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Environmental Pollution

& Air Pollution

Causes impact and control measures of :

Air, Water and Noise pollution,

Dr A P Singh
Associate Professor & Head
PG Department of Zoology
SGGS College, Chandigarh
(Panjab University, Chandigarh, India)
Anything or Everything which surrounds
organisms and affects its life processes
directly or indirectly
It includes conditions, circumstances, forces,
non-living objects, living organisms, their
interactions and remains
It can be called Physico-biological
surroundings made of objects, conditions,
forces and organisms including their
interactions and remains
Components of Environment
Abiotic Components
Nonliving Substances, Conditions, Forces
Biotic Components
Living Organisms, their interactions and remains
Divisions of Earth
Atmosphere (Air)
Indoor, Outdoor and layers of above atmosphere
All kinds of water bodies standing, moving,
puddles, ditches, oceans, seas, oasis, estuaries,
Land, islands, bottom of seas and water bodies
What is Pollution?
Etymology of Pollution (L. Pollutio to render unclean)
Environmental Pollution Panel of Presidents Science Advisory
Committee Report Restoring the Quality of Our Environment
It is unfavourable alteration of our surroundings, wholly or
largely as a by-product of mans actions*, through direct or
indirect effects of changes in energy patterns, radiations levels,
chemical and physical constitution and abundances of organisms
These changes may affect man directly, or through his supplies
of water of agricultural and biological products, his physical
objects or possessions, or his opportunities for recreation and
appreciation of nature
* Natural required to be included (metabolism products,
Cultural Assets, Resources are included
Types of Pollution
On basis of component of Environment
Air Pollution
Water Pollution
Land Pollution
On Basis of Causative Agency of Pollution:
Natural Pollution
Man Made or Anthropogenic Pollution
Special Types:
Noise Pollution
Radio Active Pollution
Atmosphere (Air)
An invisible transparent envelope
surrounding the earth
It is dynamic, continuously renewed and is
Held to earth due to gravitational pull
Mixture of gases, water vapours and
particulates with composition varying from
place to place and at different altitudes
Composition effected by environmental
conditions and human activity
For example Ozone concentration high at
equator, CO2 high at low altitude and
Nitrogen Continues to altitude of 130 km
Atmosphere (Air).. Contd
On basis of temperature changes four vertical zones/layers
are differentiable:
Thermosphere or Ionosphere (90 300 km); Thermos -
temperature]; merges with interstellar space
(Exosphere; exo outside; sphaire - mantle)
High temperature and ionised gases due to continuous
bombardment by high energy radiations; protective as
absorb ionising radiations (cosmic/X rays); reflects
radio waves
Mesosphere (40 km thick) [Meso - middle]
Stratosphere (20/25 km 65 km ; 35 Km thick);
Ozonosphere its part (3 5 km above troposphere)
[stratum - layer]
Acts as protective screen/ Umbrella against UV rays
very calm, aviation paths
Troposphere (0 8 km [poles]/ 15 km [Equator])
[Tropos - change ]
Contains 75 % of air mass
Structure of Atmosphere
Structure of Atmosphere (Cotnd.)
Structure of Atmosphere (Cotnd.)
Structure of Atmosphere (Cotnd.)
Air Pollution
Any undesirable change in
the quality of air
(atmosphere) by the passage
(introduction; natural or man-
made) of particulates, gases,
biological molecules, other
harmful materials into the air
beyond threshold level
producing adverse effects
(diseases/ damage/ deaths)
Types of Air Pollution
On basis of Causative Agency of Air Pollution
Natural Air Pollution
Anthropogenic or Man Made Pollution
e.g., Smoking, Kitchen smoke
e.g., Stone Crushers
Community (occur in large area)
e.g., Automobiles, Thermal Power Plants
On basis of Source of Air Pollution
Stationary Source Air Pollution
Point Source Air Pollution
e.g.,Chimney (Industry), Smoke Stack (Power Plant)
Area Source Air Pollution
e.g., Smoke from Urban Area, Spray of Pesticide in Agriculture area
Diffused or Fugitive Source Air Pollution (Large area exposed to wind )
e.g., wind caused soil erosion
Mobile (Line) Source Air Pollution (along a belt)
e.g., Ships, Vehicles, Aircrafts, Trains
Causes/ Sources of Air
Primary Air Pollution
Particulates, CO, SO , NO , HCs, 2 x
(persist in form in which ODS (CFCs)

