copyright Joseph Hull and Greg Langkamp
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Asbestos: minerals/crystals with needlelike shapes (including
crocidolite, chrysotile, etc.)
mined for their heat and fire insulating properties, can be woven like thread
fire retardant clothing, insulation around hot water pipes, brake linings, etc.
breathe needles, jab lung tissue, tiny pre-cancerous lesion, lung cancer
leave it alone, don't remove!! wrap in cellophane and duck tape, stay out of basement
good news: asbestos mining defunct, very few people live near natural asbestos
Cigarette Smoke: stop corporate-sponsored drug addiction, death and air pollution NOW.
Radon: symbol Rn; odorless colorless gas; 4 unstable isotopes
(t.5 mins, hrs, days, mos)
produced by decay of uranium found in soils and bedrock (Spokane, NJ, Sweden...)
radon seeps into houses, decays to bismuth, inhale in lungs, decays, radiation, cancer
avoid highly insulated, negative pressure houses with basements on granite
CFCs: chlorofluorocarbons such as Freon, used in industry
and consumer goods
circulates into upper atmosphere, where reacts in sunlight to break down ozone (O3)
destroys good ozone layer which shields Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation
CFCs banned in many countries as coolants but still widespread in chemical industry
also contributes to global warming of lower atmosphere, though not significantly
Sulfur Compounds: including H2S, SO2, SO3, H2SO4,
(NH4)2SO4, C2H6S2 (DMS)
volcanoes, hot springs, rotting rock, anaerobic decomposers, fossil fuels, industry
about 1/3 of atmospheric sulfur comes from human activities
contributes to acid deposition (in rain, snow, etc. and as acid particles) and smog
many diverse biological impacts from excess acid deposition
note that almost all rain on Earth is naturally acid (pH 4.5-6 is typical)
Nitrogen Compounds: including N2, NO, N2O, HNO3, NH3, etc.
sources: nitrogen fixing bacteria, decomposers, rocks, fossil fuels, fertilizers and wastes
about 3/4 of atmospheric N compounds comes from human activities
contributes to acid deposition and photochemical smog (very complex substance)
CO2: second most important greenhouse gas after H20 (1-5%
sources: volcanoes, plant and animal respiration, rotting rocks, fossils fuels
about 1/4?? of CO2 comes from human activities (coal and petroleum burning)
sinks: oceans (dissolved in water and makes animal shells), rocks, biota
enhances natural greenhouse warming of lower atmosphere by absorbing IR radiation
sunlight passes through atmosphere, absorbed by Earth, re-emitted in infrared
global warming leads to shifting biomes; equator drier, high latitudes wetter, e.g.
could change ocean circulation patterns, affect plankton, fisheries, etc.
Making Solid Conclusions on CO2 and Global Warming is Like Trying
to Herd Cats
1. Earth is warming up naturally anyway during present intra-glacial period
2. Have only been measuring for 20-30 years, which is nothing on Earth time scale
3. Is there a MORE complex system on the Planet???? Is it a stable or unstable CLE?
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