their processing, may be
released disruptively in large concentrations into an environment they had previously
been absent from. <ust as the effect of anthropogenic release of these metals into the
environment may be considered 8polluting8, similar environmental impacts could also
occur in some areas due to either autochthonous or historically 8natural8 geochemical
.reenhou(e ga(e( and glo,al war!ing
>istorical and pro$ected ?( emissions by country.
#ource0 !nergy Information Administration.
arbon dioxide, while vital for photosynthesis, is sometimes referred to as pollution,
because raised levels of the gas in the atmosphere are affecting the !arth8s climate.
Disruption of the environment can also highlight the connection between areas of
pollution that would normally be classified separately, such as those of water and air.
4ecent studies have investigated the potential for long&term rising levels of atmospheric
carbon dioxide to cause slight but critical increases in the acidity of ocean waters, and the
possible effects of this on marine ecosystems.
Air pollution
ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
Air pollution is the modification of the natural characteristics of the atmosphere by a
chemical, particulate matter, or biological agent. /he atmosphere is a complex, dynamic
natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet !arth. #tratospheric
ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health
as well as to the !arth8s ecosystems.
Worldwide air pollution is responsible for large numbers of deaths
and cases of
respiratory disease.
While ma$or stationary sources are often identified with air
pollution, the greatest source of emissions is actually mobile sources, mainly
Lases such as carbon dioxide, which contribute to global warming, have
recently gained recognition as pollutants by climate scientists, while they also recognize
that carbon dioxide is essential for plant life through photosynthesis.
"efore flue gas desulfurization was installed, the emissions from this power plant in 6ew
%exico contained excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide.
/here are many substances in the air which may impair the health of plants and animals
+including humans,, or reduce visibility. /hese arise both from natural processes and
human activity. #ubstances not naturally found in the air or at greater concentrations or in
different locations from usual are referred to as pollutants.
Pollutants can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary pollutants are
substances directly emitted from a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption or the
carbon monoxide gas from a motor vehicle exhaust.
#econdary pollutants are not emitted directly. 4ather, they form in the air when primary
pollutants react or interact. An important example of a secondary pollutant is ground
level ozone & one of the many secondary pollutants that ma2e up photochemical smog.
6ote that some pollutants may be both primary and secondary0 that is, they are both
emitted directly and formed from other primary pollutants.
%a$or primary pollutants produced by human activity include0
• #ulfur oxides +#?
, especially sulfur dioxide are emitted from burning of coal and
• 6itrogen oxides +6?
, especially nitrogen dioxide are emitted from high
temperature combustion. an be seen as the brown haze dome above or plume
downwind of cities.
• arbon monoxide is colourless, odourless, non&irritating but very poisonous gas.
It is a product by incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, coal or
wood. .ehicular exhaust is a ma$or source of carbon monoxide.
• arbon dioxide +?
,, a greenhouse gas emitted from combustion.
• .olatile organic compounds +.?,, such as hydrocarbon fuel vapors and
• Particulate matter +P%,, measured as smo2e and dust. P%
is the fraction of
suspended particles @5 micrometers in diameter and smaller that will enter the
nasal cavity. P%
has a maximum particle size of (.E Pm and will enter the
bronchies and lungs.
• /oxic metals, such as lead, cadmium and copper.
• hlorofluorocarbons +-s,, harmful to the ozone layer emitted from products
currently banned from use.
• Ammonia +6>
, emitted from agricultural processes.
• ?dors, such as from garbage, sewage, and industrial processes
• 4adioactive pollutants produced by nuclear explosions and war explosives, and
natural processes such as radon.
#econdary pollutants include0
• Particulate matter formed from gaseous primary pollutants and compounds in
photochemical smog, such as nitrogen dioxide.
• Lround level ozone +?
, formed from 6?x and .?s.
• Peroxyacetyl nitrate +PA6, similarly formed from 6?x and .?s.
%inor air pollutants include0
• A large number of minor hazardous air pollutants. #ome of these are regulated in
:#A under the lean Air Act and in !urope under the Air -ramewor2 Directive.
• A variety of persistent organic pollutants, which can attach to particulate matter.
Sour%e( o$ air pollution
Dust storm approaching #tratford, /exas
:sing a controlled burn on a field in #outh Leorgia in preparation for spring planting.
#ources of air pollution refer to the various locations, activities or factors which are
responsible for the releasing of pollutants in the atmosphere. /hese sources can be
classified into two ma$or categories which are0
Anthropogeni% (our%e( +human activity, mostly related to burning different 2inds of
• D#tationary #ourcesD as smo2e stac2s of power plants, manufacturing facilities,
municipal waste incinerators.
• D%obile #ourcesD as motor vehicles, aircraft etc.
• %arine vessels, such as container ships or cruise ships, and related port air
• "urning wood, fireplaces, stoves, furnaces and incinerators .
• ?il refining, and industrial activity in general.
• hemicals, dust and controlled burn practices in agriculture and forestry
management, +see Dust "owl,.
• -umes from paint, hair spray, varnish, aerosol sprays and other solvents.
• Waste deposition in landfills, which generate methane.
• %ilitary, such as nuclear weapons, toxic gases, germ warfare and roc2etry.
1atural (our%e(
• Dust from natural sources, usually large areas of land with little or no vegetation.
• %ethane, emitted by the digestion of food by animals, for example cattle.
• 4adon gas from radioactive decay within the !arth8s crust.
• #mo2e and carbon monoxide from wildfires.
• .olcanic activity, which produce sulfur, chlorine, and ash particulates.
Air pollutant e!i((ion $a%tor(
Air pollutant emission factors are representative values that attempt to relate the 1uantity
of a pollutant released to the ambient air with an activity associated with the release of
that pollutant. /hese factors are usually expressed as the weight of pollutant divided by a
unit weight, volume, distance, or duration of the activity emitting the pollutant +e.g.,
2ilograms of particulate emitted per megagram of coal burned,. #uch factors facilitate
estimation of emissions from various sources of air pollution. In most cases, these factors
are simply averages of all available data of acceptable 1uality, and are generally assumed
to be representative of long&term averages.
/he :nited #tates !nvironmental Protection Agency has published a compilation of air
pollutant emission factors for a multitude of industrial sources.
/he :nited Cingdom,
Australia, anada and other countries have published similar compilations, as has the
!uropean !nvironment Agency.


Indoor air 2ualit& 3IA45
A lac2 of ventilation indoors concentrates air pollution where people often spend the
ma$ority of their time. 4adon +4n, gas, a carcinogen, is exuded from the !arth in certain
locations and trapped inside houses. "uilding materials including carpeting and plywood
emit formaldehyde +>
?, gas. Paint and solvents give off volatile organic compounds
+.?s, as they dry. 7ead paint can degenerate into dust and be inhaled. Intentional air
pollution is introduced with the use of air fresheners, incense, and other scented items.
ontrolled wood fires in stoves and fireplaces can add significant amounts of smo2e
particulates into the air, inside and out. Indoor pollution fatalities may be caused by using
pesticides and other chemical sprays indoors without proper ventilation.
arbon monoxide +?, poisoning and fatalities are often caused by faulty vents and
chimneys, or by the burning of charcoal indoors. hronic carbon monoxide poisoning can
result even from poorly ad$usted pilot lights. /raps are built into all domestic plumbing to
2eep sewer gas, hydrogen sulfide, out of interiors. lothing emits tetrachloroethylene, or
other dry cleaning fluids, for days after dry cleaning.
/hough its use has now been banned in many countries, the extensive use of asbestos in
industrial and domestic environments in the past has left a potentially very dangerous
material in many localities. Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory medical condition
affecting the tissue of the lungs. It occurs after long&term, heavy exposure to asbestos
from asbestos&containing materials in structures. #ufferers have severe dyspnea
+shortness of breath, and are at an increased ris2 regarding several different types of lung
cancer. As clear explanations are not always stressed in non&technical literature, care
should be ta2en to distinguish between several forms of relevant diseases. According to
the World >ealth ?rganisation +W>?,, these may defined as= asbestosis, lung cancer,
and mesothelioma +generally a very rare form of cancer, when more widespread it is
almost always associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos,.
"iological sources of air pollution are also found indoors, as gases and airborne
particulates. Pets produce dander, people produce dust from minute s2in fla2es and
decomposed hair, dust mites in bedding, carpeting and furniture produce enzymes and
micrometre&sized fecal droppings, inhabitants emit methane, mold forms in walls and
generates mycotoxins and spores, air conditioning systems can incubate 7egionnaires8
disease and mold, and houseplants, soil and surrounding gardens can produce pollen,
dust, and mold. Indoors, the lac2 of air circulation allows these airborne pollutants to
accumulate more than they would otherwise occur in nature.
+ealth e$$e%t(
/he World >ealth ?rganization states that (.3 million people die each year from causes
directly attributable to air pollution.
%any of these mortalities are attributable to indoor
air pollution.
'citation needed)
Worldwide more deaths per year are lin2ed to air pollution than to
automobile accidents.
'citation needed)
Published in (55E suggests that *@5,555 !uropeans die
from air pollution annually.
'citation needed)
Direct causes of air pollution related deaths include
aggravated asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, lung and heart diseases, and respiratory
'citation needed)
/he :# !PA estimates that a proposed set of changes in diesel engine
technology +Tier 2, could result in @(,555 fewer premature mortalities, @E,555 fewer
heart attac2s, F,555 fewer emergency room visits by children with asthma, and B,A55
fewer respiratory&related hospital admissions each year in the :nited #tates.
'citation needed)
/he worst short term civilian pollution crisis in India was the @AB3 "hopal Disaster.

7ea2ed industrial vapors from the :nion arbide factory, belonging to :nion arbide,
Inc., :.#.A., 2illed more than (,555 people outright and in$ured anywhere from @E5,555
to F55,555 others, some F,555 of whom would later die from their in$uries.
'citation needed)
:nited Cingdom suffered its worst air pollution event when the December 3 Lreat #mog
of @AE( formed over 7ondon. In six days more than 3,555 died, and B,555 more died
within the following months.
'citation needed)
An accidental lea2 of anthrax spores from a
biological warfare laboratory in the former :##4 in @A9A near #verdlovs2 is believed to
have been the cause of hundreds of civilian deaths.
'citation needed)
/he worst single incident of
air pollution to occur in the :nited #tates of America occurred in Donora, Pennsylvania
in late ?ctober, @A3B, when (5 people died and over 9,555 were in$ured.
/he health effects caused by air pollutants may range from subtle biochemical and
physiological changes to difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing and aggravation of
existing respiratory and cardiac conditions. /hese effects can result in increased
medication use, increased doctor or emergency room visits, more hospital admissions and
premature death. /he human health effects of poor air 1uality are far reaching, but
principally affect the body8s respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Individual
reactions to air pollutants depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the
degree of exposure, the individual8s health status and genetics.
'citation needed)
Redu%tion e$$ort(
/here are various air pollution control technologies and urban planning strategies
available to reduce air pollution.
!fforts to reduce pollution from mobile sources includes primary regulation +many
developing countries have permissive regulations,
'citation needed)
, expanding regulation to new
sources +such as cruise and transport ships, farm e1uipment, and small gas&powered
e1uipment such as lawn trimmers, chainsaws, and snowmobiles,, increased fuel
efficiency +such as through the use of hybrid vehicles,, conversion to cleaner fuels +such
as bioethanol, biodiesel, or conversion to electric vehicles,.
Control de'i%e(
/he following items are commonly used as pollution control devices by industry or
transportation devices. /hey can either destroy contaminants or remove them from an
exhaust stream before it is emitted into the atmosphere.
