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Topic1 TheAirand


Resources AroundUs

LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to: 1. Describe the composition of air; 2. Explain the percentage of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air; 3. Examine the properties of oxygen and carbon dioxide using water and sodium hydroxide; 4. Discuss the importance of oxygen in respiration and combustion; 5. Describe air pollution, its sources, effects, and steps to control and prevent air pollution; 6. Examine the different resources on earth and their importance; and 7. Describe the agencies involved in environmental protection and their approach.

TOPIC 1 THE AIR AND RESOURCES AROUND US

INTRODUCTION

Do you know this song? If you are not familiar with it, this lovely song was sung by Jordin Sparks, the 2007 American Idol winner. The lyrics describe how important it is to have someone that you care around you, as important as it is to have air around you. Air is all around us, wherever we are. We know that even though we cannot see it. In fact, there is a huge layer of air surrounding the earth. We call this the atmosphere. We use the air in the atmosphere for a lot of things. Breathing is one of them. Can you name other uses? Have you ever flown a kite or seen anyone doing so? How does the kite manage to sway in the sky? The reason is there is air which maintains the kites position. The moving air makes it possible to fly a kite. We will discuss the air further as we study the composition of air and the properties of oxygen and carbon dioxide. ACTIVITY 1.1 Tilt the mouth of an empty bottle in a basin of water. Answer the following: (a) Do you see bubbles coming out of the bottle? (b) Do you hear any bubble sound? (c) Can you guess what is in the bottle?

TOPIC 1 THE AIR AND RESOURCES AROUND US

1.1

COMPOSITION OF AIR

Before we learn about the composition of air, let us do this activity. Put out your hand in front of your face and breathe in deeply. Then, gently blow outward towards your fingers. What do you feel? Do your fingers feel cool and tingly? I am sure you felt something blowing past your fingertips. This is commonly referred to as the air. Our earth is surrounded by a thick layer of air which we call atmosphere. The air is held around the earth by the force of gravity. This gravity pulls the gas particles towards the earth. Do you know the composition of the air that we breathe in? In ancient times, people thought that air was only one substance. Now, we know that the air is actually a mixture of gases. These gases are nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and inert gases. The inert gases in the air include argon, neon, helium, krypton, xenon and methane. Let us look at Table 1.1, which illustrates the composition of air.

Table 1.1: Composition of Air Name Nitrogen Oxygen Argon Carbon Dioxide Neon Helium Methane Krypton Hydrogen Xenon Symbol N2 O2 Ar CO2 Ne He CH4 Kr H2 Xe Per Cent by Volume 78.084% 20.9476% 0.934% 0.0351% 0.001818% 0.000524% 0.0002% 0.000114% 0.00005% 0.0000087%

Source: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics

TOPIC 1 THE AIR AND RESOURCES AROUND US

ACTIVITY 1.2

Try these activities to show your students that there is air around us. (a) Ask two students to run along the corridor. (b) Next, ask them to run again along the same Corridor, holding a large sheet of card in front of them. So, which was easier running with the card or without it? Ask your students to explain.

1.2

PERCENTAGE OF GASES IN THE AIR

What are the characteristics of air? Air is colourless, tasteless and odourless. Air supplies the oxygen necessary for life. Air is also a mixture of gases nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Do you know that the most abundant gases found in our atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen? This is true as nitrogen makes up around 78% of the total atmosphere, oxygen 21% and carbon dioxide 0.035%. This means when you inhale, you breathe in 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% argon, with trace amounts of other gases, such as methane, hydrogen, helium, neon, krypton and carbon dioxide. These percentages of gases are shown in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1: Composition of our atmosphere

TOPIC 1 THE AIR AND RESOURCES AROUND US

However, this does not mean nitrogen will keep on increasing in the atmosphere. It is constantly being removed or cleansed from the atmosphere. A small amount of nitrogen is removed by living organisms. Rain and snow also wash nitrogen out of the atmosphere. As we learnt before, plants consume carbon dioxide. Plants use carbon dioxide in the air for photosynthesis and release oxygen during the process. This oxygen is later removed from the air by animals and other life forms. Oxygen is the most important gas in our atmosphere due to its strong relation with human and animal life. Without it, each of us, and most of the animals on earth would perish in a matter of minutes. Now, let us conduct an experiment to find out how much oxygen is in the air. The following is an experiment to find the

percentage of oxygen in the air.


