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AIR POLLUTION IN the Community

Activity 6 (Elaborate): Air Toxics in the Community


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Activity Summary

In this optional activity, students learn about toxic air pollution, which can cause more acute health effects such as cancer. They do this by watching two videos showing real world examples of how air toxics have affected a community, and comparing the two situations. They also learn about how communities can advocate for themselves when air quality issues arise.

A Note about Activities 6 & 7: These optional activities explore two topics that are relevant to students in particular communities. Activity 6 explores hazardous chemical pollutants, and Activity 7 explores local pollution sources. If your school community is located in a place where pollutants - especially toxic pollutants - may be a concern, it is highly recommended that you take the time to do these activities with students.

Activity Objectives & Materials

Approximate Time: 45 minutes​


  • Students will learn how scientists identify sources of toxic chemicals in the community

  • Students will understand the difference between the criteria pollutants and toxic chemical pollutants



  • Computer & projector

  • Speakers (for video)


  • Air Toxics in the Community

  • Air Toxics and Criteria Pollutants

Standards Connection




1. Frame the Activity


2. Air Pollution in Portland, Oregon

3. Air Pollution in Addyston, Ohio


4. Sensemaking

5. Air Toxics vs. Criteria Pollutants

6. Formative Assessment


For more information about On the Air 2020, contact:

Rebecca Davis, Education Manager

For more information about Clean Air Partners, check out our website at:

© 2020 by Clean Air Partners.