• Parti%ulate %ontrol
o %echanical collectors +dust cyclones, multicyclones,
o !lectrostatic precipitators
o "aghouses
o Particulate scrubbers
• S%ru,,er(
o "affle spray scrubber
o yclonic spray scrubber
o !$ector venturi scrubber
o %echanically aided scrubber
o #pray tower
o Wet scrubber
• 1O6 %ontrol
o 7ow 6?x burners
o #elective catalytic reduction +#4,
o #elective non&catalytic reduction +#64,
o 6?x scrubbers
o !xhaust gas recirculation
o atalytic converter +also for .? control,
• 7OC a,ate!ent
o Adsorption systems, such as activated carbon
o -lares
o /hermal oxidizers
o atalytic oxidizers
o "iofilters
o Absorption +scrubbing,
o ryogenic condensers
o .apor recovery systems
• A%id .a(/SO
o Wet scrubbers
o Dry scrubbers
o -lue gas desulfurization
• )er%ur& %ontrol
o #orbent In$ection /echnology
o !lectro&atalytic ?xidation +!?,
o C&-uel
• 8io6in and $uran %ontrol
• )i(%ellaneou( a((o%iated e2uip!ent
o #ource capturing systems
o ontinuous emissions monitoring systems +!%#,
Air 2ualit& (tandard(
#mog in airo
In general, there are two types of air 1uality standards. /he first class of standards +such
as the :.#. 6ational Ambient Air Juality #tandards, set maximum atmospheric
concentrations for specific pollutants. !nvironmental agencies enact regulations which
are intended to result in attainment of these target levels. /he second class +such as the
6orth American Air Juality Index, ta2e the form of a scale with various thresholds,
which is used to communicate to the public the relative ris2 of outdoor activity. /he scale
may or may not distinguish between different pollutants.
In anada, air 1uality is typically evaluated against standards set by the anadian
ouncil of %inister for the !nvironment +%!,, an inter&governmental body of federal,
provincial and territorial %inisters responsible for the environment. /he %! has set
anada Wide #tandards+W#,.
/hese are0
• W# for P)/.9 Q *5 PgIm* +(3 hour averaging time, by year (5@5, based on
ABth percentile ambient measurement annually, averaged over * consecutive
• W# for o:one Q FE ppb +B&hour averaging time, by year (5@5, achievement is
based on the 3th highest measurement annually, averaged over * consecutive
6ote that there is no conse1uence in anada to not achieving these standards. In addition,
these only apply to $urisdictions with populations greater than @55,555. -urther,
provinces and territories may set more stringent standards than those set by the %!.
European Union
6ational !mission eilings +6!, for certain atmospheric pollutants are regulated by
Directive (55@IB@I! +6!D,.
As part of the preparatory wor2 associated with the
revision of the 6!D, the !uropean ommission is assisted by the 6!PI wor2ing
group +6ational !mission eilings R Policy Instruments,.
United -ingdo!
Air 1uality targets set by the :C8s Department for !nvironment, -ood and 4ural Affairs
+D!-4A, are mostly aimed at local government representatives responsible for the
management of air 1uality in cities, where air 1uality management is the most urgent. /he
:C has established an air 1uality networ2 where levels of the 2ey air pollutants
published by monitoring centers.
Air 1uality in ?xford, "ath and 7ondon
particularly poor. ?ne controversial study
performed by the alor Las company and
published in the Luardian newspaper compared wal2ing in ?xford on an average day to
smo2ing over sixty light cigarettes.
%ore precise comparisons can be collected from the :C Air Juality Archive
allows the user to compare a cities management of pollutants against the national air
1uality ob$ectives
set by D!-4A in (555.
7ocalized pea2 values are often cited, but average values are also important to human
health. /he :C 6ational Air Juality Information Archive offers almost real&time
monitoring of Dcurrent maximumD air pollution measurements for many :C towns and
/his source offers a wide range of constantly updated data, including0
• >ourly %ean ?zone +PgImS,
• >ourly %ean 6itrogen dioxide +PgImS,
• %aximum @E&%inute %ean #ulphur dioxide +PgImS,
• B&>our %ean arbon monoxide +mgImS,
• (3&>our %ean P%
+PgImS Lrav !1uiv,
D!-4A ac2nowledges that air pollution has a significant effect on health and has
produced a simple banding index system
is used to create a daily warning system that
is issued by the "" Weather #ervice to indicate air pollution levels.
D!-4A has
published guidelines for people suffering from respiratory and heart diseases.
United State(
7oo2ing down from the >ollywood >ills, with Lriffith ?bservatory on the hill in the
foreground, air pollution is visible in downtown 7os Angeles on a late afternoon.
In the @AF5s, 95s, and A5s, the :nited #tates ongress enacted a series of lean Air Acts
which significantly strengthened regulation of air pollution. Individual :.#. states, some
!uropean nations and eventually the !uropean :nion followed these initiatives. /he
lean Air Act sets numerical limits on the concentrations of a basic group of air
pollutants and provide reporting and enforcement mechanisms.
In @AAA, the :nited #tates !PA replaced the Pollution #tandards Index +P#I, with the Air
Juality Index +AJI, to incorporate new P%(.E and ?zone standards.
/he effects of these laws have been very positive. In the :nited #tates between @A95 and
(55F, citizens en$oyed the following reductions in annual pollution emissions0
• carbon monoxide emissions fell from @A9 million tons to BA million tons
• nitrogen oxide emissions fell from (9 million tons to @A million tons
• sulfur dioxide emissions fell from *@ million tons to @E million tons
• particulate emissions fell by B5T
• lead emissions fell by more than ABT
In an ?ctober (55F letter to !PA, the agency8s independent scientific advisors warned
that the ozone smog standard Uneeds to be substantially reducedV and that there is Uno
scientific $ustificationV for retaining the current, wea2er standard. /he scientists
unanimously recommended a smog threshold of F5 to 95 ppb after they conducted an
extensive review of the evidence.
/he !PA has proposed, in <une (559, a new threshold of 9E ppb. /his falls short of the
scientific recommendation, but is an improvement over the current standard.
Polluting industries are lobbying to 2eep the current +wea2er, standards in place.
!nvironmentalists and public health advocates are mobilizing to support compliance with
the scientific recommendations.
'citation needed)
/he 6ational Ambient Air Juality #tandards are pollution thresholds which trigger
mandatory remediation plans by state and local governments, sub$ect to enforcement by
the !PA.
An outpouring of dust layered with man&made sulfates, smog, industrial fumes, carbon
grit, and nitrates is crossing the Pacific ?cean on prevailing winds from booming Asian
economies in plumes so vast they alter the climate. Almost a third of the air over 7os
Angeles and #an -rancisco can be traced directly to Asia. With it comes up to three&
1uarters of the blac2 carbon particulate pollution that reaches the West oast.
)o(t Polluted Citie(
Air pollution is usually concentrated in densely
populated metropolitan areas, especially in
developing countries where environmental
regulations are generally relatively lax.
>owever, even populated areas in developed
countries attain unhealthy levels of pollution.
ounties in the :nited #tates that violate 6ational Ambient Air Juality #tandards, as of
<une (559. Air pollution is a health concern even in developed countries li2e the :.#.
Car,on dio6ide e!i((ion(
/he source of these data is the arbon %onitoring for Action +A4%A, database
produced by the enter for Llobal Development.
/ons of ?
per year0
• :nited #tates0 (,9A5
• hina0 (,FB5
• 4ussia0 FF@
• India0 EB*
• <apan0 355
• Lermany0 *EF
• Australia0 ((F
• #outh Africa0 (((
• :nited Cingdom0 (@(
• #outh Corea0 @BE
)o(t Polluted "orld Citie( ,& P)
>g/!? 3/@@A5
@FA airo, !gypt
@E5 Delhi, India
@(B Col2ata, India +alcutta,
@(E /ian$in, hina
@(* hong1ing, hina
@5A Canpur, India
@5A 7uc2now, India
@53 <a2arta, Indonesia
@5@ #henyang, hina
Per %apita
/ons of ?
per year per capita0
• Australia0 @5
• :nited #tates0 B.(
• :nited Cingdom0 *.(
• hina0 @.B
• India0 5.E
At!o(pheri% di(per(ion
/he basic technology for analyzing air pollution is through the use of a variety of
mathematical models for predicting the transport of air pollutants in the lower
atmosphere. /he principal methodologies are0
• Point source dispersion, used for industrial sources.
• 7ine source dispersion, used for airport and roadway air dispersion modeling
• Area source dispersion, used for forest fires or duststorms
• Photochemical models, used to analyze reactive pollutants that form smog
.isualization of a buoyant Laussian air pollution dispersion plume as used in many
atmospheric dispersion models
/he point source problem is the best understood, since it involves simpler mathematics
and has been studied for a long period of time, dating bac2 to about the year @A55. It uses
a Laussian dispersion model for buoyant pollution plumes to forecast the air pollution
isopleths, with consideration given to wind velocity, stac2 height, emission rate and
stability class +a measure of atmospheric turbulence,.
/his model has been
extensively validated and calibrated with experimental data for all sorts of atmospheric
/he roadway air dispersion model was developed starting in the late @AE5s and early
@AF5s in response to re1uirements of the 6ational !nvironmental Policy Act and the :.#.
Department of /ransportation +then 2nown as the -ederal >ighway Administration, to
understand impacts of proposed new highways upon air 1uality, especially in urban areas.
#everal research groups were active in this model development, among which were0 the
!nvironmental 4esearch and /echnology +!4/, group in 7exington, %assachusetts, the
!#7 Inc. group in #unnyvale, alifornia and the alifornia Air 4esources "oard group in
#acramento, alifornia. /he research of the !#7 group received a boost with a contract
award from the :nited #tates !nvironmental Protection Agency to validate a line source
model using sulfur hexafluoride as a tracer gas. /his program was successful in
validating the line source model developed by !#7 inc. #ome of the earliest uses of the
model were in court cases involving highway air pollution, the Arlington, .irginia
portion of Interstate FF and the 6ew <ersey /urnpi2e widening pro$ect through !ast
"runswic2, 6ew <ersey.
Area source models were developed in @A9@ through @A93 by the !4/ and !#7 groups,
but addressed a smaller fraction of total air pollution emissions, so that their use and need
was not as widespread as the line source model, which en$oyed hundreds of different
applications as early as the @A95s. #imilarly photochemical models were developed
primarily in the @AF5s and @A95s, but their use was more specialized and for regional
needs, such as understanding smog formation in 7os Angeles, alifornia.
En'iron!ental i!pa%t(
/he greenhouse effect is a phenomenon whereby greenhouse gases, create a condition in
the upper atmosphere causing a trapping of heat and leading to increased surface and
lower tropospheric temperatures. It shares this property with many other gases, the largest
overall forcing on !arth coming from water vapour. ?ther greenhouse gases include
methane, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons, 6?x, and ozone.
%any greenhouse gases, contain carbon, and some of that from fossil fuels.
/his effect has been understood by scientists for about a century, and technological
advancements during this period have helped increase the breadth and depth of data
relating to the phenomenon. urrently, scientists are studying the role of changes in
composition of greenhouse gases from natural and anthropogenic sources for the effect
on climate change.
A number of studies have also investigated the potential for long&term rising levels of
atmospheric carbon dioxide to cause slight increases in the acidity of ocean waters and
the possible effects of this on marine ecosystems. >owever, carbonic acid is a very wea2
acid, and is utilized by marine organisms during photosynthesis.
"ater pollution
ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
4aw sewage and industrial waste flows into the :.#. from %exico as the 6ew 4iver
passes from %exicali, "a$a alifornia to alexico, alifornia
"ater pollution is a large set of adverse effects upon water bodies such as la2es, rivers,
oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities.
