3rd Edition

The Science of Environmental Pollution

ISBN 9781138626607
Published July 11, 2017 by CRC Press
469 Pages 73 B/W Illustrations

USD $190.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This new edition of The Science of Environmental Pollution presents common-sense approaches and practical examples based on scientific principles, models, and observations, but keeps the text lively and understandable for scientists and non-scientists alike. It addresses the important questions regarding environmental pollution: What is it? What is its impact? What are the causes and how can we mitigate them? But more than this, it stimulates new ways to think about the issues and their possible solutions.

This third edition has been updated throughout, and contains new information on endocrine disruptors in drinking water, contaminated sediments in surface waters, hydraulic fracturing wastewater, and more. Also, it will include new case studies, examples, and study questions.

Environmental issues continue to attract attention at all levels. Some sources say that pollution is the direct cause of climate change; others deny that the possibility even exists. This text sorts through the hyperbole, providing concepts and guidelines that not only aid in understanding the issues, but equip readers with the scientific rationale required to make informed decisions.

Table of Contents

Section I Introduction

Chapter 1 Pollution: What Is It?

Introduction: Deep and Gloomy Woods

Pollution Defined

Key Terms

Pollution: Effects Often Easy to See, Feel, Taste, or Smell

Preventing Pollution

Pollution and Environmental Science/Health

A Different Approach

Environmental Pollution and Technology: The Connection

Environmental Degradation

The Good Life

Science and Technology Offer Solutions

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 2 Pollution Science Fundamentals


Biogeochemical Cycles

Carbon Cycle

Nitrogen Cycle

Phosphorus Cycle

Sulfur Cycle

Energy Flow Through an Ecosystem and the Biosphere

Materials Balance

Energy Flow in the Biosphere

Energy Flow in the Ecosystem

Units of Measurement

Units of Mass

Units of Length

Units of Volume

Units of Temperature

Units of Pressure

Units Often Used in Environmental Pollution Studies


Gases or Vapors

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 3 Global Pollution: The Problem


Global Interdependence

Global Pollution Problems: Causal Factors

Frontier Mentality

Population Growth


Development and Soil Degradation

Development and Fresh Water Degradation

Development and Atmospheric Air Degradation

Pollution and Global Environmental Degradation

So, What Is the Answer?

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 4 Sources of Pollution

A Historical Perspective


Natural Pollutants

Pollutant Terminology

Pollutant-Related Terms Defined

Soil, Water, and Air Pollution: The Interface

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Section II Air

Chapter 5 Air


All About Air

Characteristics and Properties of the Components of Air

Atmospheric Nitrogen

Physical Properties of Nitrogen

Uses for Nitrogen

Nitrogen Oxides

Atmospheric Oxygen

Physical Properties of Oxygen

Uses for Oxygen

Ozone: Just Another Form of Oxygen

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Physical Properties of Carbon Dioxide

Uses for Carbon Dioxide

Atmospheric Argon

Physical Properties of Argon

Uses for Argon

Atmospheric Neon

Physical Properties of Neon

Uses for Neon

Atmospheric Krypton

Physical Properties of Krypton

Uses for Krypton

Atmospheric Helium

Physical Properties for Helium

Atmospheric Xenon

Physical Properties of Xenon

Uses for Xenon

Atmospheric Hydrogen

Physical Properties of Hydrogen

Uses for Hydrogen

Atmospheric Water

Atmospheric Particulate Matter

Air for Combustion

Air for Power

Stratification of the Atmosphere

Physical Properties and Dynamics of Air

Force, Weight, and Mass


Work and Energy

Diffusion and Dispersion


Gas Laws

Boyle’s Law

Charles’s Law

Ideal Gas Law

Flow Rate

Gas Conversions

Major Constituents

Both Major and Minor Constituents

Minor Constituents

Gas Velocity

Gas Stream Treatment (Residence) Time

Gas Density

Heat Capacity and Enthalpy

Heat and Energy in the Atmosphere

Adiabatic Lapse Rate


Flow Characteristics

Particle Physics

Characteristics of Particles

Surface Area and Volume

Aerodynamic Diameter

Particle Size Categories

Regulated Particulate Matter Categories

Size Distribution

Particle Formation

Physical Attrition

Combustion Particle Burnout

Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Nucleation

Droplet Evaporation

Collection Mechanisms

Inertial Impaction and Interception

Brownian Diffusion

Gravitational Settling

Electrostatic Attraction



Atmospheric Dispersion, Transformation, and Deposition





Temperature Inversions

Plume Rise


Dispersion Models

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 6 Air Pollution

Yurk and Smilodon


Types and Sources of Air Pollutants

Criteria Air Pollutants

Sulfur Dioxide

Nitrogen Oxides

Carbon Monoxide

Particulate Matter

Lead Particulates

Ozone (O3)

