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Environmental Chemistry

Find environmental chemistry notes, labs, lectures, and articles. Links to laws and organizations are also provided.
  1. Green Chemistry (22)
  2. Water Chemistry
  3. Water Quality File

Celebrate Earth Day
How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day? Do you have suggestions for ways people can raise awareness of environmental issues or start solving some of the problems we face?

All About Earth Day
Are you wondering what Earth Day is, when it's celebrated, and what people do on Earth Day? Here are the answers to your Earth Day questions!

Environmental Science Fair Projects
Are you interested in doing a science fair project that involves the environment, ecology, pollution, or other environmental issues? Here are some science fair project ideas that involve environmental science.

What Is the Clean Air Act?
You've probably heard about the Clean Air Acts and can figure out they have something to do with air pollution, but what else do you know about Clean Air Act legislation? Here's a look at the Clean Air Acts and answers to some common questions about them.

What Is the Clean Water Act?
Here's a look at what the Clean Water Act is and how this legislation is intended to address water pollution.

Chemistry of Autumn Leaf Color
Why do leaf colors change in the fall? What causes the different colors? It's mostly a matter of photochemistry rather than of temperature. Find out more!

Chemistry of Hard and Soft Water
Do you have hard water or soft water? Both? Do you know why? Get the definitions for hard and soft water, learn about their chemistry, and examine the pros and cons of each type of water.

Cloud in a Bottle Demonstration
Here's a quick and easy science project you can do: make a cloud inside a bottle. This simple project uses water vapor and smoke from a match to help form a cloud.

Colored Snow Chemistry
You may have heard that snow can be found in other colors besides white. It's true! Red snow, green snow, and brown snow are relatively common. Really, snow can occur in just about any color. Here's a look at some common causes of colored snow.

Colored Snow Photo Gallery
Have you ever wondered what colored snow looks like? Colored snow commonly occurs in green, red, orange and yellow. It usually results from the growth of algae in the snow or from the presence of air pollutants. Here's a photo gallery of colored snow images.

Flame Retardant People
Learn about the health effects of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a common flame retardant, and efforts to ban further use of certain forms of the chemical.

Hawaii Chemistry
Take a look at the Big Island of Hawaii from a chemistry perspective.

How Much Oxygen Does One Tree Produce?
You've probably heard that trees produce oxygen, but have you ever wondered just how much oxygen one tree makes? The amount of oxygen produced by a tree depends on several factors, but here are some typical calculations.

How to Dispose of Mercury
Mercury is an extremely toxic metal that is found in fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers, and other household items. If you break a thermometer or a mercury-containing bulb, it's important to dispose of the mercury properly so that you don't accidentally poison yourself or contaminate the area with mercury.

How To Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water
This is a list of methods that can be used to remove fluoride from drinking water. There's also a list of methods that do not remove fluoride and suggestions for ways to minimize fluoride exposure. References for the fluoridation controversy are included.

Melting Snow & Ice with Salt
You know salt is sprinkled on roads and sidewalks to melt ice and prevent it from refreezing, but do you know how it works? Learn about freezing point depression and colligative properties and find out about the pros and cons of several de-icers.

Photosynthesis Basics - Study Guide
Photosynthesis is the name for the set of chemical reactions used by plants and other organisms to make food from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Here's a look at the process and study questions to help make sure you understand the key concepts.

Plant and Soil Chemistry - Science Fair Project Ideas
Here are some science fair project ideas that involve plants and soil chemistry. Are you looking for an environmental science project? Check here!

Pollution Science Fair Projects
This is a collection of ideas for pollution and green chemistry science fair projects.

Recycled Paper
Make beautiful paper from recycled scraps of just about any paper project you can find. Learn how to add decorative items to your paper and prepare it for writing or stamping. This is a fun craft that teaches about recycling while making a useful handmade product.

Storm Glass Instructions
Use your knowledge of chemistry to make a storm glass to help you predict the weather.

Water Filters that Remove Fluoride
This is a compilation of online vendors and manufacturers of water filters designed to remove tap water. A variety of filter types and price ranges are covered. Tabletop, undersink, and refrigerator models are all available.

What Can I Do to Celebrate Earth Day?
There are a number of ways you can celebrate Earth Day and demonstrate your committment to addressing environmental issues.

What Is a Heavy Metal?
Find out what a heavy metal is and get examples of heavy metals.