Experiment1.1 Objective: To find out how much oxygen is in the air. Procedure: Start by pushing in completely one gas syringe. Heat up the copper turnings strongly. As they are heated, air is passed over them by pushing in one syringe first and then the other. As the reaction happens, you will notice the copper turnings becoming black. This is because they have reacted with the oxygen from the air. What do you think is the name of this black compound? Continue heating until no more copper turnings turns black and the amount of air in the syringes stays the same. Result:

You will find that the amount of air left in the syringes at the end is 79cm3. How much air has been used up? You will find that this is the amount of oxygen in 100cm3 of air. As you can see, nearly one-fifth of the air is filled with oxygen. Next, let us do an activity to calculate the exact percentage of oxygen in the air. Let us start!

TOPIC 1 THE AIR AND RESOURCES AROUND US

ACTIVITY 1.3

SELF-CHECK 1.1
1. Air is a mixture of gases. State two reasons to support this statement. 2. State the percentage of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air.

TOPIC 1 THE AIR AND RESOURCES AROUND US

1.3 PROPERTIES OF OXYGEN AND CARBON DIOXIDE


We know that oxygen and carbon dioxide are two of the most important gases in the air. The amount of carbon dioxide is very small, about three parts in ten thousand. However, oxygen comprises 20.94% of the air. We are now going to look into the properties of oxygen and carbon dioxide. We will look into three matters: (a) Their solubility in water; (b) Their reactions with sodium hydroxide; and (c) The tests for oxygen and carbon dioxide. Before we discuss further, let us look at the general properties of oxygen and carbon dioxide first (Table 1.2). Table 1.2: Seven General Properties of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide
Properties Features Solubility in water Solubility in sodium hydroxide solution Solubility in alkaline pyrogallol solution Lime water reaction Combustion pH Carbon Dioxide Colourless and odourless More soluble than oxygen Very soluble Oxygen Colourless and odourless Slightly soluble Not soluble

Not soluble

Soluble

Turns cloudy Does not support and does not burn Acidic

No effect Supports but does not burn Neutral

TOPIC 1 THE AIR AND RESOURCES AROUND US

1.3.1

Solublity in Water

We have just learnt the properties of oxygen and carbon dioxide in Table 1.2. Now, let us look at the difference of solubility of these gases by doing Experiment 1.2. Experiment 1.2 Objective: To show the solubility of oxygen and carbon dioxide in water. Procedure:

Invert two test tubes containing oxygen and carbon dioxide in a beaker of water. Watch the rise in the water level. What can you conclude about this experiment?

Result:

You will notice that in the test tube containing oxygen, a little water enters the test tube (Figure a). This shows that oxygen dissolves slightly in water. However, in the test tube containing carbon dioxide, more water enters the test tube (Figure b). This shows that carbon dioxide is more soluble in water than oxygen.

(a)

(b)

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1.3.2

Reaction with Sodium Hydroxide

What are the reactions of oxygen and carbon dioxide with sodium hydroxide? Let us find out by doing Experiment 1.3.

Experiment 1.3 Objective: To show the reactions of oxygen and carbon dioxide to sodium hydroxide. Procedure: Invert a test tube of oxygen into abeaker of sodium hydroxide solution (Figurea). Removethestopperandshakethetesttubegently. Observetheflowofsodiumhydroxidesolutionintothetesttube. Repeattheexperimentusingatesttubecontainingcarbondioxide(Figureb).

(a) (b) Result: Sodium hydroxide solution does not rise in the test tube containing oxygen. This shows that oxygen is not soluble in sodium hydroxide solution. Sodium hydroxide solution rises rapidly in the test tube containing carbon dioxide. This indicates that carbon dioxide is very soluble in sodium hydroxide solution.

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1.3.3

Tests for Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide

We can test the presence of oxygen by testing it with a burning splinter. As for carbon dioxide, we will test it with lime water. Look at Experiments 1.4 and 1.5 on how to conduct these tests. Experiment 1.4 Objective: To test the presence of oxygen. Procedure: Light up a burning splinter. Insert the burning splinter into a test tube containing oxygen (Figure a). What can you see?

Burning splinter

(a)

(b)

Result You will see that the burning splinter will light up (Figure b). The splinter glows because oxygen supports combustion.

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Experiment 1.5 Objective: To test the presence of carbon dioxide. Procedure: Put lime water into a test tube that has been filled with carbon dioxide gas. Close the test tube with a cork. Shake the test tube for a while. What can you see after that?

Result:


The lime water will turn cloudy in the presence of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide reacts with lime water to form calcium carbonate, which is insoluble in water.

ACTIVITY 1.1

SELF- CHECK 1.2

Look at the diagram.

1. Which candle in the diagram takes a longer time to extinguish? 2. What conclusion can you arrive at from this observation?

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1.4

IMPORTANCE OF OXYGEN

As mentioned earlier, oxygen is a basic element in life. How about its features? It is colourless, highly reactive and is said to come from water vapour. It turns into a bluish liquid at a temperature of -183C. We are aware that oxygen plays an important role in our lives. Can you name some of its uses? It is used for breathing, decomposition of organic wastes, the support of aquatic life in the form of oxygen dissolved by water and creation of energy in living cells.