Deposition of Pollutants in the Atmosphere

Problems of Atmospheric Pollution

Acid Deposition

Smog Formation

Stratosphere Ozone Depletion

Climate Change

The Past

A Time of Ice

Back to the Ice Ages

Warm Winter

Global Warming


Global Dimming


Roadway Air Pollution

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 7 Air Pollution Monitoring, Sampling, and Remediation

Air Monitoring and Sampling

Air Sample Volume

Limit of Detection

Limit of Quantification

Precision, Accuracy, and Bias

Calibration Requirements

Types of Air Sampling

Analytical Methods for Sampling Gases and Vapors

Air Monitoring vs. Air Sampling

Air Sampling Principles

Sampling for Airborne Particulates


Duration of Exposure

Particle Size

Stokes’s Law

Airborne Dust Concentration

Particulate Collection

Analysis of Particulates

Health and Environmental Impacts of Particulates

Control of Particulates

Air Sampling for Gases and Vapors

Gas Laws

Types of Air Samples

Methods of Sampling

Air Sampling Collection Processes

Calibration of Air Sampling Equipment

Direct-Reading Instruments for Air Sampling

Direct-Reading Physical Instruments

Direct-Reading Colorimetric Devices

Calibration of Direct-Reading Instruments

Air Sampling Calculations

Gram Molecular Volumes

Sample Conversions and Calculations Using Boyle’s Law

Sampling Conversions and Calculations Using Charles’s Law

Sample Conversions and Calculations Using

Boyle’sLaw and Charles’s Law Combined

Practical Application of Gas Laws

Air Pollution Remediation

Pollution Prevention

Reducing Air Emissions

Clearing the Air

Air Pollution Control: Choices

Air Pollution Control Equipment and Systems

Removal of Dry Particulate Matter

Particulate Matter

Air Pollution Control Equipment for Particulates

Gravity Settlers

Cyclone Collectors

Electrostatic Precipitators

Wet (Venturi) Scrubbers

Baghouse (Fabric) Filters

Removal of Gaseous Pollutants: Stationary Sources





Direct-Flame Combustion (Flaring)

Thermal Combustion (Afterburners)

Catalytic Combustion

Removal of Gaseous Pollutants: Mobile Sources

Control of Crankcase Emissions

Control of Evaporative Emissions

Catalytic Converters

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 8 Indoor Air Quality and Mold Control


What Is Indoor Air Quality?

Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important to Workplace Owners?

Worker Symptoms Associated with Poor Air Quality

Workplace Building-Associated Illnesses

Sick Building Syndrome

Building-Related Illness

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Building Factors Affecting Indoor Air Quality

Factors Affecting Indoor Climate

Factors Affecting Indoor Air Pollution

Types of Pollutants

Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants

Indoor Contaminant Transport

Common Airflow Pathways


Major Indoor Air Quality Contaminants

Asbestos Exposure

Permissible Exposure Limits

Exposure Monitoring

Competent Person

Regulated Areas

Methods of Compliance



Protective Clothing



Hygience Facilities and Practices

Medical Exams

Silica Exposure

Silica Exposure During Hydraulic Fracturing

Guidelines for Control of Occupational Exposure to Silica

Formaldehyde Exposure

Lead Exposure

Health Effects of Lead

Lead Standard Definitions

Worker Lead Protection Program

Mold Control

Mold Prevention

Mold Remediation

Mold Cleanup Methods

Checklist for Mold Remediation

Indoor Air Quality Equations

Percentage of Outside Air in the Air Supply

Outdoor Air Volume Flow Rate

Air Changes per Hour, Outdoor Air

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Section III Water

Chapter 9 Water

Water: Earth’s Blood

Water: Facts and Prose

Water: The Basics

How Special, Strange, and Different Is Water?

Characteristics of Water

Inflammable Air + Vital Air = Water

Just Two H’s and One O

Somewhere between 0° and 105°

Physical Properties of Water

Capillary Action

Water Cycle

Specific Water Movements

Q and Q Factors

Sources of Water


Multiple-Barrier Concept of Protection

Watershed Management

Water Quality Impacts

Watershed Protection and Regulations

Watershed Protection Plans

Reservoir Management Practices

Potable Water

What Is Potable Water?

Key Definitions

Surface Water and Groundwater Sources

Location! Location! Location!

How Readily Available Is Potable Water?

Surface Water as a Source of Potable Water

Advantages and Disadvantages of Surface Water

Surface Water Hydrology

Raw Water Storage

Surface Water Quality



Aquifer Systems


Confining Unit

Types of Aquifers

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water

Perpetual Motion

Well Systems

Water Use

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 10 Water Pollution


Surface Water

Lentic (Standing or Still) Water Systems

Still Water

Lotic (Flowing) Water Systems

Stream Genesis

Setting the Stage

Surface Water Pollutants

Biochemical Oxygen Demand






Fats, Oil, and Grease

Pathogenic Organisms




Toxic Pollutants

Nontoxic Pollutants

Macroscopic Pollutants

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products

Emerging Contaminants


A Brief History of the Development and Use of Chemicals

Endocrine Disruptors

Groundwater Pollution

Sources of Groundwater Contamination


Groundwater Flow


The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 11 Water Pollution Remediation

Historical Perspective

Effect of Regulations on Preventing Water Pollution

A Sherlock Holmes at the Pump

Dr. John Snow


Flashback to 1854 London

From Pump Handle Removal to Water Treatment (Disinfection)

Water Treatment

Wastewater Treatment

Thermal Pollution Treatment

Pollution Control Technology: Underground Storage Tanks

Pollution Control Technology: Groundwater Remediation

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Section IV Soil

Chapter 12 Soil Basics


Soil: What Is It?