Although natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and earth1ua2es
also cause ma$or changes in water 1uality and the ecological status of water, water is only
called polluted when it is not able to be used for what one wants it to be used for. Water
pollution has many causes and characteristics. Increases in nutrient loading may lead to
eutrophication. ?rganic wastes such as sewage impose high oxygen demands on the
receiving water leading to oxygen depletion with potentially severe impacts on the whole
eco&system. Industries discharge a variety of pollutants in their wastewater including
heavy metals, resin pellets, organic toxins, oils, nutrients, and solids. Discharges can also
have thermal effects, especially those from power stations, and these too reduce the
available oxygen. #ilt&bearing runoff from many activities including construction sites,
deforestation and agriculture can inhibit the penetration of sunlight through the water
column, restricting photosynthesis and causing blan2eting of the la2e or river bed, in turn
damaging ecological systems.
Pollutants in water include a wide spectrum of chemicals, pathogens, and physical
chemistry or sensory changes. %any of the chemical substances are toxic. Pathogens can
produce waterborne diseases in either human or animal hosts. Alteration of water8s
physical chemistry include acidity, electrical conductivity, temperature, and
eutrophication. !utrophication is the fertilisation of surface water by nutrients that were
previously scarce. !ven many of the municipal water supplies in developed countries can
present health ris2s. Water pollution is a ma$or problem in the global context. It has been
suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases,
and that it
accounts for the deaths of more than @3,555 people daily.
ontaminants may include organic and inorganic substances.
#ome organic water pollutants are0
• Insecticides and herbicides, a huge range of organohalide and other chemicals
• "acteria, often is from sewage or livestoc2 operations
• -ood processing waste, including pathogens
• /ree and brush debris from logging operations
• .?s +volatile organic compounds,, such as industrial solvents, from improper
• D6AP7s +dense non&a1ueous phase li1uids,, such as chlorinated solvents, which
may fall at the bottom of reservoirs, since they don8t mix well with water and are
more dense
• Petroleum >ydrocarbons including fuels +gasoline, diesel, $et fuels, and fuel oils,
and lubricants +motor oil, from oil field operations, refineries, pipelines, retail
service station8s underground storage tan2s, and transfer operations. 6ote0 .?s
include gasoline&range hydrocarbons.
• Detergents
• .arious chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products
#ome inorganic water pollutants include0
• >eavy metals including acid mine drainage
• Acidity caused by industrial discharges +especially sulphur dioxide from power
• Pre&production industrial raw resin pellets, an industrial pollutant
• hemical waste as industrial by products
• -ertilizers, in runoff from agriculture including nitrates and phosphates
• #ilt in surface runoff from construction sites, logging, slash and burn practices or
land clearing sites
Tran(port and %he!i%al rea%tion( o$ water pollutant(
%ost water pollutants are eventually carried by the rivers into the oceans. In some areas
of the world the influence can be traced hundred miles from the mouth by studies using
hydrology transport models. Advanced computer models such as #W%% or the D##A%
%odel have been used in many locations worldwide to examine the fate of pollutants in
a1uatic systems. Indicator filter feeding species such as copepods have also been used to
study pollutant fates in the 6ew Oor2 "ight, for example. /he highest toxin loads are not
directly at the mouth of the >udson 4iver, but @55 2ilometers south, since several days
are re1uired for incorporation into plan2tonic tissue. /he >udson discharge flows south
along the coast due to coriolis force. -urther south then are areas of oxygen depletion,
caused by chemicals using up oxygen and by algae blooms, caused by excess nutrients
from algal cell death and decomposition. -ish and shellfish 2ills have been reported,
because toxins climb the foodchain after small fish consume copepods, then large fish eat
smaller fish, etc. !ach successive step up the food chain causes a stepwise concentration
of pollutants such as heavy metals +e.g. mercury, and persistent organic pollutants such
as DD/. /his is 2nown as biomagnification which is occasionally used interchangeably
with bioaccumulation.
/he big gyres in the oceans trap floating plastic debris. /he 6orth Pacific Lyre for
example has collected the so&called Great Pacific Garbage Patch that is now estimated at
two times the size of /exas. %any of these long&lasting pieces wind up in the stomachs of
marine birds and animals. /his results in obstruction of digestive pathways which leads to
reduced appetite or even starvation.
%any chemicals undergo reactive decay or chemically change especially over long
periods of time in groundwater reservoirs. A noteworthy class of such chemicals are the
chlorinated hydrocarbons such as trichloroethylene +used in industrial metal degreasing
and electronics manufacturing, and tetrachloroethylene used in the dry cleaning industry
+note latest advances in li1uid carbon dioxide in dry cleaning that avoids all use of
chemicals,. "oth of these chemicals, which are carcinogens themselves, undergo partial
decomposition reactions, leading to new hazardous chemicals +including
dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride,.
Lroundwater pollution is much more difficult to abate than surface pollution because
groundwater can move great distances through unseen a1uifers. 6on&porous a1uifers
such as clays partially purify water of bacteria by simple filtration +adsorption and
absorption,, dilution, and, in some cases, chemical reactions and biological activity0
however, in some cases, the pollutants merely transform to soil contaminants.
Lroundwater that moves through crac2s and caverns is not filtered and can be transported
as easily as surface water. In fact, this can be aggravated by the human tendency to use
natural sin2holes as dumps in areas of Carst topography.
/here are a variety of secondary effects stemming not from the original pollutant, but a
derivative condition. #ome of these secondary impacts are0
• #ilt bearing surface runoff from can inhibit the penetration of sunlight through the
water column, hampering photosynthesis in a1uatic plants.
• /hermal pollution can induce fish 2ills and invasion by new thermophilic species.
/his can cause further problems to existing wildlife.
Sa!pling C )onitoring
#ampling water can ta2e several forms depending on the accuracy needed and the
characteristics of the contaminant. %any contamination events are temporal and most
commonly in association with rain events. -or this reason 8grab8 samples can be used as
indicators, but are often inade1uate for fully accessing contaminant concerns in a water
body. #cientists gathering this type of data often employ auto&sampler devices that pump
increments of water at either time or discharge intervals.
Regulator& $ra!ework
In the :C there are common law rights +civil rights, to protect the passage of water
across land unfettered in either 1uality of 1uantity. riminal laws dating bac2 to the @Fth
century exercised some control over water pollution but it was not until the River
(Prevention of pollution )Acts 1!1 " 1#1 were enacted that any systematic control over
water pollution was established. /hese laws were strengthened and extended in the
$ontrol of Pollution Act 1%& which has since been updated and modified by a series of
further acts. It is a criminal offense to either pollute a la2e, river, groundwater or the sea
or to discharge any li1uid into such water bodies without proper authority. In !ngland
and Wales such permission can only be issued by the !nvironment Agency and in
#cotland by #!PA.
In the :#A, concern over water pollution resulted in the enactment of state anti&pollution
laws in the latter half of the @Ath century, and federal legislation enacted in @BAA. /he
4efuse Act of the federal 4ivers and >arbors Act of @BAA prohibits the disposal of any
refuse matter from into either the nation8s navigable rivers, la2es, streams, and other
navigable bodies of water, or any tributary to such waters, unless one has first obtained a
permit. /he Water Pollution ontrol Act, passed in @A3B, gave authority to the #urgeon
Leneral to reduce water pollution.Lrowing public awareness and concern for controlling
water pollution led to enactment of the -ederal Water Pollution ontrol Act Amendments
of @A9(. As amended in @A99, this law became commonly 2nown as the lean Water
Act. /he Act established the basic mechanisms for regulating contaminant discharge. It
established the authority for the :nited #tates !nvironmental Protection Agency to
implement wastewater standards for industry. /he lean Water Act also continued
re1uirements to set water 1uality standards for all contaminants in surface waters. -urther
amplification of the Act continued including the enactment of the Lreat 7a2es 7egacy
Act of (55(.
Land pollution
ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
Land pollution is the degradation of earth8s land surfaces often caused by human
activities and its misuse. >aphazard disposal of urban and industrial wastes, exploitation
of minerals, and improper use of soil by inade1uate agricultural practices are a few of the
contributing factors.
Also, increasing urbanization, industrialization and other demands
on the environment and its resources is of great conse1uence to many countries.
/he Industrial 4evolution set in motion a series of events which impinged on the
countryside destroying many natural habitats, and introduced pollution causing disease in
both human and animal ali2e.
In%rea(ed !e%hani:ation
In some areas more metal ores had to be extracted out of the ground, melted and cast
using coal out of the ground and cooled using water, which raised the temperature of
water in rivers. +/his reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the water and affects all the
living things there., /he excavation of metal ores, sand and limestone led to large scale
1uarrying and defacing of the countryside. /o a large extent this has stopped or is more
closely controlled, and attempts have been made to use the holes profitably i.e. sand pits
have been turned into boating lochs and 1uarries have been used as landfill waste sites.
entral #cotland bears the scars of years of coal mining, with pit bings and slag heaps
visible from the motorways.
In%rea(ed ur,ani:ation
As the demand for labor grew, the areas round the factories and mines were given over to
housing. /his too2 up former agricultural land, caused sewage and waste problems,
increased the demands for food and put pressure on farmers to produce more food.
/he demand for more housing meant the need to use more raw materials to ma2e bric2s,
slates for roofing and timber for $oists, etc. ?nce again this led to 1uarrying and to the
destruction of forests. /he houses also needed running water and a supply of energy.
Initially this water would have been supplied directly from a stream but as demand
increased the need for reservoirs increased. /his again led to the loss of land as valleys
were flooded to meet the demands. /he main fuels used would have been coal and wood
but as time progressed, hydro electric, coal, oil and nuclear power stations were built
which again became features or eyesores on the landscape. Associated with this was the
radiating networ2 of pylons forming the 6ational Lrid, as well as, the sub stations and
transformers. :ntil the late @A95s little attempt was made to hide these metal structures
but now more care is ta2en in their siting and underground cables are often used &
although these are not popular with repair crews who have to find faults and service
them, often in very remote areas.
/his increase in the concentration of population into cities, along with the internal
combustion engine, led to the increased number of roads and all the infra structure that
goes with them. 4oads cause visual, noise, light, air and water pollution, as well as using
up land. /he visual and noise areas are obvious, however light pollution is becoming
more widely recognised as a problem. -rom space large cities can be pic2ed out at night
by the glow of their street lighting, so city dwellers seldom experience total dar2ness. ?n
a smaller scale lights along roads can cause people living there to have interrupted sleep
patterns due to the lac2 of dar2ness./he contribution of traffic to air pollution is dealt
with in another article, but, suffice to say that sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon
monoxide are the main culprits. Water pollution is caused by the run off from roads of
oil, salt and rubber residue, which enter the water courses and may ma2e conditions
unsuitable for certain organisms to live.
Land Pollution
In%rea(ed agri%ultural land and $ield (i:e
As the demand for food has grown so high, there is an increase in field size and
mechanization. /he increase in field size is to ma2e it economically viable for the farmer
but results in loss of habitat and shelter for wildlife as hedgerows and copses disappear.
When crops are harvested the na2ed soil is left open to wind blow after the heavy
machinery has crossed and compacted it. Another conse1uence of more intensive
agriculture is the move to monoculture. /his is unnatural, it depletes the soil of nutrients,
allows diseases and pests to spread and, in short, brings into play the use of chemical
substances foreign to the environment
Pesticides are any chemical used to remove pests whether they are plants or animals.
/hey are used to 2ill wire worms and slugs that attac2 cereal crops and to 2ill ergot &
laviceps purpurea & a fungus that attac2s crops and may get into human food.
>erbicides are used to 2ill weeds, especially on pavements and railways. /hey are similar
to auxins and most are biodegradable by soil bacteria. >owever one group derived from
trinitrophenol +(03 D and (030E /, have the impurity dioxin which is very toxic and
causes fatality even in low concentrations. It also causes spontaneous abortions,
haemorraging and cancer. Agent ?range +E5T (030E /, was used as a defoliant in
.ietnam. !leven million gallons were used and children born since then to American
soldiers who served in this conflict, have shown increased physical and mental
disabilities compared to the rest of the population. It affects the head of the sperm and the
chromosomes inside it.