CO2 turns pollutant at higher

Particulate Depending on size, they are of two
Secondary Air Pollutants O3, PAN, Smog, Acid
Rains, Soot
Settleable size > 10 m
(formed by reactions among/ modification of primary
Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM)
air pollutants; showsize
< 10 m increased adverse
effect as comparedtoAerosols
individual pollutants)
( < 1m)
Dust (Solid >1 m)
Mist (Liquid > 1 m)
Gaseous CO, SO2, NOx, HCs, H2S, HF, O3, HF, CH4,
Pollutants CO2 turns pollutant at higher concentration
Consist of solid or liquid inorganic or
organic substances like soot, smoke,
CFCs, Pollen Grains, Spores, etc.

Mainly by natural processes (89%)

e.g., volcanic eruptions, burning of
biomass, sea sprays, pollen,
spores, soil
Smaller extent by Man-made
reasons (11%)
51% - industries; 26 % - combustion
Carbon monooxide
Gaseous pollutant
91 % produced during volcanic eruption,
decomposition in marshes, incomplete
combustion of biomass, respiration

Only 9 % man-made incomplete

combustions and fossil fuels

75 % transportation and 9 % agriculture

Sulphur dioxide
Gaseous pollutant
55 % produced naturally
e.g., from volcanic eruptions, oxidation of
H2S and biological activities.
45 % from human activities
e.g., from stationary sources (industries and
thermal power plants mainly by combustion of coal
and smelting of sulphur containing ores),
of diesel.
Nitogen oxides
Highly reactive gaseous pollutants and with
short residence time
90 % natural
- Produced by photochemical reaction between
Nitrogen & Oxygen in the air,
- denitrification in water-logged soil by bacteria,
- burning of biomass
10 % by man-made reasons
- 78 % combustion of natural gas and coal in
stationary sources like thermal power plants &
- 18 % transportation mostly automobiles
84 % natural emission during microbial
action in marshes, paddy fields and
ruminants stomach as Methane and
16 % man made
- 56 % transportation
- 16 % industrial processes
- 9 % evaporation of organic solvents,
petrol from petrol dumps
- 8 % burning organic and agriculture
Hydrogen Sulphide
Gaseous pollutant with rotten egg like small
With short residence time
Emitted from natural sources such as hot
springs, bogs, wet spongy grounds,
volcanoes, petroleum refineries and metal

