Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The science of air pollution

When people think about air pollution, they usually think about smog, acid rain, CFC's, and other forms of outdoor air pollution. But did you know that air pollution also can exist inside homes and other buildings? It can, and every year, the health of many people is affected by chemical substances present in the air within buildings.

They recommend a wonderful activity for older students, which might make a terrific science fair project here. But young children can begin thinking about clean air with some prompts such as the one in the following scenario:
     Many communities are trying to do their part to reduce the level of black carbon pollution in the air. It is difficult for a small city or town to restrict driving or to impose pollution regulations on trucks and automobiles. However, another source of soot is from the burning ofwood in fireplaces and charcoal briquets in barbeques.
     Some communities have imposed a ban or sharp restriction on the recreational use of wood-burning fireplaces and barbeques. It is unclear whether these new regulations will be enforceable, nor how effective the new ordinances will be in reducing emissions. However, one could easily argue that these recreational activities are non-essential, and that anything which will help reduce soot production is worth trying.
Ask the children to choose a side and debate the reasons soot should or should not be restricted.

No comments:

Post a Comment