Air And Water Pollution Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Air And Water Pollution?
Air and water pollution are two of the most serious environmental issues facing humanity today. Both cause a wide range of health problems, can damage ecosystems and cost billions in damages each year. In order to prevent further degradation of our environment, it is important to understand how these pollutants enter our atmosphere and water systems, as well as what we can do to reduce them and protect ourselves from their effects.Air pollution occurs when harmful substances such as particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) enter the atmosphere. The majority of air pollutants are produced through human activities such as burning fossil fuels for energy production, automobile exhaust emissions, industrial processes like manufacturing or agricultural practices like burning crop residue. These pollutants can have both short-term and long-term adverse effects on human health; short-term exposures may cause headaches or breathing difficulties while long-term exposure increases the risk of developing cancer or cardiovascular disease. Poor air quality also has costly economic consequences due to decreased productivity, lost working days due to illness/absenteeism, increased healthcare costs and damage to crops/livestock/ecosystems that provide essential services like food production or clean water sources.Water pollution occurs when hazardous chemicals or biological agents such as sewage enter our waterways. These pollutants come from a variety of sources including agricultural runoff from fertilizers/pesticides used on crops; industrial wastewater discharged into streams/rivers; oil spills resulting from transportation accidents; sewage overflows due to inadequate treatment facilities; urban runoff containing motor oil/litter; and mining operations that introduce heavy metals into groundwater supplies. Water pollution not only poses serious threats to human health but also impacts aquatic life by contaminating drinking water supplies with toxins that kill fish populations or disrupt reproductive cycles leading to loss in biodiversity that affects both recreational fishing and commercial fisheries industries alike.Fortunately there are steps we can take both individually and collectively in order to reduce air & water pollution levels: reducing energy consumption by walking or biking instead of driving cars whenever possible, limiting use of chemical fertilizers & pesticides in agriculture operations by employing natural alternatives like composting & crop rotation plans, improving wastewater treatment facilities so they don’t overflow during rainstorms & discharging fewer contaminants into rivers & lakes through tighter regulation on industry operations just being a few examples.