Key Terms Defined

All About Soil

Functions of Soil

Soil as a Plant Growth Medium

Soil as a Regulator of Water Supplies

Soil as a Recycler of Raw Materials

Soil as a Habitat for Organisms

Soil as an Engineering Medium

Soil as a Source of Materials

Concurrent Soil Functions

Soil Properties

Physical Properties of Soil

Soil Separates

Soil Formation


Physical Weathering

Chemical Weathering

Bare Rock Succession

Final Stages of Soil Formation

Soil Characterization

Diagnostic Horizons and Temperature and Moisture Regimes

Soil Taxonomy

Soil Orders

Soil Suborders

Soil Great Groups and Subgroups

Soil Families and Series

Soil Mechanics and Physics

Soil Mechanics

Weight–Volume Relationships and Void Ratio

Soil Particle Characteristics

Soil Stress

Soil Compressibility

Soil Compaction

Soil Failure

Soil Physics

Soil and Water

Soil Chemistry

Solid Waste

Solid Waste Regulatory History in the United States

Solid Waste Characteristics

Sources of Municipal Solid Waste

Residential Sources of MSW

Commercial Sources of MSW

Institutional Sources of MSW

Construction and Demolition Sources of MSW

Municipal Services Sources of MSW

Treatment Plant Site Sources of MSW

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 13 Soil Pollution

Clean Soil

Soil Pollutants: Transport Mechanisms Affecting Flow Regime

Movement of Organics in Soil

The Basics of Soil Pollution

Surface Origins of Soil Pollutants

Gaseous and Airborne Particulate Pollutants

Infiltration of Contaminated Surface Water

Land Disposal of Solid and Liquid Waste Materials

Stockpiles, Tailings, and Spoil


Salt Spreading on Roads

Animal Feedlots and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Accidental Spills

Composting of Leaves and Other Wastes

Industrial Practices and Soil Contamination

Underground Storage Tanks

Contamination from Oilfield Sites

Contamination from Chemical Sites

Contamination from Geothermal Sites

Contamination from Manufactured Gas Plants

Contamination from Mining Sites

Contamination from Environmental Terrorism and Ecoterrorism

What Is Terrorism?

Terrorism by Any Other Name Is

Standard Dictionary Definition of Terrorism

An Old Cliché on a Terrorist

Hazardous Substances

America: A Throwaway Society

What Is a Hazardous Substance?

Hazardous Wastes

What Is a Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous Waste Legislation

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act


The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 14 Soil Pollution Remediation


USTs: The Problem

Corrosion Problems

Faulty Construction

Faulty Installation

Piping Failures

Spills and Overfills

Compatibility of Contents and Underground Storage Tank

UST Risk Assessment

UST Exposure Pathways

Remediation of UST-Contaminated Soils

In Situ Technologies

In Situ Volatilization

In Situ Biodegradation

In Situ Leaching and Chemical Reaction

In Situ Vitrification

In Situ Passive Remediation

In Situ Isolation or Containment

Non-In Situ Technologies

Land Treatment

Thermal Treatment

Asphalt Incorporation and Other Methods

Solidification or Stabilization

Chemical Extraction


Economic Outlook for Soil Remediation

Animal Feeding Operations and Animal Waste Treatment

Manure Treatment

Waste Control Technology

Waste Minimization

Substitution of Inputs

Process Modifications

Good Operating Practices


Treatment Technologies

Biological Treatment

Thermal Processes

Activated Carbon Sorption

Electrolytic Recovery Techniques

Air Stripping

Stabilization and Solidification

Filtration and Separation

Ultimate Disposal

Deep-Well Injection

Surface Impoundments

Waste Piles


Green Remediation

Core Elements of Green Remediation

Energy Requirements of the Treatment System

Air Emissions

Water Requirements and Impacts on Water Resources

Land and Ecosystem Impacts

Material Consumption and Waste Generation

Long-Term Stewardship Actions

Green Remediation Techniques

The Bottom Line

Discussion Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Chapter 15 Pollution and the 21st Century



View More



Frank R. Spellman, PhD, is a retired assistant professor of environmental health at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than 90 books covering topics in environmental science and occupational health, and has been cited in more than 450 publications. Dr. Spellman holds a BA in public administration, a BS in business management, an MBA, and both an MS and a PhD in environmental engineering.


"...a well written textbook for upper level undergraduate students or graduate students who are in a field of study related to environmental science."
—Huan Feng, Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA