Sure, you're worried about the exam right now. But learning is always the key, especially when the topic is one that's related to both your personal health and to that of our planet. Besides, the environmental question on the exam is always the biggest surprise, so review everything from this table!

Environmental Chemistry In a Nutshell


Principal Source

Form of Pollution

Impact on Health/Environment



metal ores, heating oil

acidic precipitation(rain, snow)

worsens lung disease, kills fish, trees, corrodes statues

forms sulfuric acid (H2SO4)


gasoline engines

acidic precipitation and smog

same as above

forms nitric acid (H2NO3) and leads to PANS(smog chemicals)


gasoline engines, furnaces

air pollution

headaches, nausea

binds to hemoglobin in blood


burning gas, gasoline, coal, deforestation

global warming

affects agriculture, causes flooding

absorbs IR; prevents it from escaping from atmosphere


bovine flatulence

global warming

same as above

same as above

CFC's (freons)

refrigerators, air conditioners

ozone depletion

skin cancer

Cl attacks ozone and is then recycled, esp in colder areas.

radioactive waste

nuclear power plants

soil, water and air pollution


radiation attacks DNA

Pb, Cd, Hg, As

industrial waste, batteries, treated wood

soil, water pollution

attacks brain or cancer-causing(arsenic)


Relatively Harmless Technologies