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Discipline: Environmental science

Question topic: Photochemical Smog

Source: Originais Teachy

Level of difficulty: Easy

(Originais Teachy 2023) - Question Easy of Environmental science

On a hot summer day in a bustling city, the mix of sunlight, car exhaust, and industry emissions creates a visible haze over the cityscape. This phenomenon is known as photochemical smog. Understanding its formation requires knowledge of how sunlight reacts with pollutants like nitrogen oxides. Based on these reactions, what are the possible health and environmental consequences of prolonged exposure to photochemical smog? And, how would you suggest measures to mitigate these effects?
a.
The possible health consequences of prolonged exposure to photochemical smog include respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. It can also lead to eye irritation, reduced immune system function, and in extreme cases, premature death due to lung diseases. From an environmental perspective, photochemical smog can have detrimental effects on the ecosystem, damaging crops, trees, and other vegetation, and harming animals, particularly those in aquatic ecosystems.
b.
Prolonged exposure to photochemical smog can lead to skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, and can cause the extinction of certain bird species.
c.
The health consequences of prolonged exposure to photochemical smog are minimal and mostly include mild allergies. From an environmental perspective, it can enhance the growth of certain plants.
d.
Exposure to photochemical smog can lead to digestive problems and malnutrition. It can also cause soil erosion and desertification.
e.
The health consequences of prolonged exposure to photochemical smog include cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. From an environmental perspective, it can lead to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Answer:

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Photochemical Smog
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The city of Los Angeles, known for its sunny climate, is unfortunately also known for its high levels of photochemical smog. This type of pollution results from a reaction between sunlight and pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Considering the principles of Environmental Science and the factors contributing to the formation of photochemical smog, what could be the long-term effects of continuous exposure to this type of pollution on the health of Los Angeles' residents and the city's overall ecosystem? Additionally, how would you suggest the city authorities mitigate the impact of photochemical smog?
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