Unit 3; Energy and environmental pollution; General properties of pollutants

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  • General Properties of Pollutants
    • State of Matter
      • gas e.g. CO2
      • liquid e.g.oil
      • solid
    • Density
      • dense material settle close to source
    • Persistence / Degradability
      • time taken for material to breakdown
    • Toxicity
      • damage proteins by enzyme inhibition
    • Chemical Reactivity
      • high reactivity is more biologically damaging but less persistent
    • Solubility
      • water soluble pollutants are mobile in hydrosere
      • lipo-soluble pollutants bio-accumulate in organism tissues
    • Mobility
      • measuring how pollutant carried by wind/water /organisms
    • Bio-accumulation
      • absorption of pollutants into an organisms tissues
    • Bio-magnification
      • increase in pollutant concentration as moves along food chain
    • Synergistic action
      • interactions of pollutants to make greater impact that sum of individuals
    • Mutagenic action
      • alteration of DNA struture
    • Carcinogenic Action
      • causes cancer cells
    • Teratogenic Action
      • DNA function interruption so unborn embryo genes can't cause normal growth
    • Direct effects
      • cause harm by contact
    • Indirect effects
      • causes harmful enviro changes
    • Acute effects
      • occur suddenly, short term
    • Chronic effects
      • gradually appear, long term


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