AP Environmental Science : Health Impacts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Health Impacts

Each of the following is an example of a waterborne disease EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

tuberculosis

meningitis

polio

typhoid

cholera

Correct answer:

tuberculosis

Explanation:

Tuberculosis has an airborne mechanism of transmission. Cholera, typhoid, polio, and meningitis are all diseases capable of waterborne transmission.

Example Question #2 : Health Impacts

Which of the following is NOT an example of bioaccumulation?

Possible Answers:

Mercury found in industrial waste enters the ocean, where it is absorbed by plankton and subsequently absorbed by fish that eat plankton, and bigger fish that eat the smaller fish. It thus accumulates at the higher trophic levels.

Up until the 1980s, hunters used lead shot to hunt waterfowl, and the lead was consumed by the waterfowl, accumulating in their tissues and heightening risk of lead poisoning.

Nuclear fallout from atomic weapon tests conducted in the South Pacific has been found in samples of local coconuts and fish populations, leaving several islands uninhabitable.

Mishandled or spoiled food can contain toxins that result in illness and cause vomiting and diarrhea, the body's natural method of expelling said toxins.

Most commercial fruit and vegetable producers spray chemical herbicides, which accumulate in human consumers when we don't wash our produce before eating it.

Correct answer:

Mishandled or spoiled food can contain toxins that result in illness and cause vomiting and diarrhea, the body's natural method of expelling said toxins.

Explanation:

Bioaccumulation is the process of a toxin entering an organism at a rate faster than it is evacuated. Toxins from food poisoning are expelled by the body's response to evacuate the substance, while mercury in seafood or lead in waterfowl populations tend to accumulate over time.

Example Question #3 : Health Impacts

Which of the following is NOT a primary pollutant?

Possible Answers:

CFCs

Correct answer:

Explanation:

A primary pollutant comes from a direct source, while a secondary pollutant is formed by chemical reactions from primary pollutants in the environment.  (sulfuric acid) is a product of chemical reactions in the environment, producing acid rain.

Example Question #1 : Health Impacts

Which of the following toxins is most likely to cause a birth defect?

Possible Answers:

Carcinogen

Teratogen

Mutagen

None of these

Correct answer:

Teratogen

Explanation:

A teratogen is most likely to cause a birth defect. Exposure to a teratogen specifically causes deformities in an embryo.

Example Question #1 : Health Impacts

Smog is primarily made up of __________.

Possible Answers:

ozone

carbon dioxide

carbon monoxide

nitrous oxides

Correct answer:

ozone

Explanation:

Ozone is created when sunlight reacts with nitrous oxides and other pollutants, many of which originate from gasoline vapors, combustion products, etc. It is harmful when breathed. On hot days, some metropolitan areas issue smog warnings.

Example Question #1 : Health Impacts

This pollutant is not easily excreted. Accumulations of this pollutant in the body can affect the kidneys, liver, and nervous system. The largest concentrations of this pollutant are found near battery plants and smelters.

Possible Answers:

Lead

Iron

Carbon monoxide

Ozone

Correct answer:

Lead

Explanation:

Lead, a heavy metal, accumulates in the body. Children are especially susceptible to airborne lead. Iron, also a metal, can be problematic in large quantities, but is also necessary in extremely small amounts for proper function.

Example Question #1 : Health Impacts

This pollutant is typically credited for promoting dental health, but in water in high quantities, health impacts include yellowing teeth and spinal cord damage.

Possible Answers:

arsenic

nitrate

fluoride

chlorine

Correct answer:

fluoride

Explanation:

Fluoride in high doses is extremely problematic, making it a concerning pollutant. It is extremely prevalent in products used in dental health. Because these are products that are generally washed away, fluoride is of special concern as a water pollutant.

Example Question #8 : Health Impacts

Excessive fertilizer use creates abundances of __________ in soil and groundwater.

Possible Answers:

sewage

arsenic

chlorinated solvents

nitrates

Correct answer:

nitrates

Explanation:

Nitrates, a form of nitrogen, are a severe problem in drinking water that has been contaminated with fertilizers. Sewage and fertilizer often go hand in hand from agricultural areas. Arsenic and chlorine are concerning pollutants, but generally not present due to fertilizer use.

Example Question #1 : Health Impacts

A skull and crossbones symbol on a container indicates that the contents are __________.

Possible Answers:

toxic/poisonous

corrosive

alcoholic

flammable

Correct answer:

toxic/poisonous

Explanation:

Skull and crossbones indicates poison. Corrosive materials are labelled "corrosive" and signs indicating the substance corroding metal may be present. Flammable materials are marked with flames.

Example Question #10 : Health Impacts

Carbon monoxide limits oxygen delivery to the body's organs and tissues. 95% of carbon monoxide emissions in cities comes from __________.

Possible Answers:

None of these

industrial facilities

automobile exhaust

coal burning

Correct answer:

automobile exhaust

Explanation:

Only 5% of carbon monoxide in cities does not originate from car exhaust. Though industrial facilities are a major concern as a source of pollution, regarding carbon monoxide specifically, automobiles have a much higher impact.

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