Hydrogen Fluoride
Non-criterion Gaseous pollutant
Mostly produced by Human
Indoor Air Pollution
More harmful than outdoor as concentration higher, we
pass more time indoors, poor ventilation slowly
disperse pollutants
Major Indoor Pollutants:
Kitchen Smoke (smoke, irritating chemicals, gases)
Tobacco Smoke (contain benzene, nitrosoamine,
benzopyrene, CO, NOx, CN; all carcinogenic)
Asbestos Fibres (from ceiling, flooring, sound proofing,
false ceiling, cement) cause asbestosis lung fibrosis
Formaldehyde (toxic gas from water boards, particle
boards, foam insulation)
Vinyl Chloride (Carcinogenic; from synthetic plastic
plumbing pipes, wall coverings, counter tops)
Radon (radioactive gas present in cigarette smoke and
also emitted from minerals, causes lung cancers)
Concentration of Chloroform, Styrene,
CCL4,formaldehyde, Benzene etc. is 70 times higher as
compared to outside
Impacts of Air Pollution
Particula Formation of Fog
tes Reflect Sunlight (decreases mean temperature of
(soot, earth)
smoke, Cause Asthma, bronchitis, pneumoconiosis (Black
fly ash) Lung Disease in
coal miners)
Tarnishing of household articles and buildings
Neurotoxicity & Reproductive disorders by
particulate Lead
SO2 Irritation of Eyes & Respiratory System
Emphysema (diminished lung functions)
Asthma, Bronchiospasm, lung cancers
Destroy green leaves effecting crops
Discolour buildings and surface of sculptures
Corrodes painted & metallic surfaces
Cause acid rains effecting buildings, soils and
water bodies
CO Carboxyhaemoglobin formation impairment of
psychomotor functions, headache, fatigueness,
comma, death (by asphyxiation), birth defects
Impacts of Air Pollution contd
NOx Irritation of eyes, nose, throat & lungs
Increased susceptibility to viral infections like
Suppression of plant growth by damage of foliage
Impair visibility by forming smog
Cause acid rain
Nitric and nitrous oxides form nitrates and nitrites
on entering soil to promote plant growth
HC Aromatic hydrocarbons
- irritate mucous membranes causing injuries to
eyes, nose, throat and lungs
- Benzene and Benzopyrene (tobacco and
charcoal smoke)cause lung cancer
Ethylene (acts as phytohormone) causes
senescence and premature ripening of fruits and
their drop
Methane causes green house effect (about 20 %
Pb Particulates
more than CO2)
In presence of light form Secondary pollutants like
Peroxyacylnitrates (PAN) and aldehydes on
reaction with O and N.
Effects on Humans
Majorly effects Respiratory Tract, Eyes and Throat
Children/old/infirm more prone to effects
Cough, Cold & Rhinitis (5 fold more on exposure)
Irritation of eyes (O3, Nox, SO2, PAN)
Pnumoconiosis (Lung Fibrosis; Hardening of lungs
on exposure to particulates like asbestos, metal
dust, stone dust & coal dust) may lead to lung cancer
Plumbism (Lead poisoning; damage of liver, brain
and reproductive system, paralysis)
Fluorosis (calcification of bones, mottling of teeth
due to HF)
Birth Defects (due to CO)
Effects on Plants
Reduced Photosynthesis
Reduced Yield of Crops
Senescence & Abscission
Destruction of Vegetations
Killing of Seedlings
Coloured opaque fog containing
smoke and several gaseous
Combination of words smoke and fog
Two Types Classical and
Classical or London or Sulphurous
Dark brown and occurs at low
It has reducing environment and
contains dust, smoke, fog, H2S, SO2

Photochemical or Los Angeles Smog:

Yellowish Brown Smog occurring at high temperature
It has oxidising environment and contains dust, little smoke,
fog, photochemical oxidants (secondary pollutants) like O 3,
Peroxyacyl Nitrate (PAN) and primary pollutants like NOx,
HCs and small amount of Sulphurous pollutants
First reported over Los Angeles in 1940s.
Chiefly formed by exhaust of automobiles when air is
In presence of sunlight primary pollutants like NOx and HCs
react to produce pollutants like O3 and PAN which are toxic
Generally concentration of O3 is high and NOx low at the
middle of the day.
Acid Rains: An Invisible Threat

Term coined by Robert Augus, 1872

Atmospheric precipitation as rain,
due or snow with pH < 5.6 generally
between 3 to 5 (normal rain has pH of
5.6 to 6.0)
A secondary and man made pollutant
SO2, NOx & HCl come from Smelting of
ores, manufacture of fertilizers, oil
refineries, burning of fossil fuels
Above pollutants reacting with water
vapors and oxygen in air to form acids
Generally Acid rain contains Sulphuric
Effects of Acid Rains
Direct Toxicity to tender shoots, foliage and roots of
plants; acidulated fog and clouds hanging in air for
days destroy forests and crops
Change of Soil pH by dissolution of minerals and
effecting productivity
Loss of Minerals: Solublised minerals in soil and lost
through run off ; and bottom and edges of water
bodies to increase mineral load of water
Kill Biota by low pH and high mineral load : 80 % of
Fresh Water bodies of Norway, 25% Sweden, 20 %
Germany, Canada & USA already dead (cant support
life); 50% of Forests killed in Germany, Switzerland,
Polland and Romania
Damage painted surfaces, tainted Glass
Corrode Metal
Corrode Marble and other Stones : Stone Leperosy;
Marble Cancer; Mathura Refinery effecting Taj Mahal
Brittle the Rubber Material
Thermal Inversion
Phenomenon of reversal of temperature of air near
ground and high altitude under some conditions.
Normally air is warm near ground and cool above;
warm air being lighter in density rises and creates
low pressure and air from cooler and high pressure
area flows into it. [Aloft Inversions]
However, during winters when ground frost is
there, air becomes cool near ground and warm
above; and Warm air traps the cool air below and
prevents air movement and circulation. This also
tend to trap pollutants. [Surface Inversion]
Often happens in industrial estates and areas with
heavy vehicular traffic and pollutants pile up in cold
air and reach dangerous level. This can harm
humans, animals, plants and human assets.
Thermal Inversion
Ozone Depletion
Decrease in Ozone Concentration of
Stratosphere due to ODS (Ozone Depleting
Substances)like CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) by
releasing Chlorine atoms on exposure to UV-C
Each Chlorine atom destroys 5,000 molecules of
Ozone per month
CFCs destroy Ozone 100 X their amount
Ozone layer is essential for existence of life as
absorb injurious UV-B radiations present in
Extreme thinning was discovered by Farman et.
al., British Antarctica Survey Team over Halley
Antarctica; called it Ozone or Antarctica Hole
Destruction of Ozonosphere was first reported
by Molina & Rowland (1974)
UV-B radiations are injurious and cause skin
Ozone Depletion
Viena Convention for Protection of Ozone
(1985); UNEP
Montreal Convention (1987) & Protocol
(effective from 1st Jan 1989): 24 participating
Nations agreed to limit production and
consumption of CFCs to half of 1986 level.
Helsinki Convention & Declaration (1989): 82
Nations ratified Montreal protocol; and
pledged to phase out CFCs by 2000
Kyoto Conference (1997; UNEP): discussed
steps to alternatives of ODS
Global Warming: Global Warning
(Enhanced Green House Effect)

