Water Cycle - Atmosphere (5)
Post Lab 

  • Comparing different air pollutants.
  • Distinguishing amongst different pollutants. 
  • pollution
  • particulate
  • worksheet

Students explain how illustrations can help people become aware of air pollution.


Pollutants in the air slowly attack the environment.  Awareness of the problem and what it actually causes can help students get an idea of what is happening to the surroundings.    

Pollution in the air can cause serious problems.  Problems that results from air pollution are numerous including damage to plants, animals, and people.  The problems that are caused by the six major pollutants are as follows:

SULFUR OXIDES: leaf and tree injury, irritate upper respiratory tract in humans,   corrode metals, disintegrate book pages and leather, destroy plants, and  erodes statues. 

PARTICULATE MATTER (SOLID): obscures vision, lung illness, grime on buildings  and personal belongings; erode metals

CARBON MONOXIDE: causes headaches, dizziness, nausea; absorbed in blood; impairs mental processes

NITROGEN OXIDES: causes leaf damage; irritates eyes and nose; stunts plants, cause brown pungent irritating haze, corrode metals; damage rubber

HYDROCARBONS: may be carcinogenic (cancer producing); retard plant growth, cause abnormal leaf and bud development

PHOTOCHEMICAL OXIDANTS: (ozone and resultant chemical products) discolor  upper surface of leaves of many crops, trees and shrubs; damages and fades textiles; reduces physical activity; deterioration of rubber; irritant to the  lungs; irritates eyes, nose, and throat; induce cough.

Most of the pollution is caused by transportation (including cars) and fuel combustion in stationary sources such as power generation.  It has been estimated that over 12 billion dollars is spent on air pollution damage annually in the United States.

  1.  This lesson is a continuation of pollution in our atmosphere.  Outline the major pollutants and then ask students their suggestions on how to keep the atmosphere clean.  
  2. Use the pictures of the worksheet to discuss using “cartoons” to help converge an environmental  message.  Go over each of the pictures and see if students can write a paragraph on a separate piece of paper, on each of the pictures as an interpretation. 
  3. The first picture looks at pollution from a factory that emits particular matter.  The factory could be operated by coal or oil without a way to trap pollutants before they get into the atmosphere.
    The second picture looks at exhaust from automobiles and the damage that can be done to the local trees and environment.  Carbon monoxide is being emitted into the atmosphere.
    The third picture is more representative of air pollution in general.  The factory represents air pollution being emitted with the Earth trying to prevent it.
    The fourth picture is a message that if we as people do nothing to stop pollution, we will become extinct like the dinosaurs.

    The fifth picture is referring to pollution that people do inside their body (lungs) and that it also has an effect on other living organisms.
  4. You may want students to design their own pollution poster and have a prize for the winner.

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