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7th-Health effects of Air Pollution and Ozone

Most schools in the El Paso Independent School District are located near the very busy Internterstate-10 and the international border crossings where cars and trucks idle in long lines to cross back and forth from the U.S. to Mexico. Tests for air quality show that particulate matter readings are higher in the areas near the schools than in other areas of the city and state. A 2007 study (Grineski) showed that border children are hospitalized for asthma at a 36% greater rate than off-border children. Also, children in the region have higher risk of respiratory problems after desert winds, and this is related to the local air contamination. Therefore, the teachers want their children to be able to make improvements in the community and in their health practices.

Teachers:Monica Chavez, Sarah Escandon, Sylvia Montoya


  • Air pollution affects the health of humans and other living things.
  • The ozone layer found high in the upper atmosphere is beneficial because it shields us from much of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. However, in the troposphere – the air we breathe—high ozone levels are dangerous. Burning fossil fuels increases these ozone levels in the air we breathe.
  • In El Paso, the amount of ozone in the troposphere reached danger levels 21 days in 2011.
  • Asthma is a disease where the bronchial pathways are restricted.
  • Air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels increases the quantity and quality of asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments.

7th Introduction

7th Background Information

7th Inquiry Activities