Another herbicide, much loved by murder story writers, is Para1uat. It is highly toxic but
it rapidly degrades in soil due to the action of bacteria and does not 2ill soil fauna.
-ungicides are the group used to stop the growth of smuts and rusts on cereals, and
mildews and molds li2e %ucor on plants. /he problem is that they may contain copper
and mercury. opper is very toxic at @ppm to water plants and fish and can enter the s2in
if being sprayed to reduce mildew and accumulate in the central nervous system.
?rganomercury compounds have been used to get rid of sedges which are insidious and
difficult to remove. >owever it also can accumulate in birdsH central nervous system and
2ill them.
Insecticides are used to rid farmers of pests which damage crops. /he insects damage not
only standing crops but also stored ones and in the tropics it is rec2oned that one third of
the total production is lost during food storage. As with fungicides, the first used in the
nineteenth century were inorganic e.g. Paris Lreen and other compounds of arsenic.
6icotine has also been used since the late eigtheenth century. /here are now two main
groups of synthetic ones &
?rganochlorines include DD/, Aldrin, Dieldrin and ">. /hey are cheap to produce,
potent and persistent. DD/ was used on a massive scale from the @A*5s, with a pea2 of
9(,555 tonnes used @A95. /hen usage fell as the environmental problems were realized. It
was found worldwide in fish and birds and was even discovered in the snow in the
Antarctic. It is only slightly soluble in water but is very soluble in the bloodstream. It
affects the nervous and enzyme systems and causes the eggshells of birds to lac2 calcium
and be so fragile that they brea2 easily. It is thought to be responsible for the decline of
the numbers of birds of prey li2e ospreys and peregrine falcons in the @AE5s & they are
now recovering.
As well as increased concentration via the food chain, it is 2nown to enter via permeable
membranes, so fish get it through their gills. As it has low solubility it tends to stay at the
surface, so organisms that live there are most affected. DD/ found in fish that formed
part of the human food chain caused concern but the levels found in the liver, 2idney and
brain tissues was less than @ppm and in fat was @5 ppm which was below the level li2ely
to cause harm. >owever DD/ was banned in "ritain and America to stop the further
building up of it in the food chain. >owever, the :#A exploited this ban and sold DD/ to
developing countries who could not afford the expensive replacement chemicals and who
did not have such stringent regulations governing the use of pesticides.
#ome insects have developed a resistance to insecticides & e.g. the Anopheles mos1uito
which carries malaria.
?rganophosphates, e.g. parathion, methyl parathion and about 35 other insecticides are
available nationally. Parathion is highly toxic, methyl&parathion is less so and %alathion
is generally considered safe as it has low toxicity and is rapidly bro2en down in the
mammalian liver. /his group wor2s by preventing normal nerve transmission as
cholinesterase is prevented from brea2ing down the transmitter substance acetylcholine,
resulting in uncontrolled muscle movements.
!ntry of a variety of pesticides into our water supplies causes concern to environmental
groups, as in many cases the long term effects of these specific chemicals is not 2nown.
7imits came into force in <uly @ABE and were so fre1uently bro2en that in @AB9 formal
proceedings were ta2en against the "ritish government. "ritain is still the only !uropean
state to use Aldrin and organochlorines, although it was supposed to stop in @AA*. !ast
Anglia has the worst record for pesticide contamination of drin2ing water. ?f the *E5
pesticides used in "ritain, only E5 can be analyzed & this is a worrying thought for many
'attribution needed)
In%rea(ed wa(te di(po(al
In #cotland in @AA*, @3 million tons of waste were produced. @55,555 tons were special
waste and (F5,555 tons were controlled waste from other parts of "ritain and abroad.
3ET of the special waste were in li1uid form and @BT were asbestos & radioactive waste
was not included. ?f the controlled waste, 3BT comes from the demolition of buildings,
((T from industry, @9T from households and @*T from business & only *T are recycled.
A5T of controlled waste are buried in landfill sites and produces ( million tons of
methane gas. @.ET is burned in incinerators and @.ET are exported to be disposed of or
recycled. /here are 93B disposal sites in #cotland.
7andfill produces leachate, which has to be recycled to 2eep favorable conditions for
microbial activity, and methane gas and carbon dioxide./here are very little contaminated
vacant or derelict land in the north east of #cotland as there are little traditional heavy
industry or coalImineral extraction. >owever some soil are contaminated by aromatic
hydrocarbons +E55 cubic meters,.
/he :rban Waste Water /reatment Directive allows sewage sludge to be sprayed onto
land and the volume is expected to double to @BE,555 tons of dry solids in (55E. /his has
good agricultural properties due to the high nitrogen and phosphate content. In
@AA5I@AA@, @*T wet weight was sprayed onto 5.@*T of the land , however this is
expected to rise @E folds by (55E. /here is a need to control this so that pathogenic
microorganisms do not get into water courses and to ensure that there are no
accumulation of heavy metals in the top soil.
In%rea(ed lei(ure and a'aila,le wealth
At the end of twentieth century people had even more leisure time and available wealth.
/his means that people can traveled around the countryside more often increasing the
number of cars. /his is related bac2 to the roads issue but has also led to the increased
litter problem in the countryside. /his is usually pac2aging, cans, bottles, etc. from
picnics but increasingly people are dumping household rubbish in the countryside instead
of ta2ing it to the local tip. Aesthetically litter is unpleasant but poses threats to the
wildlife through razor sharp glass that can be trodden on, plastic bags that can be eaten,
etc. %ore and more litter is becoming a problem especially in the more remote areas
which are now more accessible to the general public. :ntil the public ta2e responsibility
to stop littering, then legislation will have little effect and information and education will
be the fore runners in the fight against the litter bugs.
In%rea(ed !ilitar& pre(en%e
As nations grow so do their armed forces. ?ver the century,
the army, the navy and
latterly the air force has grown in "ritain and so has their ownership of land. Apart from
the noise and aviation fuel pollution of the air bases, the destruction of land on firing
ranges and the change in coastlines to form naval bases, a more sinister trend is the
increase in research stations with their Dhidden agendas and experimentsD. /his was
illustrated by a @A3( experiment on Lruinard Island off the west coast of #cotland.
Anthrax is caused by the bacterium "acillus anthracis. It was discovered in the @B95s by
the Lerman scientist 4obert Coch. It mainly affects herbivores, causing them to stagger,
convulse and die in a few days. It can also affect man if the spores get onto the s2in or
lungs. It will form a pus filled blister and was initially treated by a vaccine prepared by
7ouis Pasteur in @BB@. When an animal has died of the disease, the only safe way to
dispose of it is to burn it or to bury it very deep in the earth.
>owever in World War II, 2nowing all the above problems, the "ritish Lovernment
decided to use Anthrax as a biological weapon. In @A3( they dropped Anthrax bombs on
Lruinard Island. /heir idea & and indeed they produced these & was to drop E million
Anthrax inoculated linseed ca2es into fields of Lerman cattle. /he cattle ca2es were
destroyed at the end of the war unused. >owever, the Anthrax spores on Lruinard
persisted for 35 years until in @ABF the whole island was decontaminated by
formaldehyde, and in @AA5 returned to its original owners.
/his was an example of short sightedness that cost the island of Lruinard E5 years of its
Dnatural lifeD and which could have spread out of control had it been used on mainland
Light pollution
ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
/his article is about light pollution in the visible spectrum. -or information on pollution
in the radio spectrum, see radio spectrum pollution.
/his time exposure photo of 6ew Oor2 ity at night shows s2y glow, one form of light
Light pollution, also 2nown as photopollution or lu!inou( pollution, is excess or
obtrusive light created by humans. Among other effects, it disrupts ecosystems, can cause
adverse health effects, obscures the stars for city dwellers, and interferes with
astronomical observatories. 7ight pollution can be construed to fall into two main
branches0 annoying light that intrudes on an otherwise natural or low light setting and
excessive light, generally indoors, that leads to wor2er discomfort and adverse health
effects. #ince the early @AB5s, a global dar2&s2y movement has emerged, with concerned
people campaigning to reduce the amount of light pollution.
7ight pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its sources include building
exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories,
streetlights, and illuminated sporting venues. It is most severe in highly industrialized,
densely populated areas of 6orth America, !urope, and <apan, but even relatively small
amounts of light can be noticed and create problems. 7i2e other forms of pollution, such
as air, water and noise pollution, light pollution causes damage to the environment.
With recent advances in private spaceflight, the prospect of space&based orbiting
billboards appearing in the near future has provo2ed concern that such ob$ects may
become another form of light pollution. With this in mind, the :nited #tates -ederal
Aviation Administration sought permission, in %ay (55E, to enforce a law prohibiting
DobtrusiveD advertising in earth orbit
. #imilar intentions are yet to be expressed by
authorities in most other countries.
I!pa%t on energ& u(age
!nergy conservation advocates contend that light pollution must be addressed by
changing the habits of society, so that lighting is used more efficiently, with less waste
and less creation of unwanted or unneeded illumination. /he case against light pollution
is strengthened by a range of studies on health effects, suggesting that excess light may
induce loss in visual acuity, hypertension, headaches and increased incidence of
#everal industry groups also recognize light pollution as an important issue.
-or example, the Institution of 7ighting !ngineers in the :nited Cingdom provides its
members information about light pollution, the problems it causes, and how to reduce its
#ince not everyone is irritated by the same lighting sources, it is common for one person8s
light DpollutionD to be light that is desirable for another. ?ne example of this is found in
advertising, when an advertiser wishes for particular lights to be bright and visible, even
though others find them annoying. ?ther types of light pollution are more certain. -or
instance, light that accidentall) crosses a property boundary and annoys a neighbor is
generally wasted and pollutive light.
Disputes are still common when deciding appropriate action, and differences in opinion
over what light is considered reasonable, and who should be responsible, mean that
negotiation must sometimes ta2e place between parties. Where ob$ective measurement is
desired, light levels can be 1uantified by field measurement or mathematical modeling,
with results typically displayed as an isophote map or light contour map. Authorities have
also ta2en a variety of measures for dealing with light pollution, depending on the
interests, beliefs and understandings of the society involved. %easures range from doing
nothing at all, to implementing strict laws and regulations about how lights may be
installed and used.
T&pe( o$ light pollution
!xample of a light pollution source using a broad spectrum metal halide lamp pointing
upward.'7ocation)0 :ni1ema Louda the 6etherlands
7ight pollution is a broad term that refers to multiple problems, all of which are caused
by inefficient, unappealing, or +arguably, unnecessary use of artificial light. #pecific
categories of light pollution include light trespass, over&illumination, glare, clutter, and
s2y glow. A single offending light source often falls into more than one of these
Light tre(pa((
7ight trespass occurs when unwanted light enters one8s property, for instance, by shining
over a neighbor8s fence. A common light trespass problem occurs when a strong light
enters the window of one8s home from outside, causing problems such as sleep
deprivation or the bloc2ing of an evening view.
7ight is particularly problematic for amateur astronomers, whose ability to observe the
night s2y from their property is li2ely to be inhibited by any stray light from nearby.
%ost ma$or optical astronomical observatories are surrounded by zones of strictly&
enforced restrictions on light emissions.
A number of cities in the :.#. have developed standards for outdoor lighting to protect
the rights of their citizens against light trespass. /o assist them, the International Dar2&
#2y Association has developed a set of model lighting ordinances
). :.#. federal
agencies may also enforce standards and process complaints within their areas of
$ursidiction. -or instance, in the case of light tresspass by white strobe lighting from
communication towers in excess of -AA minimum lighting re1uirements the -
maintains a database of Antenna #tructure 4egistration information which citizens may
use to identify offending structures and provides a mechanism for processing consumer
in1uiries and complaints.
?ffice building illuminated by high pressure sodium +>P#, lamps shining upward, of
which much light goes into the s2y and neighboring apartment bloc2s and causes light
pollution. '7ocation)0 6i$megen, the 6etherlands
omposite satellite image of the !arth at night.
