Air Quality Health Index classroom kit, grades 5 and 6, environment: chapter 20


Assignment

Environmental actions are really just choices that consider the environment.

Most of the time people are trying to make the best choices with the information and technologies they have. The key is to update our choices over time.

  1. Think about a choice you make now that people couldn’t have made 5, 20, 50, or 100 years ago. Then, imagine what you will think in twenty years about some of the choices you make today.
    Focus on how your choices impact air quality. It can be a direct impact or an indirect impact, based on how products or services are made, stored, distributed, used, and discarded. Think about the renewable or non-renewable resources that were used (or saved) because of the choice.
  2. Fill out the mini-report to describe the scene of a good or poor choice for the environment, big or small, past or present.
    Consider the following information about the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and remember that you can check your local AQHI on Environment Canada’s Weather website:
  • Environment Canada and Health Canada developed the AQHI because air pollution poses risks to the environment and health.
  • The AQHI is based on particulate matter (PM2.5), ground-level ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
  • You can’t always see these pollutants, so check the AQHI in the daily forecast.
  • When the AQHI is high, the risk is high.
  • You can make active lifestyle choices based on the AQHI. If the AQHI is low, it is ideal for outdoor activities. If the AQHI is high, you may need to choose outdoor activities that are less strenuous.
  • The AQHI includes health information for everyone, including groups at risk.
  • More information about the AQHI is available online
  • To check your local AQHI, go to Environment Canada’s Weather website.

1 to 10+ graduated colored scale (from pale blue to red)
Health Risk Messages
Health Risk AQHI Health Messages
  At Risk Population General Population
Low 1-3 Enjoy your usual outdoor activities. Ideal air quality for outdoor activities.
Moderate 4-6 Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you are experiencing symptoms. No need to modify your usual outdoor activities unless you experience symptoms such as coughing or throat irritation.
High 7-10 Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also take it easy. Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.
Very High Above 10 Avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion. Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

Please answer these questions:

Choice:

Check one:


Location:


Pollutant:


Source:


Check natural resource involved:


Check one or more correct boxes.


Describe the air quality at the scene. List or draw:


How will this choice affect health?
Check who is affected:


Check what system(s) are affected:


Check how long it will affect health:


What would you say or do to further improve the choices made in this situation?

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