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94 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
various chemicals (solids, liquids, or gases) present in high enough levels in the atmosphere to harm humans, or other plants, animals, or materials
air pollution
a U.S. law that authorizes the EPA to set limits on the amount of specific air pollutants that are permitted everywhere in the United States
Clean Air Act
an air pollution control device that targets Particulate Matter

Gives particles a positive electrical charge so that it adheres to negatively charged plates

electrostatic precipitator
the gases that absorb infrared radiation, which include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and tropospheric ozone, all of which are accumulating in the atmosphere as a result of human activities
greenhouse gases

primary pollutant formed when burning fossil fuels.

Contributes to troposphereic ozone creation, photochemical smog,

nitrogen oxides
a loud or disagreeable sound, particularly when it results in physiological or psychological harm
noise pollution
is a human-made pollutant in one part of the atmosphere (the troposphere) but a natural and essential component in another (the stratosphere)
air pollutants that are solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the atmosphere
particulate matter
a brownish orange haze formed by complex chemical reactions involving sunlight, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons
photochemical smog
a harmful chemical that enters directly into the atmosphere from either human activities or natural processes (such as volcanic eruptions)
primary air pollutant
a harmful chemical that forms in the atmosphere when a primary air pollutant reacts chemically with other air pollutants or natural components of the atmosphere
secondary air pollutant
eye irritations, nausea, headaches, respiratory infections, depression, and fatigue caused by the presence of air pollution inside office buildings
sick building syndrome
air pollution caused by a variety of pollutants
primary air pollutant involved in acid rain formation.

Primary source is coal fired power plants.

sulfur oxides
a high-energy form of radiation blocked by ozone
ultraviolet radiation (UV radiation)
higher temps experienced in cities as green spaces are replaced with building materials with low albedo
urban heat island
pollution of an aquatic ecosystem by nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates
eutrophication (cultural eutrophication)
the amount of oxygen needed by microorganisms to decompose (by aerobic respiration) the organic material in a given volume of water
biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
a process in which the energy of organic molecules is released within cells
cellular respiration
A U.S. law that has two basic goals: to eliminate the discharge of pollutants in U.S. waterways and to attain water quality levels that make these waterways safe to fish and swim in
Clean Water Act
a chemical that interferes with the actions of hormones
endocrine disruptor
the enrichment of a lake, estuary, or slow flowing stream by nutrients that cause increased photosynthetic productivity
a water quality test for the presence of E. coli (fecal bacteria common in the intestinal tracts of people and animals)
fecal coliform test
low dissolved oxygen concentrations that occur in many bodies of water that have undergone eutrophication
pollutants that enter bodies of water over large areas rather than being concentrated at a single point of entry
nonpoint source pollution
a method employed to clean up a hazardous waste site that uses plants to absorb and accumulate toxic materials
water pollution that can be traced to a specific spot (such as a factory or sewage treatment plant) because it is discharged into the environment through pipes, sewers, or ditches
point source pollution
a slimy mixture of bacteria-laden solids that settles out from sewage wastewater during primary treatment
treated wastewater by removing suspended and floating particles (such as sand and silt) by mechanical processes (such as screens and physical setting)
primary treatment
a U.S. law that deals with the storage and disposal of hazardous wastes and helps prevent groundwater contamination
Resource, Conservation, and Recovery Act
A U.S. law which set uniform federal standards for drinking water in order to guarantee safe public water supplies throughout the United States
Safe Drinking Water Act
the gradual accumulation of salt in a soil, often as a result of improper irrigation methods
treated wastewater biologically, by using microorganisms to decompose the suspended organic material; occurs after primary treatment
secondary treatment
excessive amounts of soil particles that enter the water as a result of erosion
sediment pollution
wastewater carried off by drains or sewers
water pollution that occurs when heated water produced during many industrial processes is released into waterways
thermal pollution
any physical or chemical change in water that adversely affects the health of humans and other organisms
water pollution
a chemical pollutant decomposed (broken down) by organisms or by other natural processes
a U.S. law which established a program to tackle the huge challenge of cleaning up abandoned and illegal toxic waste sites across the United States
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Superfund Act)
an air pollution control device that gives ash a positive electrical charge so that it adheres to negatively charged plates
electrostatic precipitator
waste that is toxic, corrosive, or radioactive
hazardous waste (toxic waste)
the toxic liquid that seeps through solid waste at a sanitary landfill or other waste disposal site
solid waste generated in homes, office buildings, retail stores, restaurants, schools, hospitals, prisons, libraries, and other commercial and institutional facilities
municipal solid waste
the opposition of people to the location of hazardous facilities near their homes
NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard)
a method employed to clean up a hazardous waste site that uses plants to absorb and accumulate toxic minerals
persistant water pollutant used as insulators in electrical transformers
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
conservation of the resources in used items by converting them into new products
a U.S. law which instructs the EPA to identify which waste is hazardous and to provide guidelines and standards to states for hazardous waste management programs
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
conservation of the resources in used items by using them over and over again
the most common method of disposal of solid waste by compacting it and burying it under a shallow layer of soil
sanitary landfill
an aspect of waste management in which products are designed and manufactured in ways that decrease not only the volume of solid waste but also the amount of hazardous materials in the solid waste that remains
source reduction
a list of sites that pose the greatest threat to public health and the environment, which means that the federal government will assist in their cleanup
Superfund National Priorities List