?ver&illumination is the excessive use of light. #pecifically within the :nited #tates,
over&illumination is responsible for approximately two million barrels of oil per day in
energy wasted. /his is based upon :.#. consumption of e1uivalent of E5 million barrels
per day of petroleum.
It is further noted in the same :.#. Department of !nergy source
that over *5 percent of all energy is consumed by commercial, industrial and residential
sectors. !nergy audits of existing buildings demonstrate that the lighting component of
residential, commercial and industrial uses consumes about (5 to 35 percent of those land
uses, variable with region and land use. +4esidential use lighting consumes only @5 to *5
percent of the energy bill while commercial buildings ma$or use is lighting.
, /hus
lighting energy accounts for about four or five million barrels of oil +e1uivalent, per day.
Again energy audit data demonstrates that about *5 to F5 percent of energy consumed in
lighting is unneeded or gratuitous.
An alternative calculation starts with the fact that commercial building lighting consumes
in excess of B@.FB terawatts +@AAA data, of electricity
, according to the :.#. D?!. /hus
commercial lighting alone consumes about four to five million barrels per day
+e1uivalent, of petroleum, in line with the alternate rationale above to estimate :.#.
lighting energy consumption.
?ver&illumination stems from several factors0
• 6ot using timers, occupancy sensors or other controls to extinguish lighting when
not needed
• Improper design, especially of wor2place spaces, by specifying higher levels of
light than needed for a given tas2
• Incorrect choice of fixtures or light bulbs, which do not direct light into areas as
• Improper selection of hardware to utilize more energy than needed to accomplish
the lighting tas2
• Incomplete training of building managers and occupants to use lighting systems
• Inade1uate lighting maintenance resulting in increased stray light and energy
%ost of these issues can be readily corrected with available, inexpensive technology=
however, there is considerable inertia in the field of lighting design and with
landlordItenant practices that create barriers to rapid correction of these matters. %ost
importantly public awareness would need to improve for industrialized countries to
realize the large payoff in reducing over&illumination.
Llare is often the result of excessive contrast between bright and dar2 areas in the field of
view. -or example, glare can be associated with directly viewing the filament of an
unshielded or badly shielded light. 7ight shining into the eyes of pedestrians and drivers
can obscure night vision for up to an hour after exposure. aused by high contrast
between light and dar2 areas, glare can also ma2e it difficult for the human eye to ad$ust
to the differences in brightness. Llare is particularly an issue in road safety, as bright
andIor badly shielded lights around roads may partially blind drivers or pedestrians
unexpectedly, and contribute to accidents.
Llare can also result in reduced contrast, due to light scattering in the eye by excessive
brightness, or to reflection of light from dar2 areas in the field of vision, with luminance
similar to the bac2ground luminance. /his 2ind of glare is a particular instance of
disability glare, called veiling glare.
Llare can be categorized into different types. ?ne such classification is described in a
boo2 by "ob %izon, coordinator for the "ritish Astronomical Association8s ampaign
for Dar2 #2ies
. According to this classification0
• Elinding .lare describes effects such as that caused by staring into the #un. It is
completely blinding and leaves temporary or permanent vision deficiencies.
• 8i(a,ilit& .lare describes effects such as being blinded by an oncoming cars
lights, or light scattering in fog or in the eye reduces contrast, as well as
reflections from print and other dar2 areas that render them bright, with
significant reduction in sight capabilities.
• 8i(%o!$ort .lare does not typically cause a dangerous situation in itself, and is
annoying and irritating at best. It can potentially cause fatigue if experienced over
extended periods.
lutter refers to excessive groupings of lights. Lroupings of lights may generate
confusion, distract from obstacles +including those that they may be intended to
illuminate,, and potentially cause accidents. lutter is particularly noticeable on roads
where the street lights are badly designed, or where brightly lit advertising surrounds the
roadways. Depending on the motives of the person or organization who installed the
lights, their placement and design may even be intended to distract drivers, and can
contribute to accidents. lutter may also present a hazard in the aviation environment if
aviation safety lighting must compete for pilot attention with non&relevant lighting
. -or
instance runway lighting may be confused with an array of suburban commercial lighting
and aircraft collision avoidance lights may be confused with ground lights.
Sk& glow
%exico ity at night, with a brightly illuminated s2y.
*ain article+ S,) glo'
#2y glow refers to the DglowD effect that can be seen over populated areas. It is the
combination of all light reflected from what it has illuminated escaping up into the s2y
and from all of the badly directed light in that area that also escapes into the s2y, being
scattered +redirected, by the atmosphere bac2 toward the ground. /his scattering is very
strongly related to the wavelength of the light when the air is very clear +with very little
aerosols,. 4ayleigh scattering dominates in such clear air, ma2ing the s2y appear blue in
the daytime. When there is significant aerosol +typical of most modern polluted
conditions,, the scattered light has less dependence on wavelength, ma2ing a whiter
daytime s2y. "ecause of this 4ayleigh effect, and because of the eye8s increased
sensitivity to white or blue&rich light sources when adapted to very low light levels +see
Pur2in$e effect,, white or blue&rich light contributes significantly more to s2y&glow than
an e1ual amount of yellow light. #2y glow is of particular irritation to astronomers,
because it reduces contrast in the night s2y to the extent where it may even become
impossible to see any but the brightest stars.
/he -ortle .ar,"S,) Scale, originally published in #2y W /elescope magazine,
sometimes used to 1uantify s2y glow and general s2y clarity. /he "ortle #cale rates the
dar2ness of the s2y and the visibility of night s2y phenomena such as the gegenschein
and the zodiacal band, easily mas2ed by s2y glow, on a scale of one to nine, providing a
detailed description of each step on the scale.
)ea(ure!ent o$ light pollution and glo,al e$$e%t(
-alse colors show various intensities of radiation X both direct and indirect X from
artificial light sources that reach space +Image credit0 P. inzano,
%easuring the effect of s2y glow on a global scale is a complex procedure. /he natural
atmosphere is not completely dar2, even in the absence of terrestrial sources of light. /his
is caused by two main sources0 airglo' and scattered light.
At high altitudes, primarily above the mesosphere, :. radiation from the sun is so
intense that ionization occurs. When these ions collide with electrically neutral particles
they recombine and emit photons in the process, causing airglow. /he degree of
ionization is sufficiently large to allow a constant emission of radiation even during the
night when the upper atmosphere is in the earth8s shadow.
Apart from emitting light, the s2y also scatters incoming light, primarily from distant
stars and the %il2y Way, but also sunlight that is reflected and bac2scattered from
interplanetary dust particles +the so&called ;odiacal light,.
/he amount of airglow and zodiacal light is 1uite variable but given optimal conditions
the dar2est possible s2y has a brightness of about (( magnitudeIs1uare arcsecond. If a
full moon is present, the s2y brightness increases to @B magnitudeIs1. arcsecond, 35 times
brighter than the dar2est s2y. In densely populated areas a s2y brightness of @9
magnitudeIs1. arcsecond is not uncommon, or as much as @55 times brighter than is
/o precisely measure how bright the s2y gets, night time satellite imagery of the earth is
used as raw input for the number and intensity of light sources. /hese are put into a
physical model
of scattering due to air molecules and aerosoles to calculate cumulative
s2y brightness. %aps that show the enhanced s2y brightness have been prepared for the
entire world
Inspection of the area surrounding %adrid reveals that the effects of light pollution
caused by a single large conglomeration can be felt up to @55 2m away from the center.
Llobal effects of light pollution are also made obvious. /he entire area consisting of
southern !ngland, 6etherlands, "elgium, west Lermany, and northern -rance have a s2y
brightness of at least ( to 3 times above normal +see above right,. /he only place in
continental !urope where the s2y can attain its natural dar2ness is in northern
In 6orth America the situation is comparable. -rom the east coast to west /exas up to the
anadian border there is very significant global light pollution.
Consequences of light pollution
Energ& wa(te
7ighting is responsible for one fourth of all energy consumed worldwide
'citation needed)
, and
case studies have shown that several forms of over&illumination constitute energy
wastage including non&beneficial upward direction of night&time lighting.
E$$e%t( on hu!an health and p(&%holog&
%edical research on the effects of excessive light on the human body suggests that a
variety of adverse health effects may be caused by light pollution or excessive light
exposure, and some lighting design textboo2s
use human health as an explicit criterion
for proper interior lighting. >ealth effects of over&illumination or improper spectral
composition of light may include0 increased headache incidence, wor2er fatigue,
medically defined stress, decrease in sexual function and increase in anxiety
ommon levels of fluorescent lighting in offices are sufficient to elevate blood pressure
by about eight points. /here is some evidence that lengthy daily exposure to moderately
high lighting leads to diminished sexual performance.
'citation needed)
#pecifically within the
:#A, there is evidence that levels of light in most office environments lead to increased
stress as well as increased wor2er errors.
>owever, such high interior lighting levels
are not typical outside 6orth America.
#everal published studies also suggest a lin2 between exposure to light at night and ris2
of breast cancer, due to suppression of the normal nocturnal production of melatonin.
8i(ruption o$ e%o(&(te!(
7ife exists with natural patterns of light and dar2, so disruption of those patterns
influences many aspects of animal behavior.
7ight pollution can confuse animal
navigation, alter competitive interactions, change predator&prey relations, and influence
animal physiology.
#tudies suggest that light pollution around la2es prevents zooplan2ton, such as Daphnia,
from eating surface algae, helping cause algal blooms that can 2ill off the la2es8 plants
and lower water 1uality.
7ight pollution may also affect ecosystems in other ways. -or
example, 7epidopterists and entomologists have documented that night&time light may
interfere with the ability of moths and other nocturnal insects to navigate.
blooming flowers that depend on moths for pollination may be affected by night lighting,
as there is no replacement pollinator that would not be affected by the artificial light. /his
can lead to species decline of plants that are unable to reproduce, and change an area8s
longterm ecology.
%igrating birds can be disoriented by lights on tall structures. !stimates by the :.#. -ish
and Wildlife #ervice of the number of birds 2illed after being attracted to tall towers
range from 3&E million per year to an order of magnitude higher.
/he -atal 7ight
Awareness Program +-7AP, wor2s with building owners in /oronto, anada and other
cities to reduce mortality of birds by turning out lights during migration periods.
?ther well&2nown casualties of light pollution are sea turtle hatchlings emerging from
nests on beaches. It is a common misconception that hatchling sea turtles are attracted to
the moon. /hey are not= rather, they find the ocean by moving away from the dar2
silhouette of dunes and their vegetation, a behavior with which artificial lights interfere.
<uvenile seabirds may also be disoriented by lights as they leave their nests and fly out
to sea.
6octurnal frogs and salamanders are also affected by light pollution. #ince they are
nocturnal, they wa2e up when there is no light. 7ight pollution may cause salamanders to
emerge from concealment later, giving them less time to mate and reproduce.
A boo2 that collects together research on the sub$ect was recently released.
Lo(( o$ (a$et&
It is generally agreed that many people re1uire light to feel safe at night, but campaigners
for the reduction of light pollution often claim that badly or inappropriately installed
lighting can lead to a reduction in safety if measured ob$ectively, and that at the very
least, it is wrong to assume that simply increasing light at night will lead to improved
/he International Dar2&#2y Association claims there are no good scientific studies that
convincingly show a relationship between lighting and crime. -urthermore, the
association claims that badly installed artificial lights can create a deeper contrast of
shadows in which criminals might hide
. /he 6ew !ngland 7ight Pollution Advisory
Lroup claims that some light emitted by some fixtures can be a significant hazard to
motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists due to their scattering of light and glare
/he specific effects of outdoor lighting on safety are still a topic of debate, and formal
research in the area is not well established.