Progressive rise in average temperature of earth

surface due green house effect (discovered by
Joseph Fourier)of certain gases (green house
gases)in atmosphere
Green House Gases include CO2 (share 57 %),
Methane (share 25%), NOx (share 6 %) and Water
Vapours( %).
Concentration of CO2 is increasing day by day due
to increased burning of fossil fuels.
Concentration has increased from 0.028% (1800)
to 0.035% (1994). It is rising every year @ 0.5%
and earths temperature is increasing 0.3 C
every ten years.
As a result alpine and polar ice caps and glaciers
are shrinking and sea level has started rising.
Fossil Fuel Burning over
El Nino & La Nina Sea surface
temperature anomalies
Control of Air Pollution
Particulates Gravity Settling Chambers
(Exhaust of Bag or Porous Filters
Industries & Cyclone Collectors
Thermal Power Electrostatic Precipitators (ESPs)
SO2 Use of low sulphur or desulphurised
fuel (coal/diesel)
Scrubbers: Exposure of exhaust to
fine spray of water
Bed of Ca(OH)2
COx, NOx & HC Catalytic Convertor
Thermal Exhaust Reactors
Raprenox (Rapid Removal of NOx)
Stagged Burners
1. Gravity Settling
Slow moving gas stream with
Settleable heavy and large (> 50
m)particles settle due to gravity
2. Porous or Bag Filters
Polyester or Teflon Filters remove out
particulate matter from dry exhaust emission

3. Cyclone Collector
Gas stream with suspended particulate
matter is whorled round through tight
circular spirals in a special chamber
Particulate matter is centrifuged and collects
at the bottom and periodically removed
4. Scrubbers
A fine spray of water thrown on the
stream of gases
Dissolves NH3, SO2 and NOx
For especially removing SO2 Circulating
alkali fluid or Slurry of Calcium
Hydroxide or bed of lime-limestone .
5. Adsorbents
Activated Charcoal removes toxic
gases by adsorption.
6. Electrostatic Precipitators
Devices with a region with electrically charged
plates or electrodes
Particulates (being charged generally) present
in gaseous stream tend to aggregate near the
oppositely charged electrodes or plates and
neutralised and settle down (and removed)
Two Types Plate Type and Tube Type
Remove up to extend of 99 % of particulates
from chimney or smoke stacks
Ropar and Bathinda (Pb)Thermal Power Plants
equipped with ESPs
Available for Kitchens also, but rarely installed
7. Catalytic Convertor
Device attached to exhaust of unleaded
petrol driven automobiles to reduce load of
CO, NOx, and HCs
Consists of metal catalyst material over
which exhaust gases after mixing with air
circulated to oxidise CO & HCs to CO2 +
Water and Nox to N2
Works at Low Temperature
Lead destroys Catalytic Convertor
8. Thermal Exhaust
Devices used to remove NO from Exhaust of automobiles
or Industrial boilers
Works at High Temperature
Two Types Raprenox and Stagged Burner
1. Raprenox (Rapid Removal of NOx):
used in automobiles; exhaust gas pass through a container
containg Isocyanic acid gas (produced by heating Cynuric
acid at 350 C)
NOx reacts with isocyanic gas to form CO2, Water & N2
2. Stagged Burner: Employed in Automobiles and Industries
to remove NOx
Two Satge Burner:
Stage One Fuel partially burnt at high temperature under
oxygen poor conditions
Stage Two Fuel Completely burnt at low temperature
under oxygen rich conditions
NOx load reduced by 50 %
9. Use of Desulphurised Coal &
10.Discontinue use of Lead
containing anti-
knock agent (Tetra Ethyl Lead)
Monitoring by
Air Filters
Hetrodyne Radiometer
Pollution Testing of Vehicles
Ambient Air Quality Standards
(CPCB; EPA Notification 1996)
Pollutant Time Concentration
(Hour Industrial Residential/Rural Senstive
s) Area Area area
(g/m3) (g/m3) (g/m3)