1.4.1

Respiration

Why do you think oxygen is needed in respiration? Let us find out! All organisms require energy to carry out all living processes such as growth, reproduction, response, movement, breathing, digestion and excretion. Energy is stored in the form of chemical energy in organic substances such as carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. It needs to be converted into a form of energy which can be readily used by cells. This calls for respiration as respiration is the chemical breakdown of food to release the energy which is essential for all living things. Do you know that respiration is divided into two stages? Let us look at what these two stages are as shown in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2: Two stages of respiration

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Now, let us look at the definition of external respiration.

External respiration is a mechanical process of inhalation and exhalation of air through the respiratory system.

Can you imagine how this process works? Look at Figure 1.3. During breathing or external respiration, oxygen is inhaled and carbon dioxide is released

Figure 1.3: Breathing or external respiration How about internal respiration? Internal respiration occurs inside the cells and tissues of the body. Thus, it is often called cell respiration, or tissue respiration. To respire, we need a constant supply of oxygen. When this oxygen reaches the cells, it combines with glucose (a sugar which comes from food that has been converted). Energy is then released, together with waste products of carbon dioxide and water. Respiration, which uses oxygen, is called aerobic respiration. However, under certain circumstances, energy can be released from food without oxygen. This process is called anaerobic respiration.

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As a conclusion, we have learnt that the products of respiration are energy, carbon dioxide and water vapour (Figure 1.4).

Figure 1.4: The products of cellular respiration This chemical reaction can be written as: C6H12O6 Glucose + 6O2 Oxygen 6CO2 + Carbon dioxide 6H2O Water + Energy

SELF-CHECK 6.1 SELF-CHECK 1.3

The following statements are false. Rewrite them to make them true. 1. Respiration and breathing are the same process. 2. Only animals carry out respiration. 3. Acrobatic respiration is the process where energy is made from sugar in the presence of oxygen. 4. The reactants used in respiration are water and carbon dioxide. 5. The only gas we breathe in is oxygen.

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1.4.2

Combustion

What is combustion? Let us look at what combustion stands for.

Combustion is the process of burning.


Here is a simple principle behind combustion. For combustion to occur, fuel, oxygen (air) and heat must be present together. In other words, combustion takes place when chemicals mix together and give off heat and light in the form of fire. For example, the charcoal in a barbecue grill burns because it mixes with oxygen in the air. In Figure 1.5, the fire goes out if the grill is closed because air cannot reach the coals. Figure 1.6 shows us materials containing
chemicals that burn easily when heated


Figure 1.5: Charcoal burning in a barbecue grill

Source: World Book Illustration

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Now that you have understood what combustion is, let us carry out an experiment. What gas do you think is needed for combustion to occur? Yes, oxygen is needed for combustion. So, how do we conduct an experiment to show that oxygen is needed for combustion? Let us do Experiment 1.6.

Figure 1.6: Materials containing chemicals that burn easily Source: World Book Illustration

Experiment 1.6 Objective: To show that oxygen is needed for combustion. Procedure: You need to do this experiment in pairs. Get two glass jars of different sizes. Light two candles and put each in a jar. Mount the candle on a thick cardboard. Then seal the jar to ensure that the supply of oxygen is cut off. Observe the flame.

Result: As the flames consume the oxygen in the jars, the flames will go out. The candle flame in the bigger jar (A) will burn out last. Can you explain what made the flame burn out? The flame uses up oxygen as it burns and when enough has been used up, the flame goes out.

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SELF-CHECK 1.4
1. Define combustion. 2. List three conditions necessary for combustion to occur.

1.5 AIR POLLUTION


Let us look at Figures 1.7 and 1.8. What do both pictures have in common?

Figure 1.7: Burning forest

Figure 1.8: Burning building

The trees and buildings are on fire. We call this process combustion. Can you name the products of combustion? In the pictures, you can see smoke, dirt and damage to trees and buildings. In fact, smoke and dust cause pollution to the environment. When we talk about air pollution, the images conjured in our minds would be those of smog, acid rain, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other forms of outdoor air pollution. However, pollution also happens inside our homes and other buildings. Every year, the health of many people is affected by chemical substances found in the air within buildings. Let us learn more about air pollution. In this subtopic, we will discuss the definition of air pollution, its sources and effects. We will then discuss the importance of clean air and how to keep the air clean in order to control and prevent further air pollution. Let us start the topic with Activity 1.4.

