An Overview of the Determination of Environmental Constituents from the Viewpoint of a Chemist

  • Richard J. Thompson
Part of the Progress in Analytical Chemistry book series (PAC)


Environmental constituents, components of air, earth, and water, are determined for various reasons. The determination of major constituents in the main presents few problems and is therefore an area for us to set aside in this presentation. We are concerned here with the determination of trace constituents, primarily in air and water, many of which are chemically and/ or biologically very active. The reasons for the determinations of trace materials are many, but primarily are:
  1. (1)

    To determine the levels of materials of possible adverse effect to human health. (SO2, asbestos)

  2. (2)

    To determine the nature of atmospheric chemistry by studying interactions of materials to form and to remove atmospheric components. (Ozone, NOX)

  3. (3)

    To understand changes in climate and weather caused by chemical and physical interactions. (Aerosols)

  4. (4)

    To understand ecological changes induced from changing levels of substances in air, earth, and water. (SO2 at Ducktown and Donora, volatile fluoro-

  5. (5)

    To study changing distribution and ecological patterns in space and time. (DDT, PCB’s)



Acid Rain Ecological Change Unfortunate Consequence Substance Determination Trace Constituent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyResearch Triangle ParkUSA

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