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What's All The Fuss About

Air Pollution?

What would you like to know about air pollution?

     What is Air Pollution? 

     Where is Air Pollution Found?

     Where Does it Come From?

     Do You Produce Air Pollution?

     Why Should You Care About Air Pollution?

     How Can You Help?


What is Air Pollution? 

Yuck! Your with your family in the car, stuck in traffic and the the car in front of you is blasting out a smelly, black cloud of Car emitting smoke from the tailpipesmoke. The car's fumes are not the only thing stinking up the air! Dirty chemicals from factories, fumes from engines, and gases from power plants foul the air and threaten everyone's health.  Air pollution is anything that is in the air that should not be there. It can be a solid, liquid, or gas. We can't always see air pollution, we can't always smell it, and we can't always taste it. So how do we know it's there?


Where is Air Pollution Found?

earth - globe

Air pollution is all around us. It has even been found at the North Pole! Because air is always moving, air pollution doesn't always stay is the area that it was made in.

Scientists have to use special equipment to test the air for pollution. They use some machines to catch different gases to tell them what they are and how much of the gas there is. Other machines are used to catch tiny solid lumps from the air. They call the solids "particulates." These particulates can be dirt, smoke, or even pollen from plants. These tiny flecks of dirt are so small that they make the thickness of the hair on your head look huge! Scientists need to use a strong microscope if they want to figure what out the different pieces are. You can catch your own particulate pollution with the help of an adult, by doing "Catch the Pollution."


Where Does Air Pollution Come From?

Air pollution comes from many places. It can come from cars, trucks, trains, planes, and boats! In fact, practically any kind of vehicle creates air pollution. It also comes from factories, gas stations, power plants, and even our houses. At home, we cause air pollution every time we turn on a light because we use electricity to power the light. Grilling out in the backyard, also causes air pollution. Cow

One way in which we can't help but produce air pollution is by breathing! Most creatures on earth breath in oxygen and breathe our carbon dioxide which is an air pollutant. A well known fact is that cows cause a lot of air pollution as they produce methane gas when ever they "break wind," and apparently they do this a lot!


Do You Produce Air Pollution?

Everyone produces air pollution, the difference is that some people produce more than others. It is really difficult to add up how much pollution that you make in one day. Think about everything that you have done today from when you woke up.

clockDid an electric alarm clock ring? If so, you have already produced a tiny piece of air pollution as a power plant had to burn a fossil fuel (Do you know the fossil fuels? They are: coal, oil, and gas) to make the electricity for the clock to work. Every time we burn fossil fuels this produces air pollution.

Did you take a shower, use a blow dryer, have toast for breakfast? Anytime that you use electricity, you create a little air pollution.

How did you get to school? If you walked, rode a bike or skateboard, or used rollerblades you did a great job and produced no air pollution.

school busDid you ride the bus or ride with friends? This is often called ride-sharing. If you did rideshare, you made some pollution, but you get to share it with the friends you traveled with so you still did a good job!

Did your mom or dad drive you to school? This produced the most pollution! This is because the journey was made just for you and so you do not get to share the amount of pollution with everyone else traveling in the vehicle.

How else did you create pollution? Try to keep a logbook for a day to see how many times you produced air pollution, which will include any time that you used electricity or gas. Also count how many times you managed to find a different way that cut down on air pollution. Give yourself 1 point every time you do something to cut down on air pollution. Take 1 point away every time you did not manage to find an alternative.

     My Logbook

          Electric alarm clock                                           -1

          Cereal instead of toast                                        1

          Walked                                                             1

          Traveled with 2 more friends to practice                1

     Total (3+ -1=2)                                                    1


Why Should You Care About Air Pollution?

Air pollution harms the environment, you, your family, your friends, and possibly even your pets! Pollution can make it difficult for us to breathe, it can make our eyes itchy and our throats sore. People with a breathing problem called asthma must be extra careful as polluted air can make them have a dangerous asthma attack.

Air pollution also hurts wildlife. Birds, animals, fish, insects, plants, in fact almost all life on earth is harmed by frogair pollution. One way that wildlife can be affected is when the air pollutes the rain that falls out of the sky. This is called acid rain, or acid deposition. The rain falls out of the sky onto everything. Acid rain doesn't hurt us when it lands on us, but it can become a problem over time in some places. The water in a pond can slowly change if acid rain keeps falling on it. Eventually the fish, frogs, plants, insects, and other life may not find the pond a very good home if this keeps on happening.

Our homes can also be affected by certain types of pollution such as soot making the siding dirty and acid rain slowly eating away at the stone.


How Can You Help?

There are many small things that you can do to help cut down on air pollution. If we all start by making a few baby flyingchanges to the way we go about our lives, our air, in fact the entire environment, may be a cleaner place for us to live in! See if you have any more ideas to clean the air than the 50 ways to clean the air we have listed.