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ACTIVITY 1.4

Let us find out how dirty or clean the air in your classroom is. You will need three sheets of white paper or cardboard and petroleum jelly. This is how you do it: Smear one side of two sheets of paper with petroleum jelly. Put the sheets next to each other, with the smeared side up, on a windowsill and clamp the sheets in place with the closed window. Take in one of the sheets at the end of one week and see how dirty it looks (compare it to a clean sheet of paper). What can you conclude about this?

What is air pollution? Do you know that our earth is the only planet we know that has air and water? That is why (as far as we know) only earth can cater to living creatures. Without air and water, the earth would be unable to sustain life. We have a diverse community of plants and animals and they have thrived on this planet for millions of years, sustained by the sun and supported by the soil, water and air. We breathe in air which supplies us with oxygen. Oxygen is essential for our body systems to function. Air consists of 99.9% nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour and inert gases. Our activities can release substances into the air. Some of these substances can cause problems for humans, plants and animals. One of the problems is air pollution. How does it occur?

1.5.1

Sources of Air Pollution

Now, let us find out what the sources of air pollution are. As we learnt before, air pollution occurs when the air contains pollutants. Air pollutants are substances that are released into the environment. These substances are harmful to us and other living things. There are seven sources of air pollution as described in Table 1.3.

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Table 1.3: Seven Sources of Air Pollution

Source
1. Natural Sources 2. Industrial Activities

Description
There are many natural sources of air pollution such as eruption of volcanoes, biological decay and forest fires caused by lightning strikes. Our economy is mainly based on manufacturing (especially electronics), chemical and rubber industries. In order to increase output, industries increase their normal production. This leads to higher emissions of organic and inorganic gases, chemicals and dust. Different industries emit different pollutants. For example, the chemical industry releases emissions that contain many nitrogen and sulphur compounds while refineries discharge sulphur dioxide and hydrocarbons. The metal working industry is partially responsible for the emissions of sulphur dioxide and large amounts of toxic dust. Unplanned and uncontrolled development of industrial premises or zones leads to noise pollution and vibration disturbance. The use of conventional piling methods and the sound of exhaust fans in factories are some of the common activities that generate a high sound level. Modern societies rely heavily on motorised transportation such as cars, trucks and railways. Automobiles rely mostly on the burning of fossil fuels. They not only cause emissions of smoke and dust but are also responsible for the increase in noise. In 2004, nearly 14 million vehicles were registered in Malaysia, almost double the number from a decade earlier. The number will increase in the next few years due to higher disposable incomes, rural-urban migration and the lack of an efficient public transport system. Most of the energy produced in conventional power plants is by burning fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal. The burning of fossil fuels will result in the emission of smoke and dust. Households contribute to air pollution mainly through the use of energy that is required to run machines and electrical appliances such as refrigerators. Refrigerators and air conditioners not only consume energy but also pollute the environment when their coolant fluids release CFCs into the atmosphere. Chemicals used in houses and gardens are also sources of pollution as well as toxic waste. Some countries practise open burning of older plantations as a method for re-planting. This results in large amounts of soot particles. These soot particles can be blown over long distances and are mainly responsible for the haze that often covers the sky above Malaysia. These fires can also destroy the rich habitat of flora and fauna.

3. Development Activities

4. Motor Vehicles

5. Power Generation

6. Everyday Routines

7. Open Burning

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Do you realise that even our homes contribute to air pollutants? Find out the causes of air pollution from our homes (Figure 1.9) and the outdoors (Figure 1.10).

Figure 1.9: Air pollutants inside and outside a house

Figure 1.10: Outdoor air pollutants

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1.5.2

Effects of Air Pollution

There are thousands of air pollutants. However, we are going to focus only on a few pollutants, including their sources and effects on our health. Let us refer to Table 1.4.
Table 1.4: Pollutants, Their Sources and Effects on Human Health Pollutant Particles - Air Particle Index (API) Source Internal combustion engines (e.g. cars and trucks) Industry (e.g. factories) Burning wood Cigarette smoke Bush fires Motor vehicles are the biggest contributors Other combustion processes Human Health Effect Long-term exposure is linked to health problems such as Lung cancer Heart disease Lung disease Asthma attacks Exposure to high levels of NO2 may lead to: Lung damage Respiratory disease Asthma and respiratory problems Increased mortality Breathing difficulties Bronchitis Acid rain occurs when sulphur dioxide dissolves in rainwater Dizziness and headache Can cause death if a large amount is inhaled Affects childrens learning and development of their nervous system Affects almost every organ in the body, whether it is inhaled or ingested. Young children are particularly susceptible Pollutes the environment Slows down photosynthesis Damages respiratory system Can cause cancer

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Sulphur Dioxide

Burning of coal and petroleum in factories and power-generating stations

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Lead (Pb)

Burning of hydrocarbon Exhaust gases from motor vehicles Cigarette smoke Vehicle exhaust fumes Other atmospheric sources of lead include waste incineration and renovation of old houses (from leaded paint) Burning of waste and fuels by factories Forest fires Cigarette smoke Smoke from vehicles exhaust

Smoke Soot Dust

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Carbon Dioxide Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

Burning of rubbish and fuels Aerosol cans, refrigerators, air conditioners

Causes greenhouse effect (increase in temperature on earth) Depletion of the ozone layer Diseases related to ozone layer depletion (e.g. cataract, skin cancer)

ACTIVITY 1.5
Ask your students to explain the effects of the following pollutants on our health: Transportation Factories Agricultural activities

Air pollution has consequences to the environment. There are three main consequences of air pollution to the environment as presented in Table 1.5.
Table 1.5: Three Main Consequences of Air Pollution to the Environment Consequence

Present the findings in class.

Acidrain

Description Acid rain happens when sulphur and nitrogen pollution from industrial smokestacks combine with moisture in the atmosphere (see Figure 1.11). The resulting rain is acidic which destroys natural ecosystems and buildings.
The planets temperature increases as heat energy from sunlight is trapped by the gaseous atmosphere. Excess carbon dioxide and water vapour increase this global warming effect. The ozone in the ozone layer is destroyed due to the presence of chlorine from manmade CFCs and other forces. The layer is thinning because the ozone is destroyed faster than it is regenerated by natural forces.

Greenhouseeffect

Thinningoftheozonelayer

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Now, let us look at Figure 1.11, which shows the cycle of acid rain.
Figure 1.11: Acid rain cycle Source: www.newint.org

How about the greenhouse effect and depletion of ozone layer? Let us refer to Figures 1.12 and 1.13.
Figure 1.12: Greenhouse effect Source: www.coolmob.org


Figure 1.13: Depletion of ozone layer Source: www.scienceclarified.com

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SELF-CHECK 1.5
What causes the thinning of the ozone layer? What effects does it have on us? List five things we use in our everyday life which contribute to the thinning of the ozone layer.

1.5.3

Step to Prevent Air Pollution

In order to prevent or control air pollution, we have to keep the air clean. Let us look at the steps to keep the air clean. After discussing how important the air is to us and learning the effects of air pollution, let us think of the ways to keep the air clean. Remember, everybody has the power to make a difference to the quality of the air and environment. All of us, whether we realise it or not, contribute to air pollution in one way or another. In order to improve the quality of the air we breathe in, we must be aware of the activities that can contribute to pollution and take action against it. We can take action personally, at home or at school, or by doing something with others in the community. Now, what actions can we take to keep the air clean? Let us refer to Table 1.6.
Table 1.6: Ways to Keep the Air Clean Make a difference on the road

Way

Make a difference at home

Walk or ride your bike instead of getting a lift in a car. Where possible, use public transport instead of riding in your parents car. When running errands, combine trips so that you do not use your car for single purpose trips. Drive wisely and do not idle. Save petrol by switching off the engine even when you are stationary for a while. Use non-ozone depleting refrigerant for your cars air conditioning system. Use unleaded petrol to reduce the amount of lead particles in the air. Use household and garden chemicals wisely. Avoid using CFC-based products. Be sure to read labels for proper use and disposal of products. If you purchase a new air conditioning system or heat pump, purchase one that uses a non-ozone depleting refrigerant. Practise wise waste management. Recycle aluminium cans, glass bottles, plastics, cardboards and newspapers. This will

Suggestion

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Industrial sectors can make a difference

reduce waste and conserve natural resources. Buy products made of recycled content. Stop practising open burning. Take part in tree-planting activities. Practise cleaner production technology. Use energy-saving products. Carry proper servicing and maintenance on equipment and machinery used. Stop open burning. Practice Zero Burning Technique (agricultural sector). Reduce the use of pesticides that are non-environmental friendly (agricultural sector).

Lastly, let us look at the steps needed to control and prevent air pollution. Preventing and controlling air pollution require the efforts of people from all walks of life. Previously, we mentioned what we and also industrial sectors can do to keep the air clean. Now, we will discuss the steps required by the relevant authorities to control and prevent air pollution. The steps are: (a) Implementation of law: Malaysia has implemented the Environmental Quality Act (EQA) 1974. This Act was enacted to prevent, abate, control pollution and enhance the quality of the environment. (b) Inspection and enforcement visits. These are carried out to industrial premises to ensure that industrial sectors comply with the Environmental Quality Act 1974. (c) Conducting roadside inspections on motor vehicles. (d) Conducting aerial and ground surveillance on pollution sources. (e) Daily monitoring of air quality. (f) Conducting awareness programmes to educate public on the need to protect the environment. Do you know that there is a simple way to measure the air pollution level? The simple way is the Air Pollution Index (API). This index describes the air pollution levels to provide timely information about air pollution to the public. Table 1.7 shows the API status indicator used in Malaysia.

