PHOTOCHEMICAL SMOG

IntroductionCausesEffects on the EnvironmentMajor EventsSolutions

Introduction
Photochemical smog is a very serious problem in South African and most other major cities around the world.

Causes
The industrial revolution has been a great cause of the increase in pollutants in the atmosphere over the last three centuries. Most of the pollution was created from the burning of coal in space heating (boilers), cooking and transportation. Under suitable conditions, the smoke and sulphur dioxide produced can combine to form Industrial Smog. Today, Industrial smog is far less common, but the burning of fossil fuels such as Petroleum can create another atmospheric problem known as photochemical smog. This condition developes when Primary Pollutants(Oxides of Nitrogen and volatile organic compounds created from fossil fuel combustion) combine under the influence of sunlight to give off a mixture of many different and hazardous chemicals know as Secondary Pollutants. These conditions mainly occur in large cities eg: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Vancouver.

Major Chemical Pollutants in Photochemical Smog: Sources and Environmental Effects
Chemical Nitrogen Oxides (NO and NO2) Sources - Burning of oil, coal, gas in both vehivles and industry - bacteria in soil The Environmental Effects - decreased visibility due to the yellowish color of NO2 - NO2 can be a cause Other Information - all combustion account for only about 5% of NO2 in the atmosphere, most is created from

some are parafin carcinogenic .was not detected until it was recognized in smog .people with asthma and breathing problems are influenced the most .lightning operations involving NO .amounts are likely to continue rising as time goes by .less resistance to disease . Transportation.visibility problems fuels eg: most vehicles due to a blue-brown haze Ozone (O3) .coughing.sometimes results from ozone destuction .stunts plant growth .eye problems .causes damage to proteins . o Early morning traffic increases the emissions of both nitrogen oxide and VOC's as people drive to work.volcanic eruptions .the evaporation of solvents eg: Polystyrene .Can be a cause of the spread of cancer . A constant source of nitrogen oxides.the effects of VOC's are dependant on the type of chemical .0 molecule per million can decrease photosynthesis by up to 50% .samples have shown that there are over 600 different VOC's in the atmosphere .created as a result of photolysis of NO2 .respiratory Compounds . . created through burning of fossil fuels.eye problems Unstable Living .causes damage plastic .the evaporation of problems (VOC's) fuels eg: Petrol or .the burning of fossil . The time of day is also a very important factor when concidering the amount of photochemical smog. mostly obtainable from Industrial activities.forest fires .more poisonous to plants than ozone Development of Photochemical Smog Certain conditions are required in order to create photochemical smog 1. 2.breaks down rubber .Less crop yeilds .amounts of 1.can only be formed during daylight hours Peroxyacetyl Nitrates (PAN) .eye problems of NO2 with VOC's (can .breathing problems .NO2 can stop plant growth . wheezing .very poisonous to be formed naturally in plants some environments) .harsh smell -formed by the reaction .of heart and lung problems .breathing problems .amounts are likely to continue rising as time goes on .

Photochemical smog kills many kinds of animals and plants. the creation of ozone is halted. o As the sun goes down. o Pecipitation can decrease photochemical smog as the pollutants are washed out of the atmosphere by rainfall o Winds can blow photochemical snog away replacing it with fresh air.Later in the morning. o At the same time. because hills and mountains allow pollutants to rise. The production of the smog is especially apparent in the summer months. The table above gives all the effects of photochemical smog. Some environmental factors can affect production of photochemical smog. Major Events There have been no major events as yet because this is an ongoing process and is also a newly discovered problem. the nitrogen dioxide is broken down and it's by-products are formed. some of the nitrogen dioxide can react with unstable organic compounds to produce compounds such as PAN. However problems may arise in other areas o Temperature changes can change dramatically the severity of the pollution 4. because they are not adapted to breathing photochemical smog. traffic dies down and the nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compunds start to react forming nitrogen dioxide increasing it's concentration o As the sunlight becomes stronger later in the day. . o Effects on the Environment Photochemical smog has devastating effects on the environment. Valleys are also places in which relatively strong temperature changes occur. as the high temperatures support the formation of photochemical smog. Settlements in valleys are much more susceptable. The ozone that remains is consumed by several other reactions 3. Topography is another important factor influencing the severity of photochemical smog.

Management & Reduction Strategies .68+ Slides 99 Minutes .www. lowest cost unit www.monitortechgrp. or you could use a form of transport that does not have harmful emissions such as a bicycle.com/ .Air and Soil Monitoring UKAS Laboratory Service www.5 Presentations .gradko.com Passive Diffusion Tubes .www. You can do this by using one car to take one's entire family to their place of work.uk Biofuels DVD .com CEMS to meet EPA for process requirements to measure gas.healthtech. the first one is to decrease harmful emissions such as those from car exhausts (carbon monoxide) and other gases contributing to the formation of photochemical smog.pe-international.co.Carbon Footprint Audits. Reporting.Solutions There a few solutions to this problem. Smog Ads by Google Carbon Dioxide Emission .com/cddvd Ads by Google Industrial WaterTreatment Industrial Water Treatment Plants At Higher Performance & Lower Cost! All-About-Wastewater-Treatment.

