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Author Topic: ENVIRONMENT @ Society and Environment  (Read 723 times)

October 05, 2009, 07:44:45 AM
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1.1 Give most suitable definitions of "environment" and "environmental pollution". What is a pollutant as defined by the Government of India in its Environmental Protection Act (1986)?

Ans :
Earth is the only planet where other living beings have evolved because of the availability of all the ingredients such as air, water, food, energy, etc., which are essential for life. These together constitute the environment. The environment can be defined as one's surroundings

Environmental pollution may be broadly defined as "adding to the environment a potentially hazardous substance or source of energy faster than the rate at which the environment can accommodate it". Alternately, environmental pollution may also be defined as:

"An undesirable change in physical, chemical or biological
characteristics of air, water and land that may be or will be
harmful to human life and other living organisms, living
conditions, industrial progress and cultural assets and will
deteriorate raw material resources".

 In brief, one may define the environmental pollution as "an unfavourable alteration of environment largely as a result of human activities".

        A pollutant is a substance that affects adversely or alters the environment by changing the growth rate of species, interferes with the food chain, health, comfort and amenities of the people and is toxic. In the Environment Protection Act (1986), passed by the Government of India, an environmental pollutant is defined as :

"Any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such con-
centration as may be or tends to be injurious to the environment
and the environmental pollution means the presence in the
environment of any environmental pollutant".

1.2 Write brief notes on atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere.

Ans :  
The global environment consists of atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere in which the life-sustaining resources of the earth are contained. The atmosphere, which is a mixture of various gases (mainly nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour) extending outward from the surface of the
earth, evolved from the elements of the earth that were gasified during its formation. The hydrosphere consists of oceans, lakes and streams and shallow ground water bodies. The lithosphere, on the other hand, is the soil mantle that wraps the core of the earth. (The biosphere, a thin layer that encapsulates (enclose in) the earth, is made up of atmosphere and lithosphere adjacent to the surface of the earth, together with hydrosphere It is within the biosphere that all the life-forms of earth live. Life-sustaining materials in solid, liquid and gaseous forms are cycled through biosphere, giving sustenance to all the living organisms. Life-sustaining resources, air, water and food, are withdrawn from the biosphere.

1.3  State air pollution as defined by the W.H.O. List the major causes of air pollution.

Ans :
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined air pollution as "the presence
of materials in the air in such concentration which are harmful to man and his environment". In addition to industries, there are various other  sources of air pollution in India, e.g., domestic combustion of low-grade fuels, fine dusts contributed by the deserts and other open and dry fields and human activities causing heavy pollution of the urban air (with suspended particulate matters and exhaust from motor vehicles). The main pollutants of air are carbon monoxide sulphur dioxide,oxides of nitrogen,carbon dioxide and particulates.Air pollution affects growth,living and  life of   humans, plants, organisms and all other living beings.

1.4 What are the major sources of water pollution ? Explain in brief.

Ans :
   Water pollution may be defined as "the addition of substances (organic, inorganic, biological or radiological) or factors (e.g., heat) which degrade the quality of water so that either it becomes a health hazard or unfit for use”

The major sources of water pollution are:

 (1) Domestic.
 (2) Industrial wastes.
 (3) agricultural chemical
 (4)  Excess heat (from nuclear power plants, for example) -
(5)   Oil spills (from tankers or coastal oil wells).

1.5  Explain in brief the environmental ethic.

Ans :
The word "ethic" is derived from the Greek work "ethos", which means the character of a person as defined by his actions. This character has been developed during the evolutionary process and has been influenced by the need for adopting to the environment. The "ethic", in short governs our way of doing things and this is a direct result of our environment. Ecology and economics are on a collision course now. The conflict between the ecologists and economists has been aptly summarized by Kenneth Boulding:

"Ecology is uneconomic.
But with another kind of logic, Economy is unecologic".

In the ecological context, maladaptation to the environment by an organism results in two options:

(1)  The organism dies out or
(2)  The organism evolves to a form and character where it is once again compatible with the environment.

    The acceptable option is one in which we must learn to share, in an equitable manner, our vast but finite natural resources to regain a balance. This requires that our needs be reduced and that the materials that we do use must be replenishable. The recognition of the need for such adaptation as a means of survival has developed into what we now call the "environmental ethic". The birth of environmental ethic as a force is partly a result of our concern for our own long-term survival, as well as our realization that
humans are but one form of life and that we should share our earth with our fellow travelers. Environmental ethic is not a religion since it is based not only on faith, but also on hard facts and through analysis. The environmental ethic is very new and none of the doctrine is cast in immutable decrees and dogmas. Education of the public to environmental problems and solutions is of prime importance.

1.5 Explain the role of an Environmental Engineer.

Ans :
As pollutants enter air, water or soil, natural processes such as dilution, biodegradation and chemical reactions convert waste materials to more acceptable forms and disperse them through a larger volume. However, these natural processes can no longer perform the clean-up alone due to the enormous amount of wastes generated now. The waste treatment facilities designed by the environmental engineer are mostly based on the principles of self-cleansing observed in nature, but the engineered processes amplify
and optimize the operations observed in nature to handle larger volumes of pollutants and to treat them more rapidly. Environmental engineers adapt the principles of natural mechanisms to engineered systems for pollution control when : (1) they construct tall stacks to disperse and dilute air pollutants, (2) design biological treatment facilities for the removal of organic materials from waste water, (3) use chemicals to oxidize and precipitate iron and manganese in drinking water supplies, or (4) bury solid wastes in sanitary land-fill operations. Occasionally, the environmental engineer must also design to counteract or even reverse natural processes

(Objective/Short Type)

1.6   List major four natural needs of mankind.
Ans :
Human beings used natural resources  are air, water, food and shelter.

1.7   List major four acquired needs of mankind.
Ans :
   acquired needs  :  automobiles, appliances, processed food and beverage

1.8   A pollutant may be:
(a)  Biodegradable                       (b)  Toxic
(c)  Only (b)                                    (d)  Both.

1.10 Match the following:

(A) Agricultural wastes  -   D                 (a) Air pollution
(B)  Catalytic converter   -  A                  (b)  Motor vehicles
(C)  Incinerators             -   B                  (c) Nonbiodegradable
(D) Pesticides                -    C                  (d) Soil pollution

1.11   Name the odd ones:
(a)  Poverty                                  (b)  Economic growth
(c)  Population                             (d)  Pollution.

1.12   Fill up the blanks :

The global environment consists of ____________ ,  hydrosphere and lithosphere.

                                             The end
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 04:00:00 AM by Guest »


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