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Information about latair

Published on January 22, 2008

Author: Berta


Virginia Air Pollution:  Virginia Air Pollution Is the air we breathe safe? How do you know? Compiled by: Alison Sinclair VA Dept. of Environmental Quality Piedmont Regional Office Air Pollution:  Air Pollution Dust (PM) Smog/Ozone (VOC) Exhaust from fuel burning (CO, NOx,SO2) Hazardous chemicals (Hg, Pb, Benzene) Anything that is in the air in quantities that are detrimental, whether from manmade or natural activities. Dust:  Dust Comes from smokestacks, farmers’ fields, construction sites, quarries, wind erosion Reduces visibility Small particles (< 10 μm) can be inhaled Studies show that over a long period of time, this can cause lung damage Smog/Ozone:  Smog/Ozone Formed when volatile organic compounds (like paint fumes) and nitrogen oxides (car exhaust) react in the presence of sunlight . Children in high-ozone communities developed asthma at a rate three times higher than those in the low-ozone communities. (California study). Can make those with heart and lung disease more at risk. Crop damage Pollution from fuel burning – factories, power plants, lawn mowers, BBQ grills, forest fires:  Pollution from fuel burning – factories, power plants, lawn mowers, BBQ grills, forest fires CO reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen, effects central nervous system, causes sluggishness. NOx contributes to ozone formation, adds nutrients to Chesapeake Bay, acid rain component. SO2 causes acid rain, may irritate lining of lungs. Hazardous Air Pollutants:  Hazardous Air Pollutants Approximately 188 chemicals on list, including mercury, lead, formaldehyde Causes birth defects Cancer Burning eyes, lungs, skin Damage to the environment How does Virginia air rate?:  How does Virginia air rate? Currently, VA has 15 counties in non-attainment for ozone, and four northern counties in non-attainment for PM 2.5. Our Air Monitoring Program shows how we’re doing. Ozone Peak on Tuesday:  Ozone Peak on Tuesday Courtesy of AIRNow Slide10:  Photo courtesy of NASA The atmosphere is not a closed system. Therefore pollution from one area can appear to cause a problem in another area. Other factors influencing local pollution Slide11:  Regional Haze Slide12: Emissions Inventory Regulations to Protect the Air:  Regulations to Protect the Air Industrial Revolution created soot, smoke and other pollutants which caused health problems and many deaths. Local jurisdictions were responsible for regulating pollution. 1970 the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency was tasked with the Clean Air Act. Clean Air Act:  Clean Air Act Sets standards for air quality (NAAQS) Based on health studies Protects the most sensitive people Requires new sources to use pollution controls Older sources will eventually get phased out (in theory) Major sources must show no impact or must reduce pollutants if modifying or expanding Virginia Air Pollution Regs:  Virginia Air Pollution Regs Adopted Clean Air Act rules Ambient Air Quality Standards apply Apply to industrial/commercial sources and some mobile sources (not residential) Require new sources to apply for a permit Quantify emissions Control emissions Public Notice for major sources Inspections/ Enforcement What can you do to reduce air pollution?:  What can you do to reduce air pollution? Carpool or reduce trips Do not let your car idle Use water-based paints, low-VOC solvents Consider hybrid cars Conserve electricity Recycle goods No open burning Maintain heaters/AC Use hand tools for yard work Buy low-energy appliances Insulate your home Additional Resources:  Additional Resources Virginia Department of Environmental Quality US Environmental Protection Agency

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