Vocab

Sulfur Dioxides
A group of compounds that are a major category of air pollutants and are a primary factor in the production of acid precipitation
Chlorofluorocarbons
Synthetic organic molecules that contain one or more of both chlorine an fluorine atoms and that are known to cause ozone destruction
Catalytic converter
the device used by U.S. automobile manufacturers to reduce the amount of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in a car’s exhaust
Air Toxins
A category of air pollutants which are present at low concentrations, but are of concern because they often are carcinogenic
Nitrous Oxide
A group of compounds that are a major category of air pollutants and are a primary factor in the production of acid precipitation.
Pathogen
An organism that is capable of causing disease, It is usually microscopic in size.
Pathogen
An organism that is capable of causing disease, It is usually microscopic in size.
Heavy Metal
Any of the high-atomic-weight metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and zinc. All may be serious pollutants in water or soil because they are toxic in relatively low concentrations and they tend to bioaccumulate
Radon
A radioactive gas produced by natural processes in Earth that is known to seep into buildings. It is a known carcinogen
Asbestos fibers
Crystals of a natural mineral that have the form of minute strands; it is a serious health hazard in indoor space.
pH
A scale used to determine the acidity or basicity of solutions or soil
methane
A gas, CH4, that is the primary constituent of natural gas and is also a product of fermentation by microbes. It is one of the greenhouse gasses
Ambient standards
Air quality standards determining certain levels of pollutants that should not be exceeded in order to maintain environmental and human health
Photochemical Smog
The brownish hue that frequently forms on otherwise clear, sunny days over large cities with significant amounts of automobile traffic
Ultraviolet radiation
radiation similar to light, but with wavelengths too short for the human eye to see. It has high energy and can easily cause the skin to burn.
Sustainable Society
A group that functions in a way so as not to deplete the energy or material resources on which it depends.
Chlorine cycle
In the stratosphere, a cyclical chemical process in which chlorine monoxide breaks down ozone.
Asthma
Chronic disease of the respiratory system in which the air passages tighten and constrict, causing breathing difficulties; acute attacks may be life threatening
Secondary air pollutant
Contaminants not released directly into the atmosphere, but formed as a result of combining with other contaminants. These include ozone, sulfuric acid, and nitric acid.
Aerosols
Microscopic liquid and solid particles originating from land and water surfaces and carried up into the atmosphere. They are damaging to the ozone layer.
Buffer
a substance that will maintain the pH of a solution by reacting with the excess acid in the solution. Limestone naturally maintains water and soil at a near-neutral pH
Primary air pollutant
contaminants released directly into the atmosphere mainly as a result of burning fuels and wastes
Clean Air Act of 1970
Ammended in 1977 and 1990, the act is the foundation of US air pollution control efforts
Carbon monoxide
A highly poisonous gas, the molecules of which consist of a carbon atom with one oxygen attached
Volatile organic compounds
A category of major air pollutants present in the air, which include vapors from paints, gasoline, and cleaning solutions
Air pollution disaster
Short-term situation in industrial cities in which intense industrial smog brings about a significant increase in human mortality.
Carbon Tax
A tax levied on all fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon dioxide that is released as they burn
Carbon Dioxide
A natural gas in the atmosphere
Carcinogenic
Having the quality of causing cancer in humans
Pollutant
a substance that contaminates air, water, or soil
Acid precipitation
Rain, fog, or snow that has a pH less than 5.6