The air we breathe is directly impacted by daily living choices such as how we travel, where our energy comes from, and actions in our own backyards. While air quality has improved dramatically since passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, there continue to be health and environmental consequences of poor air quality such as asthma and acid rain. Follow resources below to learn more about air pollution and actions you can take to improve air quality.
Criteria Air Pollutants
A few common air pollutants are found all over the United States (sulfur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fine particulate matter or PM). These pollutants can injure health, harm the environment and cause property damage. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Air Quality Monitoring takes the lead on monitoring these pollutants in Virginia.
Fresh, Clean Air: Protecting Air Quality in Virginia
Teacher activity guide that includes an introduction to air quality issues in Virginia, PowerPoint Presentation with script, and five additional Virginia focused activities.
On the Air – Curriculum
The On the Air curriculum facilitates the understanding of air pollution by studying: Criteria Air Pollutants, the Air Quality Index, Ozone, Particulate Matter, the Health Effects of Air Pollution, Community Sources and Solutions of Air Pollution and Climate Change. Each unit consists of the following: activity description, curricular ties, time needed, learning objectives, materials needed (kit), teacher preparation, teacher background reading, teacher demonstration procedures, activity procedures, technology connections, student handout, student packets and student worksheets. Materials are suited for 6th – 8th grade middle school classrooms.
Virginia’s Air Resources
Look up in the sky. Air seems boundless and, for that reason, it is a resource often taken for granted. Above the state of Virginia alone rests over one trillion tons of it. But, just like water, not all of it is usable to you. Explore issues in air quality through this online chapter from Virginia’s Natural Resource Education Guide.
Air Pollution: What's the Solution?
Welcome to Air Pollution: What's the Solution? An educational project for students, grades 6 - 12, that uses online real time data to guide student discovery of the science behind the causes and effects of outdoor air pollution. Through this project, students will focus on outdoor air pollution; what it is what factors contribute to its formation and the health effects from breathing polluted air. Students will use data and animated maps from the Internet and monitor for the presence of air pollution.
Air Quality and Transportation Curriculum
Air curriculum series which includes 54 lessons and activities for grades K-12 focusing on the relationships between air quality and transportation. Lessons and activities are hands-on and involve a variety of demonstrations and research-based education opportunities.
Clean Air Campaign
Curriculum series includes 20 Elementary, 10 Middle, and 40 High School activities. Lessons are correlated to the Georgia Performance Standards and require a site registration for access to all of the lessons and activities.
Global Ozone Project – GO3
In the GO3 Project high school students throughout the world measure ground-level ozone on a continuous basis and upload their results to the Google Earth map. Measurements are made with high accuracy using sophisticated ozone monitors constructed by the students from kits and tested and calibrated on a frequent basis using a transfer standard.
Improving Public Health and the Environment for Local Communities is just a click away
A new EPA website features dozens of projects that local communities can do to help make the air cleaner and healthier to breathe. The website also features activities for reducing both indoor and outdoor pollution, including diesel engine retrofit programs, improving air quality in local schools, and pollution prevention options for small businesses. These projects have a successful track record; they were previously put into action by state and local governments across the country. This site includes information about the costs to establish and maintain each project, and how local communities can apply for EPA grants to kick-start their activities.