The reaction of H 2 SO 4 on marble is known as stone leprosy. Amongst all these nitrogen oxides, nitrogen peroxide NO 2 and nitric oxide NO are the two main reagents causing air pollution. NO x is released to the atmosphere mainly through anthropogenic activities and partly through natural processes. Anthropogenic activities release about 5 x 10 7 tonnes of NO x every year.
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Natural processes release about 5 x 10 10 tonnes of NO x every year. Some natural processes include:. Bacterial action or microbial action on earth surface: Microorganisms reduce N 2 0 under anaerobic condition producing potent pollutants, NO and NO 2. The accumulation of NO x in the environment causes varieties of hazards such as acid rain, depletion of ozone layer, smog formation etc. NO x released to the atmosphere moves up and reacts with ozone layer causing its depletion.
Such a process allows the passage of UV radiation into earth surface. The presence of excess quantity of NO and NO 2 induces smog formation and generates a number of harmful species like free radicals, PAN Peroxy acetyl nitrate etc. The accumulation of NO x is toxic to both plants and animals. The toxic action is attributed to their interference with the course of a number of biochemical reactions possibly through their modulating action over a number of cellular enzymes and production of a number of secondary pollutants like OH, HO 2 , O 3 , PAN etc.
Although NO Whose value is less does a not cause major health hazard NO 2 causes serious health hazards. In view of the detrimental and adverse effects of NO x on the entire living and non-living world, it is necessary to keep the level of NO x below the threshold value. Some important control measures are outlined as below:.
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To remove HO x from stack gases, one of the approach is the chemical absorption process H 2 SO 4 solution or alkaline shrubbing solution containing calcium hydroxide Ca OH 2 is used. Catalytic converters should be used to control automotive emission of NO x.
Catalytic converter acts in two ways:. Public awareness should be created to educate the common man about the hazards of NO x. Government should take stringent action against industries discharging higher quantity of NO x into environment than the level prescribed by pollution control board.
Some more common chemical pollutants, then source and detrimental effects are described as in the table given below:. In addition to different gases, a series of hydrocarbons are released to the atmosphere either through natural processes or through human activities.
These hydrocarbons sometimes behave like primary pollutants and some other times induce the formation of other potent secondary pollutants.
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Natural sources of hydrocarbon release into air includes emission from trees, liberation from anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in presence of bacteria, liberation from domesticated animals etc. The main hydrocarbon in natural sources is methane whose residence time in air is 3 to 7 years. Table 7. The level of hydrocarbon in atmosphere is usually reduced by several reactions and photo-chemical reactions.
Being thermodynamically unstable, these are oxidised in a series of steps to carbon dioxide. Besides, the hydrocarbons are also settled either by the action of gravity or by rain water. The level of hydrocarbons can be reduced by controlling their emission from the source. The emission from automobile exhaust and industrial exhaust can be controlled through processes like incineration, absorption, adsorption, condensation etc. Particulates are the small solid particles and liquid droplets present in the atmosphere in fairly large numbers.
The dimension of particulates range from 0. The presence of these particulates in air causes serious environmental consequences. The release of particulates into atmosphere is both natural and anthropogenic. The natural processes include volcanic eruption, blowing of dust and soil by wind, spraying of salt and other solid particles by the seas and oceans etc.
The contributions from manmade activities are: fly ash from power plants, melters and mining operations, smokes from incomplete combustion processes etc. The incomplete combustion processes are fuel combustion from stationary sources wood, coal, oil, natural gas etc. The particulate matter may be inorganic particles or organic particles. The inorganic particles include metal oxides e.
Soluble aerosols get absorbed into blood from alveoli while the insoluble aerosols are carried to the lymphatic stream and get deposited in the pulmonary, lymphatic depot point or lymp glands. Atmospheric particles, due to fuel combustion for industrial and household heating purposes, can scatter and absorb sunlight and thus reduce visibility. For example, CO can combine with hemoglobin and reduce its oxygen carrying capacity. Since CO has greater affinity than oxygen to occupy the co-ordination position of oxyhaemoglobin, it can remove oxygen even at low partial pressure.
Interference with clearance mechanism in the respiratory tracts. For example, chronic bronchitis and emphysema have also been found to be caused by SO 2. Toxicity due to absorbed toxic substances. For example, lead particles from vehicle exhaust, in higher dose, can kill outright but in lower dose shortens life span and causes deterioration of nervous system. The oxides of sulphur and nitrogen combine with water vapours of the atmosphere and cause acid rain.
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Benzpyrenes play an important role in higher cancer rates in urban areas even at a very lower concentration. The accumulation of pollutants in air causes a number of disasters to the living world. Some important consequences of air pollution are as follows:. Ozone layer present in the stratosphere strongly absorbs UV radiation of nm and thereby protects life on earth from severe radiation damage. But due to continuous and non- interrupted release of chloroflurocarbons, oxides of nitrogen etc. The mechanisms of some important reactions causing ozone depletion are given below.
Each CFC is capable of destroying 1 lakh of 0 3 molecules in chain reactions. It is also calculated that 1 kg of CFC can deplete 3. Due to the depletion of ozone layer, the harmful solar radiations easily penetrate into the environment and cause the following detrimental effects:. In the early sixties scientists have reported a large hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica where ozone level dropped by 30 per cent. The ozone hole covers an area as large as USA. CFCs were considered to be prime suspect for causing ozone depletion.
It was also established that one molecule of CFC is capable of destroying 3 lakh ozone molecules. Subsequently a similar hole was discovered over the thickly populated northern hemisphere. The overall reduction in the O 3 layer is now estimated to be about 8 per cent. The scientists have agreed to reduce the production and use of CFCs upto 50 per cent by the year Due to the depletion of ozone layer in the stratosphere, the harmful UV radiation will reach the surface of earth causing mass destruction. Some of the harmful effects of UV-radiation may be outlined as below:.
UV-radiation can cause skin burns, melanoma skin cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, lung cancer, photo keratitis, cataracts etc. The depletion of ozone layer leads to the loss of various plants from terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
Due to depletion of ozone layer, UV-radiation may cause Green House effect changing the global energy. By protecting the ozone layer of the stratosphere, we can protect the human beings, all plants and animals, eco-system and finally biosphere from destruction. Some protective and controlling measures of ozone layer depletion may be outlined as given below:. The use of CFCs in aerosol, spray cans, egg crates etc.
Suitable procedures should be adopted to recapture the CFCs released from the air-conditioner and refrigerator servicing units. Stringent international and national laws are to be promulgated to see that ozone layer remains intact without destruction.
Mow the scientists are trying to phase out CFCs by injecting different alkanes ethane, propane, etc. These alkanes are capable of capturing the chlorine radicals, responsible for ozone depletion obtained from CFCs. The green house is that body which allows short wavelength solar radiation to pass through it but does not allow the long wavelength infrared radiation to escape. The layer of these gases behave like wall of a green house and transmit short wave solar radiations but does not allow the longer wavelength heat radiation infrared to be reflected back into outer space.
That is green house are transparent to solar radiation but not to heat radiation. The green house effect is based on principle of infrared absorption characteristic of gases.