• Tuesday May 24,2022

Primary and secondary pollutants

We explain what contaminants are, and what are the primary and secondary. In addition, examples of both types of contaminants.

Carbon monoxide is released by the leaks of motor vehicles.
  1. What are the primary and secondary pollutants?

Pollutants are called substances, pure or compound, whose presence in the environment (water, air, earth, etc.) deteriorates its quality, constituting a danger to life as we know it.

Normally, a distinction is made between primary and secondary pollutants to differentiate harmful substances for the ecosystem that directly damage (primary) by being present in the environment, from those that are formed indirectly by unforeseen chemical reactions in the environment., fruit of the presence of other substances.

In other words, a primary pollutant is emitted directly into the environment, while a secondary pollutant is generated in it, as a result of chemical reactions present. Often they can go together, the primary and secondary, since the chemical reactions that the first produce usually have the secondary as a consequence, thus generating more damage even or for a longer period of time.

Pollution both primary and secondary is one of the environmental challenges of the modern world, since its presence and its effects have increased since the emergence of human industrial society, whose uncontrolled growth and energy needs, raw materials and complex chemicals leaves an important toxic footprint in the world.

In addition: Pollution.

  1. Examples of primary pollutants

Lead is one of the main primary pollutants of water and air.

Some examples of primary pollutants are:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) . Produced by the combustion of fossil hydrocarbons, this highly toxic gas is released directly into the atmosphere by the escapes of motor vehicles.
  • Radioactive waste Atomically unstable chemicals, such as plutonium resulting from fission of uranium in nuclear power plants, have a long half-life during which they emit energy discharges capable of altering the DNA of living things and causing disease.
  • Sulfur oxides (SO x ) . Product of the chemical industry, these sulfated compounds are often discarded in the waters of lakes and seas, where they modify the pH of the liquid and unbalance the nutrient count of certain aquatic microorganisms, which when supercharged proliferate too much and break the balance of the food chain.
  • Lead (Pb) . Lead is one of the main primary pollutants of water and air. This element is produced in the combustion of hydrocarbons and thrown into the air in the form of an aerosol (suspended solid particles), and thus pollutes the air and water, as it is carried away by rain.
  • Chlorofluorocarbonates (CFC) . These gaseous compounds were frequent in aerosols and refrigeration systems, until the impact they had on the ozone layer was discovered. When released, these mixtures of carbon, chlorine and fluorine whose half-life ranges between 50 and 100 years, react with oxygen in the atmosphere destroying the unstable molecule of ozone (O 3 ) and leaving us exposed to direct solar radiation.
  1. Examples of secondary contaminants

Some examples of secondary contaminants are:

  • Sulfuric acid (H 2 SO 4 ) . As a result of the reaction in the atmosphere of water vapor (H 2 O) and sulfur-rich gases discharged as an industrial by-product, this acid rushes to the ground along with the rain, forming what is called a It rains acid and causing damage to all the organic matter that is exposed to it.
  • Ozone (O 3 ) . Although in certain regions of the atmosphere ozone exists naturally and harmlessly, in other regions of the atmosphere it can become an extremely toxic and harmful element, which arises by photolysis of Nitrogen oxides discharged into the atmosphere by heating and other urban systems. The result, when these oxides come into contact with ultraviolet radiation, is the separation of their elements and the interruption of their degradation cycle, becoming ozone and free radicals, which form the photochemical smog .
  • Methane (CH 4 ) . In many cases methane counts as a secondary pollutant, since it originates from the decomposition of organic matter, which is very abundant in garbage dumps or in rural areas of livestock farming ( by the stool of the flock). This disgusting and highly flammable odor gas then rises to the atmosphere, where it accumulates causing the greenhouse effect.
  • Peroxyacetylnitrate (PAN) . This highly stinging compound for the eyes and lungs, and capable of damaging plants by prolonged exposure, is one of the main components of urban smog. It is produced from the decomposition in the air of volatile organic compounds, such as those used in paints and liquid petroleum derivatives.
  • Biological contamination The excessive presence of nitrates and other fertilizers used in the agricultural industry in wastewater that eventually goes to the sea, introduces an excess of nutrients into the marine ecosystem that causes certain species of aquatic algae to proliferate. Surpassing their natural predators in population, these algae proliferate in disorder and end up competing with each other and dying for tons, going to rot on the beaches.

Interesting Articles

Goal

Goal

We explain what a goal is, its main characteristics and the types that exist. In addition, its difference with an objective and several examples. A goal is that which we hope to achieve through a specific procedure. What is a goal? A `` goal '' or `` end '' is the expected or imagined result of a system, an action or a trajectory , that is, what we hope to obtain or achieve through a specific procedure

Nutrition

Nutrition

We explain to you what nutrition is and what healthy eating implies. In addition, the types of nutrition and the most common diseases. Good nutrition can avoid or relieve many common diseases. What is nutrition? Nutrition refers to the action of taking advantage of nutrients obtained from food . It is a biological process through which the nutrients that our body needs for the proper growth and development of vital functions are absorbed from food and liquids

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Electromagnetic Spectrum

We explain to you what the electromagnetic spectrum is, in which regions it is divided, what it is used for and how it was discovered. The electromagnetic spectrum can be divided into regions according to their wavelength. What is the electromagnetic spectrum? The electromagnetic spectrum is the total range of all electromagnetic radiation

Principle of conservation of energy

Principle of conservation of energy

We explain to you what is the Principle of conservation of energy, how it works and some practical examples of this physical law. add What is the Principle of energy conservation? The principle of conservation of energy or Law of conservation of energy , also known as the first principle of thermodynamics, states that the total amount of energy In an isolated physical system (that is, without any interaction with other systems) it will always remain the same, except when it is transformed into other types of energy

Frequency

Frequency

We explain what a frequency is and what is the way to measure this magnitude. In addition, the different meanings of this term. Frequency must be measured by hertz. What is frequency? The frequency is a magnitude that measures the number of repetitions an event can have per unit of time. The SI (International System of Units), which is the system of units used by most countries in the world, says that the frequency must be measured by hertz (Hz)

Renaissance

Renaissance

We explain what the Renaissance is, the cultural movement that took place in the 15th and 16th centuries. Architecture, painting, sculpture, music. The artists were internalized in portrait and perspective techniques. What is Renaissance? The Renaissance is a cultural movement characterized by a return to the ideas and cultural ideals of ancient Greece and Rome