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73 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Any precipitation that does not evaporate, flow into waterways, or get taken up by organisms.
Porous sponge-like formations of rock, sand, or gravel that hold groundwater .
Bodies of open, standing water.
Lake or Pond
An area that extends along the entire bottom of a water body.
Benthic zone
Ecosystems that combine elements of freshwater and dry land.
Long, raised mounds of earth to control the flow of water.
The removal of salt from seawater or other water of marginal quality.
The release of matter or energy into the environment that causes undesirable impacts on the health of living organisms.
Well-lighted top layer of marine water body that supports high primary production.
Photic zone
Water with few dissolved salts.
Environmental contaminants that mimic hormones in animals and are associated with some pesticides and synthetic chemicals.
Endocrine Disruptors
Toxicants concentrate in top predators.

- Near extinction of peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and brown pelicans.
Best defined as substances that cause birth defects.
Why may carcinogens be difficult to identify?
There is a long lag time between exposure to the agent and the appearance of cancer.
An estrogen (hormone) mimic that is used in plastic manufacturing.
Transport of airborne toxicants, a specific problem in agricultural environments, is called what?
Toxic drift
Why are aquatic animals such as fish and frogs especially good indicators of environmental toxins?
Most chemicals are water soluble so they enter the animals through skin, drinking or eggs.
Interactive impacts that are more than or different from the simple sum of their constituent effects.
Synergistic effects
Why are the effects of toxicants on fetuses and young children greater?
Is greater because of their rapid growth and smaller mass.
What are four reasons why the prevalence of many diseases is increasing?
- Increased resistance to antibiotics.

- Habitat alteration that affects the abundance, distribution, and movement of disease vectors.

- Increased mobility of human populations.

- Warmer winter temperatures due to climate change.
What is the effect of acid rain?
Leach nutrients from the topsoil, removing availability to plants.
Which layer of the atmosphere is the bottommost layer closest to the ground and contains ¾ of the atmosphere’s mass?
What are two effects of the 'Brown Cloud of Asia'?
- It has reduced the effect of global warming because it blocks sunlight.

- It causes widespread health problems in populations.
What is one reason that coral reefs are in decline?
Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is resulting in a decline in marine calcium carbonate.
What are considered criteria pollutant by the U.S. environmental protection agency?
Carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.
What is the most common gas in the atmosphere?
What is the result of industrial smog?
Combustion of coal or oil.
The great ocean conveyor has what effect on the world?
It carries warm ocean water from the tropics to Europe resulting in a warmer climate.
Where is ozone that blocks UV radiation from reaching the surface of the earth found?
What is a stable layer of cool air that occurs under a layer of warm air and often traps pollutants near the ground called?
Thermal inversion
A sickness produced by indoor pollution due to unspecified causes.
Sick building syndrome
Carbon containing chemicals emitted by vehicle engines and industrial processes
Volatile organic compounds
What does the phrase ‘fishing down the food chain’ refers to?
A shift from large, desirable fish species to smaller, less desirable ones due to scarcity.
What are two indoor air pollutants?
- Carbon monoxide

- Radon
Are directly harmful and can react to form harmful substances.
Primary pollutants
Assesses environmental factors that influence human health and quality of life.
Environmental health
What are the 4 major types of environmental hazards?
- Physical
- Chemical
- Biological
- Cultural
Occur naturally in our environment.
Physical hazard
Synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, disinfectants, pharmaceuticals.
Chemical hazards
Result from ecological interactions from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.
Biological hazards
Other species parasitize humans, fulfilling their ecological roles.
Infectious (communicable, ortransmissible)disease
Result from the place we live, our socioeconomic status, our occupation, our behavioral choices
Cultural (lifestyle) hazards
An organism that transfers pathogens to a host.
What are four reasons why diseases increasing?
- Our mobility spreads diseases.
- Some diseases are evolving resistance to antibiotics.
- Climate change will expand the range of diseases.
- Habitat alteration affects the abundance, distribution, and movement of disease vectors.
A highly toxic, colorless, undetectable radioactive gas.

- Builds up in basements
- Can cause lung cancer
Damages organs, learning problems, behavior abnormalities, death and are from lead pipes and paint.
Lead poisoning
Insulates against heat, cold, sounds, and fire
Scarred lungs don’t function.

- Also causes a type of lung cancer.
Has fire-retardant properties.

- Used in computers, televisions, plastics, and furniture.
- The European Union banned them in 2003.
- U.S. EPA published project plan of assessment Dec 2008
Polybrominateddiphenylethers (PBDEs)
The study of the effects of poisonous substances on humans and other organisms
The degree of harm a chemical substance can cause.

- “The dose makes the poison”: toxicity depends on the combined effect of the chemical and its quantity.
Any toxic or poisonous agent

- During the past century, we have produced many new chemicals.
What is environmental toxicology and what does it focus on?
- Deals with toxic substances that come from or are discharged into the environment.

- Focuses mainly on humans, using other animals as test subjects.
What four things have chemicals contributed to our high standards of living?
- Food
- Medicine
- Materials
- Convenience
Began public debate over chemicals.

- Published in 1962 by Rachel Carson.
Silent Spring
This book by Theo Colburn shocked many readers by talking about how synthetic chemicals may be altering hormones.
Our Stolen Future
What may contribute to the shocking drop in men’s sperm counts?
Endocrine disruptors
Toxicants build up in animal tissues.
Large-scale comparisons between groups of people.
Epidemiological studies
Measures how much effect a toxicant produces at different doses.
Dose-response analysis
The amount of toxicant required to kill (affect) 50% of the study animals used.

- A high LD50/ED50 indicates low toxicity
High exposure for short periods of time to a hazard.
Acute Exposure

- Easy to recognize
- Stem from discrete events: ingestion, oil spills, nuclear accident.
Low exposure for long periods of time to a hazard.
Chronic exposure

- More common but harder to detect and diagnose
- Affects organs gradually: lung cancer, liver damage
- Cause and effect may not be easily apparent.
Interactive impacts that are more than or different from the simple sum of their constituent effects.
Synergistic effects
A smaller river slowing into a larger one.
A smaller river slowing into a larger one
Area of land drained by a river and its tributaries
Fertile areas that a river floods periodically
Riverside areas that are productive and species-rich
Region ringing the edge of a water body
Littoral zone
Open portions of the lake or pond where the sunlight penetrates the shallow waters
Water that sunlight does not reach
The world’s largest known aquifer
The Ogallala Aquifer