What Is Activated Charcoal and How Does it Work?
Activated charcoal isn't the same as your average barbeque briquette! It's a special type of carbon. Learn what activated charcoal is and why it is used in filters and medicines.

What Is Earth Day?
Find out what Earth Day is all about, when it is, and how it started.

When Is Earth Week?
Find out when Earth Week is celebrated and what the holiday is all about.

What Is the Chemical Composition of Air?
Learn about chemical composition of the Earth's air. Percentages of the most common compounds are given, according to volume.

What Is the Coastal Dead Zone?
The coastal dead zone makes news headlines from time to time because it's implicated in fish death and may be a consequence of global warming and pollution. Do you know what the dead zone is?

What Is the Difference Between Steam and Smoke?
Smoke and steam may appear to be the same, but they are quite different. Learn how to tell the difference between steam and smoke.

What Is the Greenhouse Effect?
Learn what the greenhouse effect is and how it is related to climate.

What Was Project Stormfury? Can Cloud Seeding Dissipate Hurricanes?
One way scientists have tried to lessen the severity of hurricanes is by seeding the clouds with silver iodide. This research program was Project Stormfury. Learn whether cloud seeding worked and why the program was discontinued.

When Is Earth Day?
Are you confused about what day Earth Day is celebrated? That's because more than one day could be considered Earth Day.

Who Was Gaylord Nelson?
There's a good chance you may have heard of Gaylord Nelson, especially in connection with Earth Day, but do you know who he was?

Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?
Find out why leaves change color in the fall. Learn about the different pigments found in leaves and how bright autumn foliage is produced.

Why I Oppose Fluoridation of Public Drinking Water
Anne Helmenstine's reasons for opposing the fluoridation of public drinking water.

Why Is the Ocean Blue?
Have you ever wondered why the ocean is blue? Have you ever wondered why the ocean is sometimes another color, like green, instead of blue? Here's the science behind the color of the sea.

Why Is the Ocean Salty?
Have you ever wondered why the ocean is salty? Have you wondered why lakes might not be salty? Here's a look at what makes the ocean salty and why other bodies of water have a different chemical composition.

Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
This comprehensive website describes the objectives of AMAP, presents information and results of AMAP's assessment of the Arctic with respect to pollution, contains GIS and other data, offers their documents online, and includes a directory of project descriptions, additional resources, links, and more.

This US Geological Survey site discusses what bioremediation is, why it is needed, and technology transfer. Several bioremediation case studies are described.

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP)
The website includes a searchable database, description of the Institute, news, publications, research, employment opportunities, and contact information. There is an online order form for books and reports.

Chemical Information Page
Extensive databases include general chemicals, drugs, and environmental hazards. Visualization of structures requires Chime plug-in. From Specialized Information Services, US National Library of Medicine.

News stories, events, legislation, and guidance regarding environmental concerns in the United Kingdom.

This is non-profit, public interest environmental law firm. Major topics on this site include air, forests, health and communities, international issues, oceans, public lands, water, and wildlife.

Dynamics of ecosystem science. Requires paid subscription.

Information relating to air pollution, drinking water, hazardous waste, etc. From the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmental Defense Fund
Non-profit environmental information organization. Examine pollutants released in your US Zip code or state, or obtain information on large volume chemicals.

Environmental Issues
This comprehensive About.com website includes information on air pollution, acid rain, ozone depletion, water pollution, climate change, mining, hazardous and nuclear waste, and many other chemistry-related environmental issues.

Environmental Law
The Legal Information Institute (LLI) offers an overview of environmental law and lists federal (US) statutes, federal agency regulations, federal judicial decisions, state statutes and regulations, state judicial decisions, international conventions and treaties, and links to other resources.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA is a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This page is a jumping point to all of the numerous products, regulations, and studies.

National Council for Science and the Environment
Facilitates environmental decision-making processes using current scientific information. Includes the National Library for the Environment.

Particle Analysis in Environmental and Biomedical Samples
Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis in microparticle identification. From the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University.

Recycler's World
Plastics, metals, and other chemicals for trade or recycling.

Safe Drinking Water Query Form
From US EPA. Search the US for violators of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Sierra Club
Environmental education and protection organization.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
This page describes the EPA and serves as a launching point to environmental topics, articles, legislation, and studies.

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