E$$e%t on a(trono!&
#2yglow reduces the contrast between stars and galaxies in the s2y and the s2y itself,
ma2ing it more difficult to detect fainter ob$ects. /his is one factor that has caused newer
telescopes to be built in increasingly remote areas. #ome astronomers use narrow&band
Dnebula filtersD which only allow specific wavelengths of light commonly seen in
nebulae, or broad&band Dlight pollution filtersD which are designed to reduce +but not
eliminate, the effects of light pollution by filtering out spectral lines commonly emitted
by sodium& and mercury&vapor lamps, thus enhancing contrast and improving the view of
dim ob$ects such as galaxies and nebulae.
7ight trespass can impact observations when stray light enters the tube of the telescope
from off&axis, and is reflected from surfaces other than the telescope8s mirrors +if any, so
that it eventually reaches the eyepiece, causing a glow across the field of view since it has
not been focused. /he usual measures to reduce this glare, if reducing the light directly
+e.g. by changing one8s location or having the light turned off, is not an option, include
floc2ing the telescope tube and accessories to reduce reflection, and putting a light shield
+also 2nown as a dew shield, on the telescope to reduce light entering from angles other
than those near the target.
Reducing light pollution
4educing light pollution implies many things, such as reducing s2y glow, reducing glare,
reducing light trespass, and reducing clutter. /he method for best reducing light
pollution, therefore, depends on exactly what the problem is in any given instance.
Possible solutions include0
• :tilizing light sources of minimum intensity necessary to accomplish the light8s
• /urning lights off using a timer or occupancy sensor or manually when not
• Improving lighting fixtures, so that they direct their light more accurately towards
where it is needed, and with less side effects.
• Ad$usting the t)pe of lights used, so that the light waves emitted are those that are
less li2ely to cause severe light pollution problems.
• !valuating existing lighting plans, and re&designing some or all of the plans
depending on whether existing light is actually needed.
I!pro'ing lighting $i6ture(
A flat"lens cobra luminaire, which is a full&cutoff fixture, may be effective in reducing
light pollution. It ensures that light is only directed below the horizontal, which means
less light is wasted through directing it outwards and upwards.
/his drop"lens cobra luminaire allows light to escape sideways and upwards, where it
may cause problems.
/he use of full cutoff lighting fixtures, as much as possible, is advocated by most
campaigners for the reduction of light pollution. It is also commonly recommended that
lights be spaced appropriately for maximum efficiency, and that lamps within the fixtures
not be overpowered.
A full cutoff fixture, when correctly installed, reduces the chance for light to escape
above the plane of the horizontal. 7ight released above the horizontal may sometimes be
lighting an intended target, but often serves no purpose. When it enters into the
atmosphere, light contributes to s2y glow. #ome governments and organizations are now
considering, or have already implemented, full cutoff fixtures in street lamps and stadium
/he use of full cutoff fixtures may help to reduce s2y glow by preventing light from
escaping unnecessarily. -ull cutoff typically reduces the visibility of the lamp and
reflector within a luminarie, so the effects of glare may also be reduced. ampaigners
also commonly argue that full cutoff fixtures are more efficient than other fixtures, since
light that would otherwise have escaped into the atmosphere may instead be directed
towards the ground. >owever full cutoff fixtures may also trap more light in the fixture
than other types of luminaires, corresponding to lower luminaire efficiency.
/he use of full cutoff fixtures may allow for lower wattage lamps to be used in the
fixtures, producing the same or sometimes a better effect, due to being more carefully
controlled. In every lighting system, some s2y glow also results from light reflected from
the ground. /his reflection can be reduced, however, by being careful to use only the
lowest wattage necessary for the lamp, and setting spacing between lights appropriately.
A common criticism of full cutoff lighting fixtures is that they are sometimes not as
aesthetically pleasing to loo2 at. /his is most li2ely because historically there has not
been a large mar2et specifically for full cutoff fixtures, and because people typically li2e
to see the source of illumination. Due to the specificity with their direction of light, full
cutoff fixtures sometimes also re1uire expertise to install for maximum effect.
Another criticism of full cutoff lighting, particularly in the :#A, is that luminaires with
full cutoff distributions typically have to be closer together than other light distributions
used to meet the same roadway lighting re1uirements specified by the Illuminating
!ngineering #ociety of 6orth America, in terms of light level, uniformity and glare


. /he issue is very complex0 the spread of light from any lamp depends largely on
the design of the optics inside, and full&cut&off types are not YnecessarilyY closer together
than the old stoc2 that they replace & on the %E motorway in #W !ngland, for example,
new -?s were installed further apart than the old, deep&bowl types they replaced, on
columns of similar height. Due to the complexity of roadway lighting design, sometimes
existing lighting was not optimized at its design, so there is significant room for
improvement. >owever, according to published research +see previous ref.s,, when
lighting designs are optimized, using full&cut&off luminaires does typically correspond to
increased initial costs, maintenance costs, operating costs, energy use, energy pollution,
and possibly light pollution, compared to using other distributions to meet the same
roadway lighting re1uirements.
'citation needed)
Ad*u(ting t&pe( o$ light (our%e(
#everal different types of light sources exist, each having different properties that
determine their appropriateness for certain tas2s, particularly efficiency and spectral
power distribution. It is often the case that inappropriate light sources have been selected
for a tas2, either due to ignorance or because more sophisticated light sources were
unavailable at the time of installation. /herefore, badly chosen light sources often
contribute to light pollution unnecessarily. "y re&assessing and changing the light sources
used, it is often possible to reduce pollutive effects.
#ome types of light sources, in order of energy efficiency, are0
T&pe o$ light (our%e Color
3lu!en( per watt5
7ow pressure sodium yellow B5 & (55
>igh pressure sodium pin2Iamber&white A5 & @*5
%etal >alide bluish&whiteIwhite F5 &@(5
%ercury .apour blue&greenish white @* & 3B
Incandescent yellowIwhite B & (E
%any astronomers prefer their neighboring societies to use low pressure sodium lights as
much as possible, because the single wavelength involved is comparably easy to filter.
/he low cost of operating sodium lights is another feature. In @AB5, for example, #an
<ose, alifornia, replaced all street lamps with low pressure sodium lamps, whose light is
easier for nearby 7ic2 ?bservatory to filter out. #imilar programs are now in place in
Arizona and >awaii.
Disadvantages of low pressure sodium lighting are that fixtures must usually be larger
than competing fixtures, color cannot be distinguished X due to its emitting only a single
wavelength of light +see security lighting, X and conflicts with yellow traffic lights are
observed. Due to the substantial size of the light emitting part of the lamp, the arc tube,
control of light emissions from low pressure sodium luminaires is very difficult resulting
in higher amounts of light pollution from luminaires running these lamps than any other
light source except fluorescent tubes. /his has led many authorities to instead adopt more
controllable high pressure sodium lighting for their street lights.
"ecause of the scatter of light by the atmosphere, particularly 4ayleigh scattering,
different sources produce dramatically different amounts of s2yglow from the same
amount of light sent into the atmosphere. A simple metric for this phenomenon is the
4ayleigh #catter Index, discussed in a brief article and a (55* presentation to both the
IDA onference and the I!#6A, which indicates that high pressure sodium produces
roughly one&third to one&half of the s2yglow that typical metal halide does, based on the
same amount of light entering the atmosphere.
ReDde(igning lighting plan(
In some cases, evaluation of existing plans has determined that more efficient lighting
plans are possible. -or instance, light pollution can be reduced by turning off unneeded
outdoor lights, and only lighting stadiums when there are people inside. /imers are
especially valuable for this purpose.
?ne example of a lighting plan assessment can be seen in a report originally
commissioned by the ?ffice of the Deputy Prime %inister in the :nited Cingdom, and
now available through the Department for ommunities and 7ocal Lovernment.
report details a plan to be implemented throughout the :C, for designing lighting
schemes in the countryside, with a particular focus on preserving the environment.
In another example, the city of algary has recently replaced most residential street lights
with models that are comparably energy efficient
. /he motivation is primarily
operation cost and environmental conservation. /he costs of installation are expected to
be regained through energy savings within six to seven years.
/he #wiss agency for energy efficiency +#A-!, uses a concept which promises to be of
great use in the diagnosis and design of road lighting, i.e. Dconsommation Zlectri1ue
spZcifi1ue +!#,D, which can be translated into !nglish as Dspecific electric power
consumption +#!,D.'@) /hus, based on observed lighting levels in a wide range of #wiss
towns, #A-! has defined target values for electric power consumption per metre for
roads of various categories. /hus, #A-! currently recommends an #! of ( to * watts
per meter for roads of less than @5 metre width +3 to F watts per metre for wider roads,.
#uch a measure provides an easily applicable environmental protection constraint on
conventional DnormsD, which usually are based on the recommendations of lighting
manufacturing interests, who may not ta2e into account environmental criteria. In view of
ongoing progress in lighting technology, target #! values will need to be periodically
revised downwards.
1oi(e pollution
ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
1oi(e pollution +or en'iron!ental noi(e, is displeasing human or machine created
sound that disrupts the activity or happiness of human or animal life. A common form of
noise pollution is from transportation, principally motor vehicles.
/he word DnoiseD
comes from the 7atin word nausea meaning Dseasic2nessD, or from a derivative +perhaps
7atin noxia, of 7atin noce/ Q DI do harmD, referring originally to nuisance noise.
Sour%e( o$ noi(e
/he source of most noise worldwide is transportation systems, principally motor vehicle
noise, but also including aircraft noise and rail noise.
Poor urban planning may give
rise to noise pollution, since side&by&side industrial and residential buildings can result in
noise pollution in the residential area.
?ther sources are office e1uipment, factory machinery, construction wor2, appliances,
power tools, lighting hum and audio entertainment systems.
6oise from recreational vehicles has become a problem.
'citation needed)
A/.s, also 2nown as
1uads, have increased in popularity and are $oining the two wheeled dirt motorcycles for
off&road riding. /he noise produced by these vehicles is particularly disturbing due to the
wide variations in fre1uency and volume.
'citation needed)
+u!an health
6oise health effects are both health and behavioral in nature. /he unwanted sound is
called noise pollution. /his unwanted sound can damage physiological and psychological
health. 6oise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress
levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, and other harmful effects.
-urthermore, stress and
hypertension are the leading causes to health problems, whereas tinnitus can lead to
forgetfulness, severe depression and at times panic attac2s.
/he mechanism for chronic exposure to noise leading to hearing loss is well established.
/he elevated sound levels cause trauma to the cochlear structure in the inner ear, which
gives rise to irreversible hearing loss.
A very loud sound in a particular fre1uency range
can damage the cochlea8s hair cells that respond to that range thereby reducing the ear8s
ability to hear those fre1uencies in the future.
>owever, loud noise in an) fre1uency
range has deleterious effects across the entire range of human hearing.
/he outer ear +visible portion of the human ear, combined with the middle ear amplifies
sound levels by a factor of (5 when sound reaches the inner ear.
In 4osen8s wor2 on health effects and hearing loss, one of his findings derived from
trac2ing %aaban tribesmen, who were insignificantly exposed to transportation or
industrial noise. /his population was systematically compared by cohort group to a
typical :.#. population. /he findings proved that aging is an almost insignificant cause of
hearing loss, which instead is associated with chronic exposure to moderately high levels
of environmental noise.
A landing Jantas "oeing 939&355 passes close to houses on the boundary of 7ondon
>eathrow Airport, !ngland
Cardio'a(%ular health
>igh noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects and exposure to moderately
high levels during a single eight hour period causes a statistical rise in blood pressure of
five to ten points and an increase in stress
and vasoconstriction leading to the increased
blood pressure noted above as well as to increased incidence of coronary artery disease.
6oise pollution is a cause of annoyance0
@. /he meaning listeners attribute to the sound influences annoyance, so that, if
listeners disli2e the noise content, they are annoyed. What is music to one is noise
to another.