SO2 24 120 80 30
NOx 24 120 80 30
SPM 24 500 200 100
Pb 24 1.5 1.0 0.75
NH3 24 0.4 0.4 0.4
CO 1 10.0 4.0 2.0
Air Quality Legislation
Two Legislations for Regulating and
Controlling emissions from Industries
and automobiles
1. Air (Prevention & Control of
Pollution) Act 1981 (amended in
2. Motor Vehicle Act 1988
Environment Audit
Environment Impact Assessment
Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1981
(amended in 1987)

Bengal Smoke Nuisance Act 1905;
Bombay Smoke Nuisance Act 1912;
Gujarat Smoke Nuisance Act 1963.
Promulgation: Under article 253 of Constitution of
Prevention, control & abatement of air pollution
Entrusting powers to Central & State Boards
established under Water Act to perform functions to
prevent and control air pollution

Air Act.. Contd.

Section 2: concerned with noise pollution

Section 19: State can declare specific area as air pollution
control area
Functions and Powers of Central & Sate Pollution
Control Boards:

For Union Territories, CPCB performs functions of

SPCB either directly or by delegating powers
Law useful in abatement of pollution which is rising
at dangerous levels
State or area declared as air pollution control area
by vested powers in State or Central Pollution
Control Boards
Industries forced to install air pollution control,
devices or shift to less polluting fuels and increase
in height of stacks
Air Act.. Contd.
Does not involve people or voluntary agencies in its
Powers of board largely advisory in nature
Board can take remedial measures only in event of accident or
unforeseen occurrences
Boards recourse to law takes long time to conclude; by the
time sufficient harm caused
Provision of 60 days notice by private citizen excludes
chances for immediate remedial actions
Fine is less as compared to compliance of standards
Information about polluting units not readily available to

Discharge from aircrafts excluded from purview of air act

Motor Vehicle Act 1938
(Amended 1988)

Vehicle must have passed test of VRD, Ahmadnagar, ARAI, Pune or CMTTI,
Vehicles must have all the components of Standards laid down by Bureau of
Indian Standards
Vehicles must meet all the safety standards
Manufacturer of vehicles are to ensure that vehicle does not cause pollution
and is pollution free by fitting Air tune up and Catalytic Converter
Each vehicle must obtain Pollution under control certificate every 3-6
months from dealers with approved equipment
New emission standards have been notified effective from April 1955 & April
All future vehicles to have engines based on unleaded petrol
All transport vehicles to have certificate of fitness before registration, two
years for new and every year subsequently
Maximum Life would be 10 years for transport and 16 years for other
Driver of vehicle should be at least matriculate
Vehicle carrying hazardous goods should have prescribed label; and
packages should also bear specific labels
Driver should have knowledge of fundaments in case vehicle gets involved in
Motor Vehicle Act 1938
(Amended 1988)

Imposes conditions on manufacturers to improve
design for reducing mechanical and electrical
Owner required to keep vehicle fit
Brings down pollution in vehicle dominated areas
Very few owners obtain pollution under control
Pollution Testing facility not available every where
Very old vehicles seldom discarded
Substandard spares flood market