AI_noise_and_light_pollution by xiuliliaofz



(General video on air pollution and its effect on human health)

video on air pollution (good)

Air pollution can cause serious health problems. People who are very young or
very old and people who have heart or lung problem can be most affected by air


Many of the effects of air pollution on people’s health are short term and are
irreversible if their exposure to air pollution decreases. The short-term effects of
air pollution on people’s health include headache; nausea; irritation to the eyes,
nose , and throat; tightness in the chest; coughing; and upper respiratory
infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Pollution can also make the conditions of individuals who suffer from asthma
and emphysema worse.

Eye, Nose and Throat Irritation

 Smog, particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide can all
contribute to ear, nose and/or throat irritation. Smog is a combination of smoke
and fog. Smoke contains particulate matter which can severely irritate the eyes,
nose and throat. Even short term exposure to significant particulate matter can
cause intense coughing spells, sneezing, eye watering and burning. Similarly
ozone can cause coughing, wheezing and a dry throat. Nitrogen dioxide irritates
the lungs and throat while sulfur dioxide narrows the airways, causing
wheezing, shortness of breath and tightening in the chest. High concentrations
of sulfur dioxide in air pollution can cause burning in the nose.

Bronchitis and Pneumonia
 Short term exposure to air pollution can cause or aggravate lower respiratory
conditions such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Children are especially affected
by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which can cause acute bronchitis.
PAHs are released when fuel such as wood and coal are burned, as well as from
grilling food and vehicle emissions. In addition, indoor air pollution from
cooking fuels is detrimental to women and children across the world. According
to the World Health Organization, exposure to indoor pollution more than
doubles the risk of pneumonia.

Asthma and Emphysemia

 People with chronic conditions like asthma and emphysema are especially
vulnerable to short term exposure to air pollution. Nitrogen dioxide affects
asthmatic people more intensely than others. It causes those with asthma to be
more susceptible to lung infections and asthma triggers like exercise and pollen.
Sulfur dioxide affects people with chronic conditions as well. Since it tightens
the airways it can cause people with asthma or emphysema to have stronger
symptoms than normal and an increased lack of breath. Air pollution from
industrial plants, factories and automobiles all contribute significantly to an
increase in asthma attacks

Allergic Reactions

 One of the short term effects of air pollution is an increase in the likelihood of
allergic reactions. Not only do people with chronic conditions like asthma and
emphysema need to pay attention to pollution indexes but now people with
allergies are advised to do so as well. Pollution acts as a trigger to inflame
already existing allergic reactions. Ozone is one of the main culprits. People who
have strong allergies may want to stay clear of high traffic areas like freeways
and highways; ozone is particularly acute in these areas.

Air Pollution and Mortality

 Air pollution can lead to death in many cases. The World Health Organization
estimates that indoor air pollution from solid fuel leads to approximately 1.6
million deaths per year. During London's "Smog Disaster" in 1952 about four
thousand people died in just a few days because of a high concentration of air
pollution. Carbon monoxide is also a quick and silent killer. It bonds to the
blood's hemoglobin, slowly suffocating people as they breath. Carbon monoxide
is especially dangerous indoors during the winter because it originates from
unburnt fuel and settles close to the ground in cold seasons.



Long-term effects on health that have been linked to air pollution include
emphysema, lung cancer, and heart disease.

Long term exposure to air pollution may worsen medical conditions suffered by
older people and may damage the lungs of children.

Emphysema video


The quality of air inside a home or a building is sometimes worse than the
quality of the air outside. Plastic and other industrial chemicals are major
sources of pollution. These compounds can be found in carpets, building
materials, paints and furniture, particularly when these items are new.
Refer to page 311 in your text book to see some examples of indoor air

Buildings that have very poor air quality have a condition called sick-building
syndrome. Sick-building syndrome is more common in hot places where
buildings are tightly sealed to keep out the heat. In Florida, for example, a new,
tightly sealed country courthouse had to be abandoned. Half of the people who
worked there developed allergic reactions to fungi that were growing in the air-
conditioning ducts, ceiling tiles, carpets, and furniture.

Identifying and removing the sources of indoor air pollution is the most
effective way to maintain good indoor air quality.

Ventilation, or mixing outdoor air with indoor air, is also necessary for good air

When activities such as renovation and painting, which cause indoor air
pollution, are undertaken, ventilation should be increased.
Sick building syndrome


Radon gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. It is also radioactive. Radon is
one of the elements produced by the decay of uranium, a radioactive element
that occurs naturally in the Earth’s crust. Radon can seep through cracks and
holes in foundations into homes, offices, and schools, where it adheres to dust
particles. When people inhale the dust, radon enters their lungs. In the lungs,
radon can destroy the genetic material in cells that line air passages. Such
damage can lead to cancer, especially among people who smoke. Radon is the
second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Asbestos is primarily used as an insulator and as a fire retardant, and it was
extensively used in building materials. The U.S. government banned the use of
most asbestos products in the early 1970’s. exposure to asbestos in air is
dangerous. Asbestos fibres that are inhaled can cut and scar the lungs, which
cause the disease asbestosis. Victims of the disease have more and more
difficulty breathing and may eventually die of heart failure. Billions of dollars
have been spent to remove asbestos from school buildings.

Asbestos in buildings
Asbestos fibres


A sound of any kind is called a noise. However, some noises are unnecessary
and can cause noise pollution. Noise is a pollutant that affects human health
and quality of human life.

Airplanes, construction equipment, city traffic, factories, home appliances, and
lawnmowers are some of the examples of things that make unnecessary sounds
that commonly travel through the air.

Health problems that can be caused by noise pollution include loss of hearing,
high blood pressure, and stress. Noise can also cause loss of sleep, which may
lead to decreased productivity at work and in the classroom.

The intensity of sound in measured in units called decibels (dB). The quietest
sound that a human ear can hear is represented by 0 dB. For each increase in
decibel intensity, the decibel level is 10 times higher than the previous level.

A sound of 120 dB is at the threshold of pain. Permanent deafness may come as
a result of continuous exposure to sounds over 120 dB.
List possible sources of noise pollution in your community.

Bursting of crackers


Light pollution does not present a direct hazard to human health. However, light
pollution negatively affect our environment. The use of inefficient lighting in
urban areas is diminishing our view of the night sky. In urban areas, the sky is
often much brighter than the natural sky.

A more important environmental concern of inefficient lighting is energy waste.
For example, energy is wasted when light is directed upward into the night sky
and lost into space. Examples of inefficient lighting are billboards and other
signs that are lit from below, the lighting of building exteriors, and poor- quality
street lights.

One solution to energy waste includes shielding light so it is directed downward.
Using time controls so that light is used only when needed and using low
pressure sodium sources-the most energy-efficient source of light- wherever
possible are two other solutions.

Billboard lit from below
Lighting of building exterior
Sodium lamps


NAME: _______________          DATE: _________

  1. Describe the long-term effects and the short-term effects of air pollution
     on health.
  2. What do you mean by sick-building syndrome? Describe two ways in
     which indoor air pollution can be prevented.
  3. List some harmful effects of radon gas and asbestos on human health.
  4. Describe some of the human health problems caused by noise pollution.
  5. Describe several solutions to the energy waste associated with light
  6. After reading the case study in page number 310 describe some of the
     harmful effects of ozone on human health.
  7. Identify five indoor pollutants and examples of sources of each pollutant.
     MAKE A POSTER: create a poster similar to the diagram that appears in
     Figure 9. This diagram may be of your home, your garage, a portion of
     your school, or a particular classroom in your school. Use the diagram to
     identify and label potential sources of indoor air pollutants.

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