Environmental Chemistry Revision Notes - IIT JEE/NEET Preparation | Nucleon

Environmental Chemistry

  • Introduction
  • The environmental pollution may be defined as direct or indirect undesirable changes in our surrounding as a
    result of human activities that have harmful effects on plants, animals and human beings.
    A substance, which causes pollution, is known as pollutant. Pollutants may be solid, liquid or gaseous substance
    present in greater concentration than in natural abundance and are produced due to human activities or due to
    natural happenings

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  • Atmosphere
  • It is a protective blanket of gases which is surrounding the earth. The atmosphere is
    held to the earth by the force of gravity. The total mass of atmosphere is about 5 × 1015
    metric tones. The constituents which make up the atmosphere are gases, water vapours
    and arosols

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  • Tropospheric pollution
  • It occurs due to the presence of undesirable solids or gaseous particles in the air.

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  • Gaseous air pollutants
  • Gaseous air pollutants

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  • Global Warming and Green house effect
  • It has been found that about 75% of solar energy reaching the earth is absorbed by the earth’s surface and,in
    turn, this increases the temperature of the earth

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  • Acid Rain
  • The pH of rain water is 5.6 due to the presence of H+ ions formed by the reaction of rain water with carbon dioxide
    present in the atmosphere as per following reactions

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  • Smog
  • Word smog is obtained from the combination of the words smoke and fog. It is the one of the most common
    examples of air pollution that occurs in many cities through out the world. There are two types of smog as
    explained below

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  • Harmful/toxic effects of photochemical smog
  • Components of photochemical smog, NO and O3, irritate the nose and throat and their high
    concentration causes headache, chest pain, dryness of the throat, cough and difficulty in

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  • Stratospheric Pollution
  • Stratospheric Pollution :
    Formation and Break down of Ozone

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  • Ozone Hole
  • In Antarctica, scientists working reported about the depletion of ozone
    layer commonly known as ozone hole over the south pole

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  • Polar Stratospheric Clouds
  • In summer season, nitrogen dioxide and methane react with chlorine monoxide and chlorine atom forming
    chlorine sinks and, thereby, preventing much ozone depletion.

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  • Harmful effects of depletion of ozone layer
  • UV radiation lead to ageing of skin, cataract, sunburn, skin cancer, killing of many phytoplanktons,
    damage to fish productivity etc

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  • Water Pollution
  • Pollution of water originates from human activities

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  • Cause of water pollution
  • Pathogens :(Infection or disease causing agents) Water pollutants which are the disease
    causing agents are called pathogens. Pathogens include bacteria and other organism that enter
    water from domestic sewage and animal excreta

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  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Bacteria present in large population causes the decomposition of organic matter present in water.
    They consume oxygen dissolved in water.

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  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • The amount of oxygen required by bacteria to break down the organic waste present in a certain
    volume of a sample of water is called biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).

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  • Chemical pollutants
  • Chemical pollutants include water soluble such as cadmium, mercury, nickel etc. All these metals
    are dangerous to human because our body can not excrete them. Over the time, the concentration of
    these metals crosses the tolerance limit and thus, these metals then can damage kidneys, central
    nervous system liver, etc.

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  • Eutrophication
  • Eutrophication

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  • Eutrophication
  • Eutrophication

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  • International standards for drinking water
  • Fluoride : Drinking water should contain fluoride ions concentration up to 1 ppm or 1 mg dm–3. Its
    deficiency in drinking water causes diseases such as tooth decay etc

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  • Soil Pollution
  • Insecticides, pesticides and herbicides cause soil pollution.

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  • Industrial waste
  • Generated by cotton mills, food processing units, paper mills and textile factories.

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  • Green Chemistry
  • Green chemistry is a way of thinking and is about utilising the existing knowledge and principles of chemistry
    and other services to reduce the adverse impact on environment

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