Did you know?
- • Most adults breathe 3,000 gallons of air each day. Thats about
12 – 20 breaths per minute.
- • Babies breathe faster than adults – about 44 breaths
- • The air quality inside your house can be up to five times worse
than the air outside your house.
- • Hot air balloons were invented in 1783.
- • Air is made up of 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen.
- • Through a process called photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and release
- • When you breathe, oxygen moves from the air to your lungs and into your blood and is carried throughout your body.
- • Air pollution is caused when harmful substances get into the air. Some of the things that pollute the air are cars, trucks, airplanes, fires, factories and mines that release gases or particles into the air.
In Pima County, the air is fairly clean, but we do have certain air pollutants that cause trouble sometimes.
GROUND-LEVEL OZONE is created when different ingredients mix in the air together, sort of like baking a cake. You start with fumes and gasses that come from cars and trucks, gasoline pumps, industrial emissions and gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment. Then these gasses “bake” in the heat of the sun and ground-level ozone is formed. It’s no surprise we have more trouble with ozone during the long, hot days of summer. Ozone that occurs at ground level can make breathing difficult. Ozone up high in the stratosphere occurs naturally and protects us by providing a filter from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) light emitted by the sun.
Another pollutant that causes problems is airborne dust, or PARTICULATE MATTER. This pollutant is made up of tiny liquid droplets or solid particles that get in the air from many sources: disturbed vacant lands, construction activity, driving on dirt roads, and fireplaces. Watch for airborne dust especially on windy days.
Air pollution also exists inside our homes. Some things that cause dirty air inside include cigarette smoke, gas from gas stoves, fingernail polish, paint, cleaning chemicals, and even new furniture or carpeting. Opening windows and doors and allowing air to circulate helps remove indoor air pollution.
For interesting facts and puzzles about these and other air pollutants, click on the links below for brochures developed by students at the University of Arizona College of Public Health and designed by Renee Fullerton.
|Word Find Solutions:|
It is very important that we make sure the air we breathe is clean and safe for our bodies. See how pollutants affect our lungs. See videos of healthy lungs and simulated unhealthy lungs. (The videos are of pig’s lungs which look just like people’s lungs. The lungs were saved for educational purposes when the pigs were butchered for food. The simulated unhealthy lungs came from a healthy pig, but the lungs were later treated to mimic what lungs would look and act like after breathing lots of air pollution.)
Visit Airville www.deq.pima.gov/Airville/Airville.html to see what hurts or helps the air outside.
How can you help keep the air clean?
- • Walk or ride bikes (remember to wear your helmet) instead of using cars.
- • Set up a carpool with your friends from your school or team.
- • Take the bus to school and encourage your family to take the bus to work, if they can.
- • Use less electricity in your house. Turn off lights, computers and fans when they are not being used.
- • Encourage others to stop smoking, especially inside of houses and cars.
- • Stop energy "vampires" by unplugging cell phone and iPod chargers, and switch off TVs and DVD players using a power strip.
- • Plant and care for trees.
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Just like water, "new" air is not created, but is recycled through natural processes such as plant respiration and photosynthesis. The air you breathe today is the same air that your ancestors breathed 100 years ago, and even the same air that dinosaurs breathed millions of years ago! Now that you know the air we use will continue to be “recycled” forever, will you treat it differently? What will you do to make sure that the air we are recycling stays clean for us and future generations?