Why care about air quality and human health?
- Air pollutants cause more than 500,000 deaths annually. 1
- Living in a very smoggy city increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to someone living in a city with the cleanest air. 2
- Children growing up in polluted areas tend to have smaller lungs (about 20%). This is the same drop seen in children growing up in a home with parents who smoke. 3
- In the U.S., exposures to power plant mercury and air toxics cause:
- 17,000 premature deaths per year
- 11,000 heart attacks per year
- 120,000 cases of asthma symptoms in children per year
- 11,000 cases of bronchitis in children per year
- 12,000 emergency visits per year
- 850,000 days of missed work due to illness per year 4
- Nearly 80% of Americans are heavily influenced by incorrect or outdated environmental myths. 5
- 56% of Americans want to take action to protect the environment, but they don’t know what to do. 5
What did the development process include?
Several steps were completed to identify the best lesson plans and resources based on sound evidence and pedagogical principles. These steps included:
- performing a needs assessment and environmental scan
- retrieving and reviewing existing resources/lesson plans
- blueprinting of the lesson plans to the Colorado curriculum standards (Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Student Assessment Program)
- reviewing the lesson plans/resources against criteria for effective education
- reviewing and rating of the lesson plans by educators.
For additional detail and information about the developmental process please download the report, Bridging Colorado’s Youth and Educators to Environment-Human Health Research.
- Nel, Andre. Science. May 6, 2005. Col 308 No. 5723 pgs 804-806.
- Boyles, Salan. Air Pollution Linked to Heart Deaths. Jan. 31, 2007. Accessed August 1, 2011.
- American Lung Association. State of the Air 2011. Accessed 7/29/2011.
- EPA Proposes First National Standard for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants. EPA Newsroom. Accessed August 1, 2011.
- Coyle, Kevin. Environmental Literacy in America. September 2005.