A greenhouse gas produced by combustion of any type.

Anthropogenic sources mainly from fossil fuel combustion.

Carbon Dioxide

colorless, odorless gas that takes the place of oxygen in the bloodstream causing asphyxiation

Carbon Monoxide

Heavy metal added to gasoline and paint.


Enters atmosphere when burned. Eventually deposited in water.


Enters atmosphere in ionic form when fossil fuels are burned.

Becomes a dangerous water pollutant when converted to its methyl form by aquatic microorganisms.

Neurotoxin. Heavy Metal


Organic compounds that become vapors under normal conditions.

Associated with solvents, hydrocarbons, glues, etc.

Contribute to smog formation and sick building syndrome.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Mobilizes metals in effected soils

Reduces biodiversity in effected waters

Erodes limestone and marble structures

acid deposition

Used as refrigerants and aerosols.

Contribute to ozone destruction in the stratosphere



International agreement to halt production of CFCs

Montreal Protocol

Long thin fibrous mineral with insulating properties.

Known carcinogen


Naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium.

Seeps into basements

Causes lung cancer


Controls SOx emissions from coal power plants by burning coal in presence of calcium carbonate

Fluidized bed combustion

Controls NOx emissions from vehicles

Catalytic Converter

Uses a combination of water and air to remove particulates from smoke stack emissions


This is reduced by thermal pollution and contamination by organic waste

Dissolved Oxygen

Naturally occurring water pollutant that is easily removed from drinking water.

Causes lung cancer, skin cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer.


Groundwater pollutant found near military test sites.


Sets National standards for acceptable levels of pollutants in drinking water.

Safe Drinking Water Act

Largest component of MSW


Recycling of a product into the same product

closed loop recycling

Recycling of a product into another different product

open loop recycling

Alternative pathway for organic waste that converts it into an organic rich material that enhances soil quality


Greenhouse gas produced by anaerobic digestion in landfills


Caused by lack of oxygen and water deep inside a landfill

Incomplete Digestion

reduces volume of waste sent to landfills, but generates air pollution


Storage of hazardous waste in impermeable pools until it is dry enough to be sent to a Haz Waste landfill.

Surface Impoundment

Pumping hazardous waste deep underground into a porous rock layer far below the water table.

Deep well injection

diseases that slowly impair the functioning of a person's body over time

chronic disease

diseases that rapidly impair the functioning of a person's body over a short period of time

acute disease

Historically important disease carried by fleas


Tropical disease that kills millions each year.

Caused by Plasmodium parasite that spends part of its life in mosquitos.


Highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs.

Can be treated with antibiotics


Has killed more than 33 million people.

Can be treated but not cured by expensive antiviral drugs.

Most concentrated in sub-saharan Africa.


Emerging infectious disease with 90% mortality rate


Emerging disease spread by eating infected cattle

Mad Cow Disease

H1N1 virus

Bird Flu

Spread by mosquitoes, this emerging disease causes a painful inflammation of the brain

West Nile Virus

Chemicals that disrupt the nervous system


Chemicals that cause cancer


Chemicals that interfere with normal development of embryos and fetuses


Chemicals that cause allergic reactions


The dose at which an effect is detected

Threshold dose

Lethal dose to 50% of the population