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Questions tagged [pollution]

any addition of harmful substances or products in the environment (air, water, soil or food). For questions specifically about [air-polution], [greenhouse-gas-emissions] or [toxic-chemicals] please use those tags.

6
votes
2answers
232 views

Which consumes more carbon dioxide: a fully grown forest or a newly planted one that is growing?

I was talking to some friends and one of them claims that it is more efficient to combat global warming by cutting the trees and replanting them because a growing forest consumes more CO2. (Firstly, a ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Comparing train station pollution with smoking

A research done in my city's main train station showed 400,000 UFP particles per cubic centimetre. I am looking into printing pamphlets and wanted to inquire how does spending half an hour in a 400,...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

How do I get rid of numerous small pieces of charcoal?

There's a small piece of land used for burning tree branches on bonfire (because that's the easiest way to get rid of them). Most of the material gets burnt to ashes but some of it only turns into ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Dealing with waste in countries without waste management infrastructure

In previously sustainable countries, westernization brings unmanageable waste: We get flooded with plastic but don't even have garbage collection. Apparently the result is that 40% of the world's ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

How can we all together clean up the vast plastic carpets in our oceans? [closed]

It is mind-boggling to me that there is still so much plastic out in our oceans, floating around for years and ever growing and nothing is being done about it. Governments should work together, ...
4
votes
0answers
390 views

Ammoniacal Nitrogen (NH3-N) test and sources of ammonia in natural bodies of water

One parameter that's involved in water quality assessment is ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N), a measure of ammonia. Where does ammonia come from in natural water sources, such as a river? What factor ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

For the exactly same income, does a person pollutes more when living in a big city or in a small town? [duplicate]

I had a recent argument with a coworker (we are both engineers) that the amount of pollution (trash+water+air) generated by a person increases with the person's income (we both agreed on that) but my ...
5
votes
3answers
147 views

For the exactly same income, does a person pollute more when living in a big city or in a small town?

I had a recent argument with a coworker (we are both engineers) that the amount of pollution generated by a person increases with the person's income (we both agreed on that)... but my coworker ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Dishwasher or paper plates: which are worse?

After running the dishwasher last night it struck he how much energy it must consume: from heating large amounts of water to the motorized pumps and spinners to the heated plate drying. Then there's ...
7
votes
1answer
469 views

Types and quantities of air pollutants by fuel, per kWh, for electricity generation?

An often repeated claim is that transitioning from coal to natural gas reduces air pollution... but what pollutants? and by how much? how is the potential reduction calculated? While natural gas (...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Soot from factories?

If soot was filtered from power plants, are there any trees or plants that would love to grow in it if mixed in the soil, if it is a sulfur substance? Could it also be filtered and used in the ...
6
votes
1answer
274 views

Are The Great Lakes Getting Cleaner or Worse?

I live in Hamilton Ontario which a major city right on the shore of Lake Ontario, and I was just doing some personal research on the pollution levels in lake Ontario. Generally the water here has a ...
-5
votes
2answers
101 views

Does the CFC-kills-ozone hypothesis have any validity? [closed]

Was Mount Erebus shooting thousands of tons of chlorine per day into the upper atmosphere and over to Anatartica in the 70s with no effect in the ozone layer? Was this problem ever explained away? ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

Any sustainability difference between anionic/cationic/nonionic detergents?

Are any of these three types of detergents more or less damaging to manufacture and/or use or dispose of than the others? I realise these are rather broad classes, but this is usually the only detail ...
6
votes
3answers
88 views

Why refrigerant cooler is more popular than evaporative cooler?

When I look at how houses/offices are cooled in my area I see that refrigerant cooler is far more popular than evaporative cooler. I did not find any company which serves evaporative cooler services/...
7
votes
3answers
489 views

What measures could be taken to decrease the air pollution in a big city?

I live in Madrid, where like in most big cities there is a high level of air pollution, especially due to the traffic. The levels of pollution reached the maximum allowable level a couple of months ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

How do leaves trap or block particulate pollution?

This article talks about how urban trees reduce particulate pollution. In particular, a study showed that a row of trees in front of houses reduced the level of pollution detected in the houses. ...
5
votes
2answers
83 views

Is using copper for gutters and roofs a sustainable choice?