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Table 1.7: Malaysian API Status Indicator

You can get more on the daily readings of the API by http://www.doe.gov.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=188& Itemid=370&lang=en

API 050 51100 101200 201300 301500 Above500

Status Good Moderate Unhealthy Veryunhealthy Hazardous Emergency

visiting

ACTIVITY 1.6
Let us conduct an activity to reduce air pollution in your school. Hold a class discussion on air pollution. Discuss the main sources of air pollution in the school area. Suggest possible ways and activities to reduce air pollution in your school. Carry out the activities suggested.

SELF-CHECK 1.6
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What is air pollution? Name five air pollutants. List the pollutants which affect the environment. Describe one pollutant and what it does to the environment. Name three pollutants from a factor which affects a persons health. Why must we keep our air clean? How do we know the air is clean? Name two substances which can cause acid rain. State the effects of acid rain to our health.

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1.6 VARIETY OF RESOURCES ON EARTH


The Carson Fall in Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia is an example of undisturbed natural earths resource. Waterfalls provide spring water for humans, animals and plants for survival and also a habitat for hydro organisms. The water current can be used to turn turbines for hydroelectric generation. Figure 1.14: The Carson Fall in Mount Kinabalu Source: http:/ www. Google.wikipedia.com

1.6.1

Different Resources on Earth

Who need resources? Why do we need resouces? What types of resources do we have? Human beings, animals and plants need food, water, air and shelter in order to survive. The earth has the resources needed to sustain life. The resources are air, water, soil, minerals, fossil fuels and living things.

1.6.2

Important of Earths Resources

The earth is rich in natural resources that we use daily. These resources are any valuable material of geologic origin that can be extracted from the earth. It is nearly impossible to cease consuming natural or geologic resources altogether. Here are just a few examples of things you commonly use, but probably do not think about: A pencil uses zinc and copper (to make the brass), petroleum for the eraser, iron (in the machinery to make the pencil), pigments, clay and graphite. The only renewable resource in your pencil is the wood! Your jeans, although they may be almost all cotton, are usually blended with petroleum-based synthetic fibres to cut down on shrinking. Eye glasses and windows are made of quartz sand and petroleum. Dental fillings are made of mercury and silver. Videotapes are made of vinyl, iron and chromium.

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Please refer to Table 1.8 to learn more about the impotance of earths resources. Table 1.8: The Importance of Earths Resources Types of Earth Resources
Air

The Importance of Earths Resources


Air is needed by all living things to survive. The atmosphere is a layer of air that envelops the earth. Air is a mixture of gases. Air contains gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are two very important gases that support life on earth. a. Oxygen i. Used for respiration by living things ii. Used in combustion of materials iii. Used in industries iv. Released during photosynthesis. b. Carbon dioxide i. Used by green plants to carry out photosynthesis ii. Used in fire extinguishers iii. Released during respiration and combustion Water covers a total of about three quarters of the earth. The sources of water are oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, rainfall and ground water. Importance of water a. To animals/humans i. It provides a medium for chemical process and body metabolism; ii. It is the main component of the blood; iii. It transports nutrients to all cells in the body; iv. It carries excretory products to the kidneys for excretion; and v. It helps to control the body temperature. b. To plants i. It helps to maintain the turgidity of plant cells; ii. It is used in photosynthesis; iii. Need for the germination of seeds; iv. Dissolves minerals slats in the ground for absorption by the roots of plants; v. Helps to support aquatic plants; and vi. Cools down the plants (transpiration).

Water

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Soil

Soil refers to the outer layer of the earth. Soil contains mineral matter, organic matter, air and water. The soil organic matter includes: Organic litter such as fallen leaves, twigs, fruit, animal dropping, etc. Humus formed from the composition of organic litter. Microorganisms living in the soil. Air and water are found in pore spaces between the soil particles. The presence of air and water in the soil makes it a natural habitat for various types of plants and animals. Importance of soil: Source of minerals and fossil fuels; Source of clay for making pottery; Source of sand for making glass and cement; Base for agricultural activities; and Foundation for construction of houses, buildings, roads and other structures. i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. Flora and fauna (plants and animals) are also natural resources that sustain life. Plants and animals are resources needed by human beings. We can obtain food, fuel, materials for making clothes and building materials from plants and animals. Green plants can make their own food by carrying out photosynthesis. Animals are not able to make their own food. Some animals such as giraffes and elephants feed on plants. Some animals such as tigers and snakes feed on other animals. Aquatic plants and animals are also important resources for sustaining life. Minerals are inorganic substances found naturally on land and in seas or oceans. Examples of minerals are feldspar, quartz, iron, zinc, aluminium, tin, silver and gold. Some minerals such as aluminium and iron are mined because they can be used as raw materials in various industries.

