Pollution

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Mobility
a measure of the ease of movement of a material
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Toxicity
a measure of how poisonous a substance is, usually caused by enzyme inhibition
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Deoxygenation
the process of oxygen removal
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Specificity
a measure of the differing toxicities of a substance on different organisms. A specific substance is very toxic to some organisms and much less toxic to others
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Pyrethoids
insecticides pesticides, originally extracted from chrysanthemum flowers
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Persistence
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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Organochlorines
synthetic organic substances that include chlorine, such as the pesticide DDT
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Degradation
the breakdown of a material
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Biodegradation
the process of breakdown of a material by living organisms, usually bacteria
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Biodegradability
the ease with which a material is broken down by living organisms, usually bacteria
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Solubility
the ease with which the molecules of a material separate and disperse into a liquid
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Liposolubility
a measure of how a substance dissolves in fats and oils
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Bioaccumulation
the increase in concentration of a substance in living tissue
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Biomagnification
the progressive bioaccumulation of a material along a food chain
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Synergism
the process where the presence of two materials produces a greater effect than the sum of their individual effects
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Mutagen
a material that can cause changes in DNA structure
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Carcinogen
a substance that can cause cancer
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Teratogen
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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Diffuse source
effluent emissions that come from many sources
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Effluent
flowing out of forth
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pH
a measure of acidity
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Biotic Index
a measure of pollution based on the presence, abundance and state of health of selected organisms
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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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Lapse rate diagram
a graph to show how temperature changes with altitude; often used to show temperature inversions
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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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Smoke Control Order
a restriction in large urban areas that reduces 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 desulphirisation
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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Urea spray
a method of reducing NOx emissions
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Electrostatic precipitator/cyclone separator/scrubber
types of equipment used to remove suspended particles in gaseous effluents
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Point sources
effluent emissions that come from a small number of sources that are usually easily identifiable
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Organophosphates
insecticide pesticides, e.g. malathion and parathion
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Systematic pesticide
a pesticide that is absorbed and transported around a plant in the sap
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Inorganic nutrients
plant nutrients such as compounds of nitrogen and phosphorous such as nitrates and phosphates.
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Oligotrophic
a water body with a low nutrient level
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Eutrophic
a water body with a high nutrient level
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Organic nutrients
high-energy nutrients, such as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins from plant or animal material
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Primary sewage treatment
the removal of organic solids from the fluids during sewage treatment
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Secondary sewage treatment
the breakdown of the remaining organic matter in the fluids after primary treatment
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Tertiary sewage treatment
the final processes in sewage fluid treatment, e.g. phosphate removal
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Incineration
the breakdown of a waste by burning it
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BOD
biological or biochemical oxygen demand
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Enzyme inhibitor
a material that prevents an enzyme from functioning, usually by blocking the active site or changing its shape
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Resonant frequency
the frequency at which an object naturally vibrates
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Acoustic fatigue
stress cracking of a material caused by repetitive vibrations induced by sound
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deciBel
the unit of sound used to monitor noise pollution
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Resonant frequency
the frequency at which an object naturally vibrates
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dB(A)
the decibel scale, modified to weight the frequencies to which the human ear is most sensitive
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L1018h
measure of noise pollution used to monitor road traffic noise
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Traffic noise index (TNI)
a measure of noise pollution used to monitor road traffic noise
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Noise and Number Index (NNI)
a measure of noise pollution used to monitor aircraft noise pollution around airports
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Inverse square law
the mathematical relationship where increasing the distance from the source reduces exposure to 1/distance squared
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Critical pathway analysis (CPA)
the prediction of the routes that an effluent will take in the environment, to assess pollution risk
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Critical group monitoring
a method of monitoring radioactive discharges. If the members of the public that are most at risk are safe, then so is everyone else
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Vitrification
the process of encapsulating high level radioactive waste in solid glass
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Encapsulation
sealing waste in a solid material such as glass, cement or plastic to prevent its escape
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

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

Back

Toxicity

Card 3

Front

the process of oxygen removal

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

a measure of the differing toxicities of a substance on different organisms. A specific substance is very toxic to some organisms and much less toxic to others

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

insecticides pesticides, originally extracted from chrysanthemum flowers

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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