Pollution

Nitrogen Dioxide
Forms when fuels are burned at high temperatures. Also results from forest fires, volcanoes, lightning, and bacterial action in the soil. Forms nitric acid.
Nitric Acid
(HNO3) Contributes to acid deposition and cultural eutropification. Results is lung irritation and damage, supresses plant growth, and may cause carcinogen.
Ozone
(03) Major component of photochemical smog. Formed by sunlight reacting with NOx and VOCs in the air. Causes lung irritation and damage, bronchial constriction, coughing, wheezing, and eye irritation. Damages plants, rubber, and plastics.
Sulfur Dioxide
Produced by burning high-sulfur oil or coal, smelting of metals, and paper manufacturing. Combines with water vapor in the air to produce acid precipitation.
Sulfuric Acid
(H2SO4) Reduces the productivity of plants. Causes breathing difficulties.
Suspended Particulate Matter
(PM10) Includes smoke, dust, diesel soot, lead, and asbestos. These cause lung irritation and damange and many are commonly known mutagens, teratogens and carcinogens. Reducing these would create the greatest health benefits.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Include organic compounds that have a high vapor pressure. They are found in paints, aerosol sprays, dry-cleaning fluids, and industrial solvents. causes respiratory irritation and damage. Most are carcinogens and cause liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage.
Drinking Water Treatment Methods:
Adsorption
Contaminants stick to the surface of granular or powdered activated charcoal.
Drinking Water Treatment Methods:
Disinfection
Chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide, ozone, and UV radiation
Drinking Water Treatment Methods:
Filtration
Removes clay, silts, natural organic matter, and precipitants from the treatment process. This clarifies water and enhances the effectiveness of the disinfection.
Drinking Water Treatment Methods:
Flocculation-Sedimentation
Process that combines small particles into larger particles that then settle out of the water as sediment. Alum, iron, satls, or synthetic organic polymers are generallyused to promote coagulation.
Drinking Water Treatment Methods:
Ion Exchange
Removes inorganic constituents. It can beused to remove arsenic, chromium, excess fluoride, nitrates, radium, and uranium.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Adsorption/absorption
Solutes concentrate at the surface of a sorbent (an absorbing surface), thereby reducing their concentration.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Aeration
bubbling air through water increases rates of oxidation.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Air Stripping
VOCs are separated from groundwater by exposing water to air. (the VOCs evaporate due to their high vapor pressure.)
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Air Stripping
VOCs are separated from groundwater by exposing water to air. (the VOCs evaporate due to their high vapor pressure.)
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Bioreactors
Groundwater is acted on by microorganisms
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Constructed Wetlands
Uses natural geochemical and biological processes that parallel natural wetlands. Also known as living machines.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Deep-Well Injection
Uses injection wells to place treated or untreated liquid waste into geological formations that do not pose a potential risk to groundwater.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Enhanced bioremediation
The natural rate of bioremediation is enhanced by adding oxygen and nutrients into groundwater.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Fluid-vapor Extraction
A vacuum system is applied to low-permeable soil to remove liquids and gases.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC)
Groundwater is pumped throughh a series of columns containing activated carbon.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Hot Water or Steam Flushing
Steam or hot water is forced into an aquifer to vaporize volatile contaminants and is then treated through fluid-vapor extraction
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: In-well Air Stripping
Air is injected into wells- the air picks up various contaminants, particularly VOCs. Vapors are drawn off by vapor extraction.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Ion Exchange
Involves the exchange of one ion for another.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: Phytoremediation
Uses plants to remove contamination.
Water Treatment Remediation Technologies: UV Oxidation
Uses ultraviolet light, ozone, or hydrogen peroxide to destroy microbiological contaminants.
Primary Sewage Treatment
Used to reduce oils, grease, fats, sand, grit, and coarse solids. Specific steps include sand catchers, screens, and sedimentation. This is a physical method of cleaning.
