Environmental Hazards: Air Pollution : A Reference Handbook by E. Willard Miller, Ruby M. Miller

By E. Willard Miller, Ruby M. Miller

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Although temperatures were lowered, a world system of distributing food prevented any severe shortage. In 1883 the Scientific American reported such unusual sky colorings as a green sun in India, a rainbow in a clear sky in the United States, and strikingly red sunsets in Peru. Two of the most recent massive volcanic eruptions were Mount Saint Helens in Washington State in 1980 and El Chichon in Mexico in 1982. The ash from both eruptions, after being compacted by rainfall, had an estimated bulk of material equal to a football field piled 60 miles high.

The wet, or aqueous, phase involves reaction with water droplets and can occur hundreds or even thousands of miles from the point of emission. In the gas phase oxides are produced in several ways, usually with the aid of a photochemically generated radical. ) The hydroxyl radical (OH) is the principal agent to combine with both SO2 and NO2 to produce sulfuric (H2SO4) and nitric (HNO3) acids. The OH radical is formed under the influence of sunlightthe rate of conversion declines rapidly after sunsetin several ways.

Donora, a heavy-industrial center, is located in the deep valley of the Monongahela River. During a period of extremely stable air, the industrial pollutants of sulfur dioxide and its oxidation products, along with particulate matter, accumulated in the atmosphere until a dense fog developed, which was not dissipated until it rained on October 31. Of a population of 14,000, more than 6,000 suffered some Page 14 respiratory problems, 1,500 being seriously ill. Eighteen people died, all of them over 50 years of age, and 14 of them had had a previous history of respiratory illness.

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