Living Things

Mineral

i. ii.

iii.

There are two types of earths resources renewable and non-renewable resources. Earths resources that can be replaced and reused by nature are termed renewable. Natural resources that cannot be replaced are termed non-renewable. Renewable resources are replaced through natural processes at a rate that is equal to or greater than the rate at which they are used, and depletion is usually not a worry. Some common examples include: Air (wind); Fresh water; Soil;

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Living organisms (trees); and Sunlight.

Non-renewable resources are exhaustible and are extracted faster than the rate at which they formed. Some common examples are: Fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas); Diamonds and other precious gems and minerals; and Types of metals and ores.

1.6.3

Preservation and Conservation of Earths Resources

With the increased use of virtually all natural earths resources, there is concern that resources will be exhausted and that others will not be able to use them in the future. Can you imagine a world without clean water, clean air, sustainable land or living oceans? Our natural resources exist in a delicate balance and are vulnerable to environmental changes. That is why it is important that we all do our part to conserve, preserve and care for the earths resources and protect the environment that sustains us with food, fuel, shelter and medicine. Because of the severe impact that we impose on the land, air, and water, preservation and conservation has become increasingly important. Let us check the meaning of preservation and conservation.

Preservation is to keep and maintain what you have

Conservation is to spend or use sparingly

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ACTIVITY 1.7
Discuss in a group of four to find out the meaning of preservation and conservation in terms of natural earths resources. Please visit the following websites to get more information. http://www.ecoca.ro/meteo/tutorial/Sustainability/Older/Conservation_and_Pre servation.html http://feelfriendly.com/information-preservation-conservation.html

1.6.4

Recycling of Materials

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Figure 1.15: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle The symbol and the phrase above are very common. Do you know its meaning? Reduce Reuse : Do not use a resource if there is an alternative (walking versus driving). : Use a resource again without changing it or reprocessing it; use glassware as opposed to paper plates and Styrofoam. : Reprocess a resource so that the materials can be used in another item. People can recycle just about anything from cardboard to old shoes!

Recycle

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SELF-CHECK 1.7

Please observe the picture given. Identify the materials that can be recycled.

1.7 WASTE PRODUCTS


Wastes are substances or objects which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law Source: http://wikipedia.google.com

1.7.1

Sources and Types of Waste Products


Waste Products Solid Waste Medical Waste Hazardous Waste

Figure 1.16: Three types of waste Source: Von ( 2004) There are various sources of waste such as domestic sources, commercial sources, industrial sources, clinic or biomedical sources, mineral sources, agricultural sources and nuclear sources. Table 1.9 shows a breakdown of common waste types and its sources.

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Table 1.9: Common Sources and Types of Waste Products


Source Residential Typical Waste Generators Single and multi-family dwellings Types of Solid Wastes Food wastes, paper, cardboard, plastics, textiles, leather, yard wastes, wood, glass, metals, ashes, special wastes (e.g. bulky items, consumer electronics, white goods, batteries, oil, tyres), and household hazardous wastes Housekeeping wastes, packaging, food wastes, construction and demolition materials, hazardous wastes, ashes, special wastes Paper, cardboard, plastics, wood, food wastes, glass, metals, special wastes, hazardous wastes Paper, cardboard, plastics, wood, food wastes, glass, metals, special wastes, hazardous wastes Wood, steel, concrete, dirt, etc

Industrial

Commercial

Light and heavy manufacturing fabrication, construction sites, power and chemical plants Stores, hotels, restaurants, markets, office buildings, etc Schools, hospitals, prisons, government centres New construction sites, road repair, renovation sites, demolition of buildings Street cleaning, landscaping, parks, beaches , other recreational areas, water and wastewater treatment plants Heavy and light manufacturing, refineries, chemical plants, power plants, mineral extraction and processing Crops, orchards, vineyards, dairies, feedlots, farms

Institutional Construction and Demolition Municipal Services

Street sweepings, landscape and tree trimmings, general wastes from parks, beaches, and other recreational areas, sludge Industrial process wastes, scrap materials, off specification products, slag, tailings

Process

Agriculture

Spoiled food wastes, agricultural wastes, hazardous wastes (e.g. pesticides)

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1.7.2

Pollution Caused by Waste Products

Do you think why all the fish in Figure 1.17 were dead? Figure1.17:Deadfishcausedbywaterpollution
Source: Image Google.com

Many things can cause water pollution but most water pollution is caused by waste products from humans. Types of waste products that can pollute our water are sewage drainage into our water cycle, oil from vehicles, oil spills, fertilisers from crops. Rubbish dumps also can run into our water system when it rains.