Secondary Sewage Treatment
This is designed to degrade substancially the biological content of the sewage derived from human waste, food waste, soaps, and detergant. Specific steps include filters, activated sludge, filter (oxidizing) beds, trickling filter beds using plastic media and secondary sedimentation. This is a biological method of cleaning.
Tertiary Sewage Treatment
This raises the effluent quality to the standard required before it is discharged to the receiving environment (sea, river, lake, or ground). Specific steps include sand filtration, lagooning, constructed wetlands, nutrient removal through biological or chemical precipitation, denitrification using bacteria, phosphorous removal using bacteria, microfiltration, and disinfection using UV light, chlorine, or ozone.
Pros to Burning, Incineration, or Energy Recovery
1. Heat can be used to supplement energy requirements. 2. Reduces impact on landfills. 3. Mass burning is inexpensive. 4. What is left is 10% to 20% of origional volume. 5. US incinerates 15% of its wastes. 6. France, Japan, Sweden, and Switzerland incinerate > 40% of their wastes and use the heat to generate electricity.
Cons to Burning, Incineration, or Energy Recovery
1. Air pollution including lead, mercury, NOx, cadmium, SO2, HCI and dioxins. 2. Sorting out batteries, plastics, etc. is expensive. 3. No way of knowing toxic consequences. 4. Ash is more concentrated with toxic materials. 5. Initial cost of incinerators are high. 6. Add to acid precipitation and global warming.
Pros to Composting
1. Creates nutrient-rich soil additive. 2. Aids in water retention. 3. Slowws down soil erosion. 4. No major toxic issues.
Cons to Composting
1. Public reaction to odor, vermin, and insects. 2. Not in my backyard.
Pros to Remanufacturing
1. Recovers materials that would have been discarded. 2. Beneficial to inner cities as an industry because material is available and jobs are needed.
Cons to Remanufacturing
1. Toxic materials may be present (CFCs, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and so on).
Pros to Detoxifying
Reduces impact on the environment.
Cons to Detoxifyingg
Expensive
Pros to Exporting
1. Gets rid of problem immediately. 2. Source of income for poor countries.
Cons to Exporting
1. Garbage imperialism or environmental racism. 2. Long-term effects not known. 3. Expensive to transport.
Pros to Land Disposal- Sanitary Landfills
1.Waste is covered each day with dirt to help prevent insects and rodents. 2. Plastic liners, drainage systems, and other methods help control leaching material into groundwater. 3. Geological studies and environmental impact studies are performed prior to building. 4. Collection of methane and use of fuel cells to supplement energy demand. 5. use of anaerobic methane generators reduces dependence on other energy sources.
Cons to Land Disposal – Sanitary Landfills
1. Rising land prices. 2. Transportation costs to the landfill. 3. High cost of runnign and monitoring landfill. 4. Legal liability. 5. Suitable areas are limited. 5. NIMBY 6. Degradable plastics do not decompose completely.
Pros to Ocean Dumping
1. Inexpensive 2. Legal in the United States.
Cons to Ocean Dumping
1. Debris floats to unintended areas. 2. Marine organisms and food webs are impacted.
Pros to Recycling
1. Turns waste into an inexpensive resource. 2. Reduces impact on landfills. 3. Reduces need for raw materials and the costs associated with it. 4. Reduces energy requirements to produce product. 5. Reduces dependence on foreign oil. 6. Reduces air and water pollution. 7. Bottle bills provide economic incentive to recycle.
Cons to Recycling
1. Poor regulation 2. Fluctuations in market price. 3. Throwaway packaging is more popular. 4. Current policies and regulations favor extraction of raw materials. Energy, water, and raw materials are sold below real costs to stimulate new jobs and the economy.
Pros to Reuse
1. Most efficient method of reclaiming materials. 2. Industry models already in place- auto salvage yards, building materials, and so on. 3. Refillable glass bottles can be reused 15 times. 4. Cloth diapers do not impact landfills.
Cons to Resue
1. Cost of collecting materials on large scale is expensive. 2. Cost of washing and decontaminating containers is esxpensive. 3. only when items are expensive and labor is cheap is resue economical.