I see with some high end housing construction the use of copper for gutters and drain pipes as well as roofs and flashing. Is using copper where it will be exposed to water runoff from rain a good ...
7
votes
2answers
94 views

Curbing non-exhaust (non-tailpipe) transport emissions of particulates

Small particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5) is a nasty pollutant that is prevalent in a lot of cities. Some of these emissions come from exhausts (tailpipes); regulation has spurred on technological ...
6
votes
1answer
454 views

Does burning used motor oil to generate heat on-site have a lower impact than sending it for recycling?

The service station next to my office saves the used oil from oil changes to burn in a special heater in the colder months. It is my understanding that used motor oil can be recycled in a number of ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

From a sustainability perspective, what is a method by which a city can set priorities regarding pollution? [closed]

From a sustainability perspective, what is a method by which a city can set priorities regarding pollution. In other words, which pollutants are the most important to reduce. So many pollutants are ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

How safe it is to produce, use, and dispose of PVC?

Environmental benefits of PVC are touted on what appears to be an industry funded website but there is also some serious criticism of PVC claiming that the manufacture produces dioxin and that ...
2
votes
4answers
398 views

What are the steps needed to fix Harbin's smog problem?

Harbin is a north-eastern Chinese city famous for its toxic smog. The smog has been caused by a combination of the weather, stubble being burnt in fields, coal being burnt for the municipal heating ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it good to decompose plastic waste by burning?

Most of the people say its not good to decompose plastic materials by burning, but anyway it has to be decomposed after its use. Is it safe to burn plastics? If not how can we decompose plastic ...
7
votes
3answers
162 views

Should municipalities consider rain barrels to be suitable substitutes for rain gardens? (Rain barrel vs rain garden)

My county requires rainwater management to be incorporated into lot plans for new construction if a certain percentage of the lot is impervious. This seems a sensible measure. We are under the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and NOx vary by city and within cities?

What would a well ventilated port city such as Honolulu, Hawaii, USA have for the concentrations (in parts per million) of CO2 or NOx, compared to a city like Linfen, China which is the site of a ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Studies show that toxic flame retardants in foam cushions pollute our living environments. Does this include memory foam?

I have a memory foam mattress and I've read studies** which have found flame retardants such as PBDEs (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and "chlorinated Tris" (TDCPP is one of number of chlorinated ...
11
votes
2answers
119 views

Cleaner alternatives to gear and chain oils

I use generic gear oil to lubricate my motorcycle’s chain. I have a modern fuel-injected machine, so the chain is the only source of storm-water pollution I can think of. I try to use as little oil as ...
35
votes
10answers
73k views

Which tree consumes most carbon dioxide and poisonous gases?

I want to suggest to a gardener to plant trees for reducing pollution and poisonous gases emitted from a factory. Which species is preferable to plant in the area around the factory?
12
votes
2answers
85 views

Small scale deployment of the ocean cleanup project

The Ocean Cleanup Project aims to collect floating plastic from the oceans. By having static "sea water processors" filter the water. Are there any existing small scale deployments of this idea, i.e ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

How “clean” is this Ohio State clean coal technology?

Much is being made of the clean coal breakthrough announced at Ohio State this week. The effort utilizes an innovative process called "chemical looping." Typical coal-fired power plants burn coal ...
12
votes
1answer
391 views

What's a sustainable way to stain and protect wood?

What substances can I find to stain and protect wood that are produced without serious pollution and can be disposed of safely?
8
votes
1answer
140 views

Are there meaningful ways to offset greenhouse-gas emissions through carbon offset schemes?

There are various schemes offering carbon offsets. What attributes would make such a scheme meaningful? That is, where would my additional money into the scheme lead to lower global emissions than ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

What is a sustainable way of removing oil stains from my concrete driveway?

Yes, I know that having a car is unsustainable, but nevertheless I'm interested in the most sustainable way to remove an oil stain from my driveway. Unsustainable suggestions I've had include using ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

How are pollution and sustainability related?

In discussing "green" policies, the words "sustainability" and "pollution" are occasionally mixed together, as if they were antonyms. My gut feeling is that something that is polluting is by ...