Figure 1.18: Water Pollution Source: http://google.image.com

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SELF-CHECK 1.8
Observe Figure 1.18. Identify the types of waste products that cause water pollution.

Do You Know? Waste products (Figure 1.19) also can cause land pollution and air pollution. Land pollution is caused by an excessive amount of trash going into our landfills. When too much trash is in our landfills, it can cause water pollution over time by getting in our water cycle. Another form of land pollution is littering.

Figure 1.19: Solid waste products Source: http://google.image.com

1.7.3

Environmental Protection

Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment on individual, organisational or governmental levels, for the benefit of both the natural environment and humans. Discussion concerning environmental protection often focuses on the role of government, legislation and law enforcement. Protecting the environment is a responsibility of all people.

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(a) i.

Government Organisations Involvement Environmental Quality Act, 1974 (Act 127) An Act relating to the prevention, abatement, control of pollution and enhancement of the environment: Part IV Prohibition and control of pollution Section 22: Restrictions on pollution of the atmosphere Section 23: Restrictions on noise pollution Section 24: Restrictions on pollution of the soil Section 25: Restrictions on pollution of inland waters Section 27: Prohibition of discharge of oil into Malaysian waters Section 29: Prohibition of discharge of wastes into Malaysian waters Section 34: Report on impact on environment resulting from prescribed activities Incorporate Department of Environment (DOE) within the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MOSTE) In charge with environmental administration Incorporate an environmental policy aimed at integrating environmental concerns into development planning. For example: The Seventh Malaysian Plan (1996-2000) states that the objectives of Malaysias national environmental policies are to achieve a clean, safe and healthy living environment for current and future generation and to promote lifestyles and modes of production and consumption consistent with the principles of sustainable development. Non-governmental Organisations Involvement Dissemination of environmental information through the Environmental Management and Research Association of Malaysia (ENSEARCH)

ii.

iii.

(b)

(c)

Environmental Education in the School Syllabus Environmental education will make our citizens aware of the environmental problems and equip us with knowledge to overcome the problems.

SELF-CHECK 1.9 Find out the involvement of international agencies in Malaysias environmental protection.

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The air is actually a mixture of gases. These gases are nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and inert gases. The inert gases in the air include argon, neon, helium, krypton, xenon, methane and xenon. Under properties of oxygen and carbon dioxide, we look into three matters, namely, the solubility in water, reactions with sodium hydroxide and the tests for oxygen and carbon dioxide. Oxygen plays an important role in our lives. We use oxygen for breathing, decomposition of organic wastes, supporting aquatic life in the form of oxygen dissolved by water and creation of energy in living cells. Air pollution affects our health and the environment. Air pollution occurs whentheaircontainsgases,dust,fumesorodourinharmfulamounts.

Our natural resources include air, water, soil, minerals, fossil fuels, plants and animals. Each of these resources is important to us in their own ways. Conservation is the sustainable use of our natural resources. Preservation is keeping natural resources in their current state, untouched by humans. Recycle is the process of reprocess a resource so that the materials can be usedinanotheritem. Waste are substances or objects, which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law. It can be divided into three, solid waste, medical waste and hazardous waste. Environmentalprotectioncanbedonebythegovernment,nongovernmental organisations, international agencies and national citizens through introducingenvironmentaleducationintheschoolsyllabus.


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Air Air Pollution Index (API) Carbon dioxide Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Combustion Conservation Environment External respiration Global warming Greenhouse effect Conoley, C., & Hills, P. (2002). Collins advance science chemistry (2nd ed.). UK: Collins Educational. Environmental Quality Act 127. (1974). Retrieved from https://www.elaw.org/system/files/MalaysiaEQA1974_0.pdf Gallagher, R. M. (1997). Complete chemistry. UK: Oxford University Press. Milner, B., Martin, J., & Mills, J. (2002). Core chemistry. UK: Cambridge University Press. Nivaldo, J. T. (2000). Chemistry in focus (2nd ed.). USA: Thomson. South Carolina Geological Survey. (2005). Earths natural resources and human impacts. Retrieved from ftp://ftpdata.dnr.sc.gov/geology/Education Von, L. L. (2004). Case study on the management of waste materials in Malaysia. Forum Geokol, 15(2), 7. Zumdahl, S. S. (2004). Introductory chemistry: A foundation (5th ed.). New York: Houghton Mifflin. Internal respiration Land pollution Natural resources Oxygen Preservation Products Recycle Respiration

Waste product
Water pollution

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