(. If the sound causes activity interference, noise is more li2ely to annoy +for
example, sleep disturbance,
*. If listeners feel they can control the noise source, the noise is less li2ely to be
3. If listeners believe that the noise is sub$ect to third&party control, including police,
but control has failed, they are more annoyed.
E. /he inherent unpleasantness of the sound causes annoyance.
F. ontextual sound. If the sound is appropriate for the activity it is in context. If one
is at a race trac2 the noise is in context and the psychological effects are absent. If
one is at an outdoor picnic the race trac2 noise will produce adverse psychological
and physical effects.
A (55E study by #panish researchers found that in urban areas households are willing to
pay approximately four !uros per decibel per year for noise reduction.
6oise can have a detrimental effect on animals by causing stress, increasing ris2 of
mortality by changing the delicate balance in predatorIprey detection and avoidance, and
by interfering with their use of sounds in communication especially in relation to
reproduction and in navigation. Acoustic overexposure can lead to temporary or
permanent loss of hearing.
+a,itat redu%tion
An impact of noise on animal life is the reduction of usable habitat that noisy areas may
cause, which in the case of endangered species may be part of the path to extinction. ?ne
of the best 2nown cases of damage caused by noise pollution is the death of certain
species of beached whales, brought on by the loud sound of military sonar.
Lo!,ard 'o%al re(pon(e
6oise also ma2es species communicate louder, which is called Lo!,ard 'o%al
#cientists and researchers have conducted experiments that show whales8
song length is longer when submarine&detectors are on.
If creatures don8t Dspea2D loud
enough, their voice will be mas2ed by anthropogenic sounds. /hese unheard voices might
be warnings, finding of prey, or preparations of net&bubbling. When one species begins
spea2ing louder, it will mas2 other species8 voice, causing the whole ecosystem to
eventually spea2 louder.
Other ha,it %hange(
;ebra finches become less faithful to their partners when exposed to traffic noise. /his
could alter a population8s evolutionary tra$ectory by selecting DsexyD traits, sapping
resources normally devoted to other activities and thus lead to profound genetic and
evolutionary conse1uences.
)itigation and %ontrol o$ noi(e
/he sound tube in %elbourne, Australia, designed to reduce roadway noise without
detracting from the area8s aesthetics.
/echnology to mitigate or remove noise can be applied as follows0
• /here are a variety of strategies for mitigating roadway noise including0 use of
noise barriers, limitation of vehicle speeds, alteration of roadway surface texture,
limitation of heavy duty vehicles, use of traffic controls that smooth vehicle flow
to reduce bra2ing and acceleration and tire design. An important factor in
applying these strategies is a computer model for roadway noise, that is capable of
addressing local topography, meteorology, traffic operations and hypothetical
mitigation. osts of building&in mitigation can be modest, provided these
solutions are sought in the planning stage of a roadway pro$ect.
• Aircraft noise can be reduced to some extent by design of 1uieter $et engines,
which was pursued vigorously in the @A95s and @AB5s. /his strategy has brought
limited but noticeable reduction of urban sound levels. 4econsideration of
operations, such as altering flight paths and time of day runway use, have
demonstrated benefits for residential populations near airports. -AA sponsored
residential retrofit +insulation, programs initiated in the @A95s has also en$oyed
success in reducing interior residential noise in thousands of residences across the
:nited #tates.
• !xposure of wor2ers to Industrial noise has been addressed since the @A*5s.
hanges include redesign of industrial e1uipment, shoc2 mounting assemblies
and physical barriers in the wor2place.
Legal (tatu(
Lovernments up until the @A95s viewed noise as a DnuisanceD rather than an
environmental problem. In the :nited #tates there are federal standards for highway and
aircraft noise= states and local governments typically have very specific statutes on
building codes, urban planning and roadway development. In anada and the !: there
are few national, provincial, or state laws that protect against noise.
6oise laws and ordinances vary widely among municipalities and indeed do not even
exist in some cities. An ordinance may contain a general prohibition against ma2ing noise
that is a nuisance, or it may set out specific guidelines for the level of noise allowable at
certain times of the day and for certain activities.
%ost city ordinances prohibit sound above a threshold intensity from trespassing over
property line at night, typically between @5 p.m. and F a.m., and during the day restricts it
to a higher sound level= however, enforcement is uneven. %any municipalities do not
follow up on complaints. !ven where a municipality has an enforcement office, it may
only be willing to issue warnings, since ta2ing offenders to court is expensive.
%any conflicts over noise pollution are handled by negotiation between the emitter and
the receiver. !scalation procedures vary by country, and may include action in
con$unction with local authorities, in particular the police. 6oise pollution often persists
because only five to ten percent of people affected by noise will lodge a formal
complaint. %any people are not aware of their legal right to 1uiet and do not 2now how
to register a complaint.
Ther!al pollution
ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
Ther!al pollution is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human
influence. /he temperature change can be upwards or downwards. In the 6orthern
>emisphere, a common cause of thermal pollution is the use of water as a coolant,
especially in power plants. Water used as a coolant is returned to the natural environment
at a higher temperature. Increases in water temperature can impact on a1uatic organisms
by +a, decreasing oxygen supply, +b, 2illing fish $uveniles which are vulnerable to small
increases in temperature, and +c, affecting ecosystem composition. In the #outhern
>emisphere, thermal pollution is commonly caused by the release of very cold water
from the base of reservoirs, with severe affects on fish +particularly eggs and larvae,, and
river productivity.
E%ologi%al e$$e%t( H war! water
Warm water typically decreases the level of dissolved oxygen in the water. /he decrease
in levels of dissolved oxygen can harm a1uatic animals such as fish, amphibians and
copepods. /hermal pollution may also increase the metabolic rate of a1uatic animals, as
enzyme activity, resulting in these organisms consuming more food in a shorter time than
if their environment were not changed. An increased metabolic rate may result in food
source shortages, causing a sharp decrease in a population. hanges in the environment
may also result in a migration of organisms to another, more suitable environment, and to
in&migration of organisms that normally only live in warmer waters elsewhere. /his leads
to competition for fewer resources= the more adapted organisms moving in may have an
advantage over organisms that are not used to the warmer temperature. As a result one
has the problem of compromising food chains of the old and new environments.
"iodiversity can be decreased as a result.
-ish 2illed in receiving waters
It is 2nown that temperature changes of even one to two degrees elsius can cause
significant changes in organism metabolism and other adverse cellular biology effects.
Principal adverse changes can include rendering cell walls less permeable to necessary
osmosis, coagulation of cell proteins, and alteration of enzyme metabolism. /hese
cellular level effects can adversely affect mortality and reproduction.
Primary producers are affected by warm water because higher water temperature
increases plant growth rates, resulting in a shorter lifespan and species overpopulation.
/his can cause an algae bloom which reduces the oxygen levels in the water. /he higher
plant density leads to an increased plant respiration rate because the reduced light
intensity decreases photosynthesis. /his is similar to the eutrophication that occurs when
watercourses are polluted with leached agricultural inorganic fertilizers.
A large increase in temperature can lead to the denaturing of life&supporting enzymes by
brea2ing down hydrogen& and disulphide bonds within the 1uaternary structure of the
enzymes. Decreased enzyme activity in a1uatic organisms can cause problems such as
the inability to brea2 down lipids, which leads to malnutrition.In limited cases, warm
water has little deleterious effect and may even lead to improved function of the receiving
a1uatic ecosystem. /his phenomenon is seen especially in seasonal waters and is 2nown
as thermal enrichment. An extreme case is derived from the aggregational habits of the
manatee, which often uses power plant discharge sites during winter. Pro$ections suggest
that manatee populations would decline upon the removal of these discharges.
/he added heat lowers the dissolved oxygen content and may cause serious problems for
the plants and animals living there. In extreme cases, ma$or fish 2ills can result. Warm
water may also increase the metabolic rate of a1uatic animals, as enzyme activity,
meaning that these organisms will consume more food in a shorter time than if their
environment was not changed.
E%ologi%al e$$e%t( H %old water
4eleases of unnaturally cold water from reservoirs can dramatically change the fish and
macroinvertebrate fauna of rivers, and reduce river productivity. In Australia, where
many rivers have warmer temperature regimes, native fish species have been eliminated,
and macroinvertebrate faunas have been drastically altered and impoverished.
Co!puter !odeling o$ ther!al pollution
In the @A95s there was considerable activity from scientists in 1uantifying effects of
thermal pollution. >ydrologists, physicists, meteorologists, and computer scientists
combined their s2ills in one of the first interdisciplinary pursuits of the modern
environmental science era. -irst came the application of gaussian function dispersal
modeling that forecasts how a thermal plume is formed from a thermal point source and
predicts the distribution of a1uatic temperatures. /he ultimate model was developed by
the :.#. !nvironmental Protection Agency introducing the statistical variations in
meteorology to predict the resulting plume from a thermal outfall.
Radioa%ti'e %onta!ination
ro! "ikipedia# the $ree en%&%lopedia
/he radiation warning symbol +trefoil,.
Radioa%ti'e %onta!ination is the uncontrolled distribution of radioactive material in a
given environment. /he amount of radioactive material released in an accident is called
the (our%e ter!.
Sour%e( o$ %onta!ination
Radioa%ti'e %onta!ination is typically the result of a spill or accident during the
production or use of radionuclides +radioisotopes,, an unstable nucleus which has
excessive energy.ontamination may occur from radioactive gases, li1uids or particles.
-or example, if a radionuclide used in nuclear medicine is accidentally spilled, the
material could be spread by people as they wal2 around. 4adioactive contamination may
also be an inevitable result of certain processes, such as the release of radioactive xenon
in nuclear fuel reprocessing. In cases that radioactive material cannot be contained, it
may be diluted to safe concentrations. 6uclear fallout is the distribution of radioactive
contamination by a nuclear explosion. -or a discussion of environmental contamination
by alpha emitters please see actinides in the environment. ontainment is what
differentiates radioactive material from radioactive contamination. /herefore, radioactive
material in sealed and designated containers is not properly referred to as contamination,
although the units of measurement might be the same.
4adioactive contamination may exist on surfaces or in volumes of material or air. In a
nuclear power plant, detection and measurement of radioactivity and contamination is
often the $ob of a ertified >ealth Physicist.
Sur$a%e %onta!ination
#urface contamination is usually expressed in units of radioactivity per unit of area. -or
#I, this is bec1uerels per s1uare meter +or "1Im[,. ?ther units such as picouries per @55
cm[ or disintegrations per minute per s1uare centimeter +@ dpmIcm[ Q @FF (I* "1Im[,
may be used. #urface contamination may either be fixed or removable. In the case of
fixed contamination, the radioactive material cannot by definition be spread, but it is still
In practice there is no such thing as zero radioactivity. 6ot only is the entire world
constantly bombarded by cosmic rays, but every living creature on earth contains
significant 1uantities of carbon&@3 and most +including humans, contain significant
1uantities of potassium&35. /hese tiny levels of radiation are not any more harmful than
sunlight, but $ust as excessive 1uantities of sunlight can be dangerous, so too can
excessive levels of radiation.
Low le'el %onta!ination
/he hazards to people and the environment from radioactive contamination depend on the
nature of the radioactive contaminant, the level of contamination, and the extent of the
spread of contamination. 7ow levels of radioactive contamination pose little ris2, but can
still be detected by radiation instrumentation. In the case of low&level contamination by
isotopes with a short half&life, the best course of action may be to simply allow the
material to naturally decay. 7onger&lived isotopes should be cleaned up and properly
disposed off, because even a very low level of radiation can be life&threatening when in
long exposure to it. /herefore, whenever there8s any radiation in an area, many people
ta2e extreme caution when approaching.
:nintentionally released radiation can reach humans by a variety of means.
+igh le'el %onta!ination
>igh levels of contamination may pose ma$or ris2s to people and the environment.