More recently.MFB Services Worldwide environmental services. This fog mixes with the smoke and gases from burning coal to produce a dark.greenlogisticsforum. thick. the term smog was coined to describe the mixture of smoke and fog that lowered visibility and led to respiratory problems in industrial cities. London. Smog occurs when emissions of gases and particles from industrial or transportation sources are trapped by the local meteorology so the concentrations rise and chemical reactions occur.steuler. Normally. the term has come to mean any decrease in air quality whether associated with reduced visibility or a noticeable impact on human health. The smog has been shown to contribute to an . It is common to distinguish between two types of smog: London smog and Los Angeles smog. the unpolluted fog would disperse during the day and be reformed at night. www. Stopping air pollution. However. smog was noted following the introduction of coal into cities. or sulphurous.com/2009/ Originally. transportation & logistics and thrive in 2009 www.de Green Logistics Forum Green your sourcing. the presence of smoke particles makes the fog so thick that sunlight cannot penetrate it and so only a major change in meteorology can disperse it. It is most prevalent in the fall or winter when cool conditions naturally produce a thick surface fog. acrid sulphurous atmosphere.

) increased death rate. Reproduced by permission. such as ozone. breathing to become labored. These approaches have been largely successful. 1954.A thick cloud of smog covering Santiago. demanded lower industrial emissions. in 1948 involved approximately twenty excess deaths. Most jurisdictions have instituted control measures to prevent this level of disaster from happening again. Los Angeles. It is a daytime phenomenon characterized by a white haze and contains oxidants. Pennsylvania. It results . primarily due to respiratory problems. ( AP/Wide World Photos. smog first became apparent in the late 1940s in warm sunny cities that did not have significant coal-burning industries. at least in controlling the most extreme events. and increased the heights of smokestacks so emissions are not trapped by local meteorology. A similar episode in Donora. Chile. and plants to be damaged. when some four thousand deaths in excess of normal averages resulted. The most notable example of this kind of smog occurred in London. from December 4 to 10. or photochemical. that cause eyes to water. They have moved industries out of cities.

and Mexico City. but produced by chemistry in the atmosphere. O ZON E. their reactions in the atmosphere. although particle concentrations are receiving increasing attention.) The control of photochemical smog is more difficult than for sulphurous smog because the compounds responsible for human and crop impacts are not directly emitted. Because smog results from the sunlight-initiated chemistry of hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides. Athens..from the action of sunlight on the combination of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NO x ). Houston. D ONORA. the most common approach to smog control is to decrease the emission of these compounds at their source. SEE ALSO A IR P OLLUTION . Bibliography . as a result of increasing controls. the automobile is the primary contributor of smog's precursor gases. In most cities. and the damage inflicted on crops can cause significant decreases in yield. greater knowledge on the emissions of gases. The emission control systems of the twenty-first century mean that a car typically emits 70 percent less nitrogen oxides and 80 to 90 percent less hydrocarbons than the uncontrolled cars of the 1960s. As the name would suggest. H EALTH. and their lifetime is needed. but it has also been experienced in a large number of cities where the weather is dry. the most notable example of this type of smog occurs in Los Angeles. is estimated by using computer models of the atmosphere and its chemistry. These are emitted from combustion sources to produce a range of oxidized products and oxidants. Most jurisdictions continue to focus their control strategies on reducing ozone concentrations. Lower volatility gasolines and systems to capture gasoline vapors are used to reduce hydrocarbon emissions while tailpipe controls (catalytic converters) reduce emissions of both hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. The expected improvement in air quality. Thus. sunlight is plentiful. These compounds have been shown to produce respiratory and cardiac problems in individuals sensitive to pollution. and there are many automobiles or petroleum industries (e. P ENNSYLVANIA . A STHMA . California. known as precursor gases. H UMAN .g.

water. environmental.S. (1997).pollutionissues.S. impact. (1987). Turco. Donald R. Environmental Protection Agency. history." Available from http://www.flightsciences. "Air Quality Index: A Guide to Air Quality and Your Health.com Read more: Smog .html#ixzz0vyp5J0xw . London: Methuen. Earth under Siege. "National Air Pollutant Emission Trends. types.gov/ttn .www. The Big Smoke: A History of Air Pollution in London since Medieval Times." Available from http://www. Richard. 1900± 1998. health http://www. human. world.Brimblecombe. sources.epa.Customized Fuel Management Programs Programs Save 3%-8% net Annually . EPA.epa. industrial. Peter.com/Re-Sy/Smog. Environmental Protection Agency. U.gov/airnow/aqibroch .green2M.Innovative Oil-Spill Remediation Shore and Ocean Cleanup Technology www. Hastie Ads by Google 2M . Internet Resources U.com Airline Fuel Conservation . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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