ES110 Health Ecological Effects of Energy F04

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Health and Ecological Effects of Fossil Fuel Combustion: 

Health and Ecological Effects of Fossil Fuel Combustion 28-30 September

Health Impacts of Energy Use: 

Health Impacts of Energy Use Documenting acute incidences Case studies Donora, PA 1948 London, UK 1952 Documenting chronic illness Evidence of adverse health outcomes Evidence of plausible biologic mechanism

London Fog: 

London Fog 1200’s: Air pollution identified as significant public health concern in British Isles Burning of coal recognized as principle source 1661: Fumifumugium, John Evelyn “hellish and dismall cloud of sea-coale” lay over London… “all noisome trades shoulde be bannished from the citie proper.” 1813—1948: acute occurrences of fog and smoke 1813, 1873, 1882, 1891, 1948…

London, UK 1952: 

London, UK 1952 Central London: 48 hours with < 50 m visibility For one week, visibility did not exceed 500 m

Levels of Airborne Pollutants and Mortality during Great London Smog, 1952: 

Levels of Airborne Pollutants and Mortality during Great London Smog, 1952

Contributors to Smog Events: 

Contributors to Smog Events High pressure system Industrial air emissions Exacerbated by residential air emissions (e.g., more coal use when cold) Inversions preventing air circulation

Results of Smog Events : 

Results of Smog Events Instigated regulatory control of stationary sources Point sources required to use “best available control technology” (BACT) Better scrubbers and removal of hazardous chemicals prior to emission Smoke stack height to be above inversion layer

Mobile Sources—“Brown Smog”: 

Mobile Sources—“Brown Smog”

Health Effects of Haze: 

Health Effects of Haze Spokane WA with smog Spokane WA with no smog

Ground level ozone: 

Ground level ozone Not emitted directly into air Created by UV reactions with NOx and VOCs Sources: Vehicle exhaust Gasoline vapors Dry cleaners

Photochemical Smog: 

Photochemical Smog Formation of brown haze (NOx and VOCs) from combustion Exposed to UV Creates: O3, PANs, nitric acid, aldehydes

The Role of Climate and Geography on Air Quality : 

The Role of Climate and Geography on Air Quality

Ozone Creation by Time-of-Day: 

Ozone Creation by Time-of-Day Ozone Nitric oxide NO2 6 am 9 am 12 pm 3 pm 6 pm 8 pm 10 20 30 40 ppm

Health Impacts of Ozone: 

Health Impacts of Ozone Trigger chest pain, coughing, throat irritations, congestion Worsen existing bronchitis, asthma, other chronic conditions Reduce lung function, inflame linings Repeated exposure-permanently scars lungs

Good vs. Bad Ozone…: 

Good vs. Bad Ozone…

Criteria Pollutants: 

Criteria Pollutants PM—particulate matter O3—ozone NOx—Nitric oxides SOx—Sulfuric oxides VOC—volatile organic compounds Pb—lead CO—carbon monoxide

Health Effects of PM2.5: 

Health Effects of PM2.5 Across 6 studies in cities across country and > 11 cities and 40 subsequent studies: Premature mortality Chronic respiratory disease Respiratory emergency room visits Aggravated asthma Decreased lung function Acute cardiovascular events

Why is PM2.5 so harmful?: 

Why is PM2.5 so harmful? Sea salt nuclei Carbon black Pollens Cement dust Oil smoke Combustion nuclei Metallurgical dust and fumes Photochemical smog Insecticide dusts Coal dust Average particle diameter (micrometers or microns) Tobacco smoke Paint pigments Fly ash Milled flour Size of particles Avoids control mechanisms Evades body’s efforts to eliminate contaminants Particle composition Remains suspended for days to weeks Ability to travel 100s-1000s km

Environmental Justice: 

Environmental Justice Minority children disproportionately impacted by photochemical smog and particulate matter: % children in US exposed (considered at high risk) 61% black 70% Hispanic 68% Asian-American

Reducing Exposure: 

Reducing Exposure Pay attention to Air Quality Index and moderate outdoor exposure, exercise Reduce emissions from mobile vehicles Cars, trucks, lawn mowers, boats, jet skis Rely less heavily on items that generate high emissions Conservation of electricity Reduce use of dry cleaners Increase use of gas vapor recovery systems

Summary …: 

Summary … Two major types of pollution Industrial smog (stationary sources) Photochemical smog or Haze (mobile sources) Different science behind these two types Various health effects—primarily respiratory and cardiovascular Regulations targeted these differently Environmental justice concerns about who is most impacted

Ecological Effects of Ozone: 

Ecological Effects of Ozone Damages vegetation Reduced agricultural crops, forests yields Reduces growth, seedling development Agriculture alone: US estimates $500 million lost annually Landscape and aesthetic losses

Acid Deposition in US: 

Acid Deposition in US

Impacts of Acid Deposition: 

Impacts of Acid Deposition

Regional Effects of Acid Deposition: 

Regional Effects of Acid Deposition

Stationary Source Regulations: 

Stationary Source Regulations Command and control Technology-forcing Best available control technology (BACT) Better scrubbers, higher stacks… Set criteria for key pollutants Some capital/industry oriented controls Emission trading

Mobile Source Regulations: 

Mobile Source Regulations Command and control “Tailpipe regulations” CAFÉ standards (corporate average fuel economy) Concerns: Population increasing and buying more cars Even if per vehicle emission down, total emissions higher No real financial incentives to select lower emission car as individuals—only to sell more low-emission cars

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