The atmosphere has always been a sink - a place for deposition and storage - for gaseous and particulate wastes. When the amount of waste entering the atmosphere in an area exceeds the ability of the atmosphere to disperse or degrade the pollutants, problems result. After reading this chapter, you should understand:
- Why human activities that pollute the air, combined with meteorological conditions, may exceed the natural abilities of the atmosphere to remove wastes.
- What are the major categories and sources of air pollutants.
- Why air pollution problems are different in different regions.
- What acid rain is, how it is produced, what its environmental impacts are, and how they might be minimized.
- What methods are useful in the collection, capture, and retention of pollutants before they enter the atmosphere.
- What air quality standards are, and why they are important.
- Why determining the economics of air pollution is controversial and difficult.