People can be exposed to potentially lethal radiation levels, both externally and
internally, from the spread of contamination following an accident +or a deliberate
initiation, involving large 1uantities of radioactive material. /he biological effects of
external exposure to radioactive contamination are generally the same as those from an
external radiation source not involving radioactive materials, such as x&ray machines, and
are dependent on the absorbed dose.
Eiologi%al e$$e%t(
/he biological effects of internally deposited radionuclides depend greatly on the activity
and the biodistribution and removal rates of the radionuclide, which in turn depends on
its chemical form. /he biological effects may also depend on the chemical toxicity of the
deposited material, independent of its radioactivity. #ome radionuclides may be generally
distributed throughout the body and rapidly removed, as is the case with tritiated water.
#ome radionuclides may target specific organs and have much lower removal rates. -or
instance, the thyroid gland ta2es up a large percentage of any iodine that enters the body.
If large 1uantities of radioactive iodine are inhaled or ingested, the thyroid may be
impaired or destroyed, while other tissues are affected to a lesser extent. 4adioactive
iodine is a common fission product= it was a ma$or component of the radiation released
from the hernobyl disaster, leading to many cases of pediatric thyroid cancer and
hypothyroidism. ?n the other hand, radioactive iodine is used in the diagnosis and
treatment of many diseases of the thyroid precisely because of the thyroid8s selective
upta2e of iodine.
)ean( o$ %onta!ination
4adioactive contamination can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, absorption,
or in$ection. -or this reason, it is important to use personal protective e1uipment when
wor2ing with radioactive materials. 4adioactive contamination may also be ingested as
the result of eating contaminated plants and animals or drin2ing contaminated water or
mil2 from exposed animals. -ollowing a ma$or contamination incident, all potential
pathways of internal exposure should be considered.
/>! !##AO ?- P?77:/I?6
6owadays, pollution is the big problem that occurred on earth. Pollution is contaminants
into an environment due to human activities that causes harm or discomfort to humans or
other living organisms, or damages the environment. /here are F types of pollution that
are going to be discussed, namely air, water, noise, land, radioactive, and thermal.
Air pollution is indication of disturbances to the composition of compounds in the
atmosphere, as it may be summarized as excess emission of gasesIvapors into
atmosphere, saturation of chemical compoundsIparticulates, rate of dissipation \ +smaller
than, rate of absorption through various cycles +i.e. carbon and nitrogen cycle, and
emergence of new chemical reactions of reactive and non&biodegradable compounds.
Llobal warming, acid rain, smog, ozone depletion are some effects of air pollution. In
relation to this, we may observe the cycle which involves in our daily lives0 carbon and
nitrogen cycle. /hese ( cycles are the most important of all, regulating the composition of
carbon and nitrogen of !arth.
We can classify ma$or sources that lead to air pollution in few categories which are
motor vehicle exhaust, heat and power generation facilities, industrial processes, auto
manufacturing, fertilizers plants, building demolition, solid waste disposal, solvent
evaporation, volcanic eruption, fuel production, roadway construction, electrical
components manufacturing, extraction of metals, forest fires and also agriculture.
While, water pollution is contamination of water by foreign matter that deteriorates
the 1uality of the water. Water pollution covers pollutions in li1uid forms li2e ocean
pollution and river pollution. As the term applies, li1uid pollution occurs in the oceans,
la2es, streams, rivers, underground water and bays, in short li1uid&containing areas. It
involves the release of toxic substances, pathogenic germs, substances that re1uire much
oxygen to decompose, easy&soluble substances, radioactivity, etc. that become deposited
upon the bottom and their accumulations will interfere with the condition of a1uatic
ecosystems. -or example, the eutrophication0 lac2 of oxygen in a water body caused by
excessive algae growths because of enrichment of pollutants.
Water cycle is, simply saying, the circulation of water in earth. In fact, the water
in the earth8s biosphere is used and reused again and again. /his is called water cycle or
continuous movement of water between the earth and the atmosphere. It involves a few
mechanisms which are evaporation, that changing of water from li1uid to gas,
transpiration, that release of water vapor from plant leaves, condensation, that changing
of vapor to li1uid +cooled down, and precipitation, that water that returns to the earth
+water droplets in clouds become large enough and there comes the rain,. According to
the water cycle, naturally, water around us will be absorbed to the land +soil, and rivers
will stream from the upstream to the downstream and released to the sea.
In normal situation organic pollutants are biodegraded by microbes and converted
to a form that brings benefits to the a1uatic life. And for the inorganic pollutants, in the
same situation, don8t bring to much hazards because they are widely dispersed and have
almost no effect to the environment which they are released to In a small scale, both
inorganic and organic pollutants safely decompose throughout the stream, their
concentration decrease in the sea, and they don8t harm the sea ecosystem and its
distribution. "ut in an excessive scale, communities in beach and estuary will be affected
by the pollutants, and can heavily harm them.
-or noise pollution, this particular pollution is ever increasing with due to the rise
in the utilization of heavy duty machineries of industrial facilities and vehicles,
synonymous to the increase in the standard of living in most countries. We ma2e sounds
practically every seconds of our day, but to the extend it has reached an unfavorable high
intensity which had cause many disturbances and irritation to others emotionally that has
adverse effects on our daily activities. 6oise levels can be measured by decibel method
which one tenth of a bel where one bel represents a difference in level between two
intensities I
, I
where one is ten times greater than the other. /hus, the intensity level is
the comparison of one intensity to another and may be expressed0
Intensity level Q @5 log
, +d",
-or instance, the difference between intensities of @5
and @5
, an
actual difference of @5,555 units, can be expressed as a difference of 3 bels or 35
decibels. ?ther noise measurement systems are community noise e1uivalent level,
composite noise rating, e1uivalent energy level, noise and number index, noise exposure
forecast, noise criterion, noise level, noise pollution level, noise rating, perceived noise
level, traffic noise index, sound level, sound level meter, sound pressure level. We can
classify ma$or sources that lead to noise pollution to the few categories0 road traffic noise,
air traffic, rail traffic, neighborhood and domestic noise, incompatible land use and also
industrial noises.
While, for land pollution is the degradation of earth8s land surfaces often caused
by human activities and its misuse. 4evered to as soil pollution, land pollution involves a
few mechanism that include deposition of solid waste, accumulation of non&
biodegradable materials, toxification of chemicals into poisons and alteration of soil
chemical composition +imbalance of chemical e1uilibrium to soil medium,.
/he causes for such devastation are generally due to ( forms of malpractices which
are by unhealthy soil management methods and improper irrigation practices. "y
unhealthy soil management methods is shown such improper tillage of soil in which
excessive tillage result in the deterioration of soil structure= non&maintenance of a proper
supply of organic matter in the soil from the imbalance composition of the reserves of
organic matter especially nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur unplenished supply after
cultivation of vegetation, living the soil prone to soil infertility, unable to stabilize the soil
physicality which ultimately let to desertification= irregular maintenance of a proper
nutrient supply of trace elements gives rise to the use of excessive synthetic fertilizers,
which are non biodegradable and accumulate in the soil system which eventually destroys
useful organisms such as bacteria, fungi and other organisms= and also by improper
maintenance of the correct soil acidity which ultimately disrupt the adaptation of various
crops and native vegetation of different soils as the solubility of minerals present will be
affected. In a more acidic soil, minerals tend to be more soluble and washed away during
rainfall while al2aline soil, minerals are more insoluble which form complex minerals
unable to be absorbed into the flora system physiological usage.
While, improper irrigation practices are shown poorly drained soil result in salt
deposits leading to high soil salinity that inhibit plant growth and may lead to crop
failure= unirrigated land giving rise to stagnation of agriculture waste products which
accumulates and increases land toxicity and also decreasing= and irregular irrigation leads
to decreasing moisturization of land for soil medium and replenishments of solvents for
-or thermal pollution, this pollution has become an increasing and the most current
pollution, owing to the increasing call of globalization everywhere. >eat produced from
industries is a ma$or contribution to the pollution, much to the operation of the heavy
industries which produces high amount of heat energy and global temperature had
increased significantly.
%easurements of atmospheric temperature are done by meteorological center of the
weather forecast annually, and the graph to detect the temperature trend from a period of
@5 years will be compared with the previous batch of period. /hus we may be able to
2now the rate of temperature increase overall and ma2e reference to the standard level of
heat that should be maintain in the atmosphere to avoid large deviation of heat in the
We can classify ma$or sources that lead to thermal pollution on few categories such as
power plants creating electricity from fossil fuel, water as a cooling agent in industrial
facilities and also deforestation of the shoreline soil erosion.
/he radioactive pollution normally from nuclear energy. 6uclear energy is a form
of energy thatHs released by the splitting of atoms. #ince scientists have found a way to
ma2e use of the energy, it has also been used to generate electricity.6uclear energy has
been recognized as a clean energy because it doesnHt release pollutants such as ?
to the
atmosphere after its reaction that could damage our environment. It8s also 2nown that
nuclear energy has reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emission, reducing emissions
of ?
for about E55 million metric tons of carbon.
Despite the advantage of nuclear as a clean energy, the big concern is the waste
resulted from nuclear reaction, which is a form of pollution, called radioactivity.
4adioactivity is a form of radiation +a form of energy that travels through space,. #ome
elements in this world are naturally radioactive while some others are made to be.
4adioactivity is emitted when a radioactive element become unstable and begin to decay
in the attempt to regain their molecular stability. When an element decays, it emits energy
and small particles. If itHs still radioactive, it will repeat the process, until it finally
regains its molecular stability and stop decaying. /he time that it ta2es for half way of
decaying process is called half&life, and this differs for each radioactive element. It
possibly ta2es up to 3.E billion years +:ranium (*B, and as short as B days +Iodine @*@,.
/his process constantly remains, not considering external factors such as pressure or
temperature. /his process is expressed in units called bec1uerels. ?ne bec1uerel is e1ual
to one disintegration of nuclei per second.
/here are commonly three types of radiation, namely Alpha particles. /his particles
can be bloc2ed by a piece of paper and human s2in. #econd, "eta particle, that can
penetrate through s2in, while can be bloc2ed by some pieces of glass and metal. /hird,
Lamma rays, that can penetrate easily to human s2in and damage cells on its way
through, reaching far, and can only be bloc2ed by a very thic2, strong, massive piece
of concrete.
All of these pollution can effect on human health, ecosystems and also to regulation and
monitoring. /o human health, pollution can totally 2ill many organisms including
humans. ?zone pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat
inflammation, chest pain, and congestion. Water pollution causes approximately @3,555
deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drin2ing water by untreated sewage in
developing countries. ?il spills can cause s2in irritations and rashes. 6oise pollution
induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance.
While ecosystems can be effects by sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen which can
cause acid rain which reduces the p> value of soil.#oil can become infertile and
unsuitable for plants. /his will affect other organisms in the food web. ?ther than that,
smog and haze can reduce the amount of sunlight received by plants to carry out
photosynthesis. Invasive species can out compete native species and reduce biodiversity.
Invasive plants can contribute debris and biomolecules +allelopathy, that can alter soil
and chemical compositions of an environment, often reducing native species
competitiveness. 7astly, biomagnification describes a situation where toxins may be pass
through trophic levels, becoming exponentially more concentrated in the process.
!ffects on regulation and !onitoring i( to protect the environment from the adverse
effects of pollution, many nations worldwide have enacted legislation to regulate various
types of pollution as well as to mitigate the adverse effects of pollution. /he regulations
include such as Cyoto Protocol and !nvironment Protection 7aw.
onclusion of all this problems is, the effects of pollutions are dangerous for human
being. We as the residents on earth must be cooperative to decrease the pollution to
become more serious effects. Llobal warming and greenhouse gases is the terrible
effects nowadays to be decrease before the ozone on the earth become even more
thin and we canHt barely breath and live comfortably. #ome devices had been made
to help us to save the world by using it properly. #o the pollution can be decrease
perfectly with cooperation and responsibilities among us.