By David E. Newton
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Additional resources for Chemistry of the Environment
The sulfur content of both coal and oil ranges from less than 1 percent to more than 7 percent, although refined petroleum tends to have lower concentrations of sulfur than do most forms of coal. 001 percent. The concentrations of sulfur dioxide both emitted into the air and measured at monitoring stations have decreased significantly over the past two decades. 6 million short tons (16 million metric tons) in 2001. The largest decrease during this period occurred between 1992 and 2001, when the amount of sulfur dioxide released annually dropped by about a quarter.
For example, 1,3-butadiene is an important raw material in the manufacture of synthetic rubber: During manufacture small amounts of the chemical escape into the air. Formaldehyde is a raw material used in the manufacture of a variety of building materials, such as phenol-formaldehyde and melamine resins. Many household products, such as cleaning products, varnishes, waxes, paints, and organic solvents, contain VOCs, which vaporize and escape easily into the atmosphere when they are used. For this reason, VOCs often build up indoors.
But it accomplished a great deal more than that. It created a social and political environment in which concerns about the purity and safety of the nation’s water, air, and other natural resources were to have an important federal and state focus. It would never again be possible for any public official to say with impunity that environmental quality was not a topic of concern to him or her. Today, virtually every elected official and bureaucrat is likely to be on board the “environmental bandwagon” created in the 1960s and 1970s.
Chemistry of the Environment by David E. Newton