Pollution - ENVS3

Definitions from AQA Environmental Studies text book.



A measure of how poisonous a substance is, usually caused by enzyme inhibition.

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A measure of the differing toxicities of a substance on different organisms.

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A measure of the rate at which a material breaks down and therefore the length of time it remains in the environment.

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The ease with which a material is broken down by living organisms, usually bacteria.

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A measure of how easily a material moves in the environment.

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The ease with which the molecules of a material separate and disperse into a liquid.

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The increase in concentration of a substance in living tissue.

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The progressive bioaccumulation of material along a food chain.

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The process where the presence of two materials produces a greater effect than the sum of their individual effects.

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A material that can cause changes in DNA structure.

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A substance that can cause cancer.

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A substance that interferes with gene function in a growing embryo so that a non-inherited birth abnormality is produced.

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Primary pollutant

A pollutant released by human activities.

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Secondary pollutant

A pollutant produced by chemical reactions involving primary pollutants.

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Photochemical smog

An atmospheric pollution event where pollutants from vehicles interact under sunny conditions when there is a temperature inversion.

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Temperature inversion

A situation in the troposphere where the temperature is lower than normal so that warm air lies above cold air.

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Clean Air Act (1956)

UK legislation to control smoke pollution.

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Smokeless Zone

The part of an urban area in which a Smoke Control Order restricts smoke emissions.

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Landfill tax

A tax to discourage the disposal of waste in landfill sites.

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Flue gas desulfurisation (FGD)

Processes that remove oxides of sulfur from gaseous effluents.

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Catalytic converter

A device fitted to vehicle exhausts to remove pollutants such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitration and unburnt hydrocarbons.

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Insecticide pesticides, e.g. malathion and parathion.

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