To: Professor MacBride
From: Steven Sklyarevskiy
Date: April 15, 2013
Re: Annotated Bibliography
1. Pearce, J.L., S. Rathbun, G. Achtemeier, and L.P. Naeher. “Effect of distance, meteorology, and burn attributes on ground-level particulate matter emissions from prescribed fires.” Atmospheric Environment 56 (2012): 203-211. sciencedirect.com.
From 2003 to 2007, experiments were conducted to understand the effects that particulate matter, specifically PM2.5, had on air quality. The study observed prescribed burns, a process which entails the controlled burning of specific land as an important part of forest management. The study took into account many factors including burn duration, burn size, mode of ignition, and regional background PM2.5. The study was done primarily to see the affected range of the smoke polluted by these burns and the results pointed to weather being an important part of the process. Depending on the wind and other climate factors, the smoke spread further affecting the firemen controlling the fire, locations near the burning area, and long range exposure to the environment.
I would like to use the information collected in this study to show the reader that pollution is not limited to trucks and factories. Furthermore, it helps my entire paper by showing the affects of particulate matter and the steps that can be taken to mitigate the consequences. Lastly, I would like to apply the methods used in the study to show the range that would be affected by New York City’s pollution with given specific climates. Just as the issue of sending waste to neighboring states is an issue with waste management, such is the process of burdening nearby cities and states with New York City pollution.
2. Toth, Pal, Arpad Palotas, Eric Eddings, Ross Whitaker, and JoAnn Lighty. “A novel framework for the quantitative analysis of high resolution transmission electron micrographs of soot I. Improved measurement of interlayer spacing.”Combustion and Flame 160, no. 5 (2013): 909-919. sciencedirect.com.
What is soot anyway? Most people either do not know what soot actually is or have a rudimentary understanding of it. This journal explains what particulate matter is and more importantly the differences between different size particles. The journal also provides information about PM2.5 filters and their effectiveness. It explains how light spectrums can be used to filter certain components such as ammonium sulfate, hematite, goethite, and magnetite from the raw exhaust referred to as black carbon. These spectral filters can distinguish particulate matter from different sources such as cigarette smoke or diesel exhaust. The process uses a machine called a smoke screen reflectometer which shines light into smoke and can identify particles and density by observing transparency and reflective properties of the black carbon.
The information I gather from this journal will establish a base knowledge of black carbon and particulate matter so that the rest of my information will make sense. It is important that this information be given at the beginning of the paper but I will likely separate the technology and mention it later in the paper. The technology introduced in the journal will show the reader some current progress being made and the effects that it will have on future disposal of black carbon. I intend the paper to start off neutral, shift to a negative portrayal of particulate matter, and finish with an optimistic outlook on how it can be improved.
3. Patel, Moloni, Steven Chillrud, K.C. Deepti, James Ross, and Patrick Kinney. “Traffic-related air pollutants and exhaled markers of airway inflammation and oxidative stress in New York City adolescents.” Environmental Research121 (2013): 71-78. sciencedirect.com
This journal reveals studies done that show the effect of New York City air, heavily polluted by diesel fuel emissions, on both asthmatic and non-asthmatic children. The researchers would observe fluctuations in the air quality and the affect it had on the children at that time. They gathered air quality information from the air near schools and from the closest central air monitoring sites. They observed the children by collecting exhaled breath and hypothesized that all children would be affected but that asthmatics would have worse reactions. They found that both asthmatic and non-asthmatic children reacted negatively to the changes in the air: decreases in pH of exhaled air during increases of black carbon in the air and increased nitrogen dioxide causing oxidative stress. However, they were surprised to find that there was no observable difference between the effects on asthmatic and non-asthmatic children.
Not only does this journal tie the entire issue of particulate matter to New York City but it will also be one of my prime examples of the direct effects of pollution. This will help the reader understand why pollution of particulate matter is important to learn about and change because even though this was an experiment, the researchers only observed what already happens on a daily basis. This information will be presented after the reader has become acquainted with particulate matter and other air pollutants. It will be presented in tandem with sources that underscore the effects of particulate matter on the environment so that the scope of the problem can be seen.
4. Bahadur, Ranjit, Yan Feng, Lynn Russell, and V. Ramanathan. “Impact of California’s air pollution laws on black carbon and their implications for direct radiative forcing.” Atmospheric Environment 45, no. 5 (2011): 1162-1167. sciencedirect.com (accessed April 12, 2013).
California has some of the worst air quality in the entire United States and has enacted laws in recent years to combat pollution. Researchers used the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) network to observe air quality for the past 20 years. Ever since the California Heavy Truck rule enacted in 1987, which capped diesel emissions at 0.60 g BHP−1 h−1, the amount of black carbon released into the atmosphere has fallen around 50% in the passed 20 years. Although there was a severe drop in black carbon in the air, the concentration of aerosols such as nitrate and sulfate remained relatively unchanged.
The section of the research paper where this information will be used will be a presentation and dissection of air control policies enacted by both state and federal bodies. I will present the laws, give a small background and set goals for the law, and the recorded outcome. This will help show what programs and laws are effective and ineffective in dealing with particulate matter pollution. The information from this journal also proves the idea that the vast majority of black carbon and particulate matter is polluted via diesel fueled trucks and factories. I hope to find health studies that cover the same time span as this study to see if the decrease in black carbon emissions had a noticeable effect on the welfare of the people of California.
5. Chang, Hannah. “Domestic Mitigation of Black Carbon From Diesel Emissions.”Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 41, no. 2 (2011): 10126-10135. proquest.com/pais (accessed April 12, 2013).
One of the primary ways that the Environmental Protection Agency regulates black carbon, among other emissions, is through the establishment of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act. The standards have changed many times in the past decades to include smaller and smaller particulate matter sizes. The report lists powers and actions taken by the EPA including emission caps on newly built diesel engines and encouraging voluntary control policies for existing diesel engines. Among actions taken at a national level, the report also addresses actions taken by the United Nations to spread awareness and mitigate the effects of black carbon emissions. For example, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Copenhagen in December 2009 established the Safe Access to Firewood and Alternative Energy in Humanitarian Settings project, which continues to distribute fuel-efficient stoves in developing countries.
The legal component of pollution is one of the main pillars of the essay. The information in this study will be in the closing pages of this research paper and will give the reader some security that steps are being taken to fight particulate matter emissions. I will be sure to make note of national and international plans that have been effective as well as some that have failed. The end of the paper will describe plans that have been enacted in the past few years that have no yet yielded results and will be open-ended so that the reader can use information gained in the paper to evaluate these plans and decide on their effectiveness. Hopefully, this new insight and opinions will spark a willingness to participate in pollution politics and information regarding how to go about that will be included in the conclusion.