Copy of `For Clean Air - Glossary of pollution and environment`

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For Clean Air - Glossary of pollution and environment
Category: Meteorology and astronomy > Glossary of pollution and environment
Date & country: 16/11/2010, US
Words: 128


Precipitator
Pollution control device that collects particles from an air stream.

Precursor
In photochemistry, a compound antecedent to a pollutant. For example, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides react in sunlight to form ozone or other photochemical oxidants. As such, VOCs and oxides of nitrogen are precursors.

Primary Standard
A pollution limit based on health effects. Primary standards are set for criteria air pollutants.

Reformulated Gasoline
Specially refined gasoline with low levels of smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants. The 1990 Clean Air Act requires sale of reformulated gasoline in the nine smoggiest areas in the U.S.

Regional Haze
The haze produced by a multitude of sources and activities, which emit fine particles and their precursors across a broad geographic area. The U.S. regulations require states to develop plans to reduce the regional haze that impairs visibility in Class I areas.

Remote Sensing
The collection and interpretation of information about an object without physical contact with the object; e.g., satellite imaging, aerial photography, and open path measurements.

Respiratory Disease
A disease affecting the respiratory system.

Running Losses
Evaporation of motor vehicle fuel from the fuel tank while the vehicle is in use.

Scrubber
An air pollution device that uses a spray of water or reactant or a dry process to trap pollutants in emissions.

Secondary Standard
A pollution limit based on environmental effects such as damage to property, plants, visibility, etc. Secondary standards are set for criteria air pollutants.

Smog
A mixture of pollutants, principally ground-level ozone, produced by chemical reactions in the air involving smog-forming chemicals. A major portion of smog-formers comes from burning of petroleum-based fuels such as gasoline. Other smog-formers, volatile organic compounds, are found in products such as paints and solvents. Smog can harm health, damage the environment and cause poor visibility. Ma...

Source
Any place or object from which pollutants are released. A source can be a power plant, factory, dry cleaning business, gas station or farm. Cars, trucks and other motor vehicles are sources, and consumer products and machines used in industry can be sources too. Sources that stay in one place are referred to as stationary sources; sources that move around, such as cars or planes, are called mobile...

Stack
A chimney, smokestack, or vertical pipe that discharges used air.

Stage I Controls
Systems placed on fuel storage tanks to control and capture gasoline vapors during loading of the tanks by delivery trucks.

Stage II Controls
Systems placed on service station gasoline pumps to control and capture gasoline vapors during refueling, including vapor recovery nozzles.

State Implementation Plan (SIP)
A detailed description of the programs a state will use to carry out its responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. State implementation plans are collections of the regulations used by a state to reduce air pollution in nonattainment areas. The Clean Air Act requires that EPA approve each state implementation plan. Members of the public are given opportunities to participate in review and approval...

Stationary Source
A place or object from which pollutants are released and which does not move around. Stationary sources include power plants, gas stations, incinerators, houses etc.

Stratosphere
Part of the atmosphere, the gases that encircle the Earth. The stratosphere is a layer of the atmosphere 9 to 31 miles above the Earth. Ozone in the stratosphere filters out harmful sun rays, including a type of sunlight called ultraviolet B, which has been linked to health and environmental damage.

Sulfur Dioxide
A criteria air pollutant and gas produced by burning coal, most notably in power plants. Some industrial processes, such as production of paper and smelting of metals, produce sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is closely related to sulfuric acid, a strong acid. Sulfur dioxide plays an important role in the production of acid rain.

Temperature Inversion
One of the weather conditions that are often associated with serious smog episodes in some portions of the country. In a temperature inversion, air does not rise because it is trapped near the ground by a layer of warmer air above it. Pollutants, especially smog and smog-forming chemicals, including volatile organic compounds, are trapped close to the ground. As people continue driving, and source...

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
Database of toxic releases in the U. S. compiled from SARA Title III Section 313 reports.

Transboundary Pollutants
Air pollution that travels from one jurisdiction to another, often crossing state or international boundaries. Also applies to water pollution.

Troposphere
The layer of the atmosphere closest to the earth's surface.

Ultraviolet B (UVB)
A type of sunlight. The ozone in the stratosphere, high above the Earth, filters out ultraviolet B rays and keeps them from reaching the Earth. Ultraviolet B exposure has been associated with skin cancer, eye cataracts and damage to the environment. Thinning of the ozone layer in the stratosphere results in increased amounts of ultraviolet B reaching the Earth.

Vapor Recovery Nozzles
A special gas pump nozzles that will reduce release of gasoline vapor into the air when people put gas in their cars. There are several types of vapor recovery nozzles, so nozzles may look different at different gas stations. The 1990 Clean Air Act requires installation of vapor recovery nozzles at gas stations in smoggy areas.

Volatile
Any substance that evaporates readily.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Chemicals that produce vapors readily. At room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure, vapors escape easily from volatile liquid chemicals. Volatile organic chemicals include gasoline, industrial chemicals such as benzene, solvents such as toluene and xylene, and tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene, the principal dry cleaning solvent). Many volatile organic chemicals are also hazardous air...

Water Vapor
Water substance in vapor (gaseous) form; one of the most important of all constituents of the atmosphere.