Environmental Sciences Fair Project
Which location has the most pollution?


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Project Information
Title: Which part of town has the most pollution in the form of airborne particles?
Subject: Environmental Sciences
Grade level: Middle School - Grades 7-9
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: 1st place, Phillipsburg Christian Academy (2004)
Affiliation: Phillipsburg Christian Academy
Year: 2004
Description: Index cards are taped to sticks and smeared with petroleum jelly and sticked in the ground at the locations carefully chosen. Then count the number of the particles on each card, over time, using a magnifying glass and record the numbers.
Links:
www.fellowshipch.org
www.fellowshipch.org
Background

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the natural environment, into the atmosphere.

An air pollutant is known as a substance in the air that can cause harm to humans and the environment. Pollutants can be in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases. In addition, they may be natural or man-made.

About 4 percent of deaths in the United States can be attributed to air pollution, according to the Environmental Science Engineering Program at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Particulates, alternatively referred to as particulate matter (PM) or fine particles, are tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas. In contrast, aerosol refers to particles and the gas together. Sources of particulate matter can be man made or natural. Some particulates occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes also generate significant amounts of aerosols. Averaged over the globe, anthropogenic aerosols—those made by human activities—currently account for about 10 percent of the total amount of aerosols in our atmosphere. Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart disease, altered lung function and lung cancer.

Particulate matter is also formed from gaseous primary pollutants and compounds in photochemical smog .Smog is a kind of air pollution; the word "smog" is a portmanteau of smoke and fog. Classic smog results from large amounts of coal burning in an area caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide. Modern smog does not usually come from coal but from vehicular and industrial emissions that are acted on in the atmosphere by sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine with the primary emissions to form photochemical smog.

For more information (background, pictures, experiments and references): Air Pollution K-12 Experiments & Background Information

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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