Questions for “Urban pollution can pose unseen risks to kids’ immunity and more”

a person crossing the street in an urban setting cars and bikes are blurred in motion around them

City living can expose kids to levels of air pollution that can endanger the heart and immune system, new studies suggest.

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To accompany “Urban pollution can pose unseen risks to kids’ immunity and more


Before Reading:

1.  The amount of pollution in the air varies somewhat from day to day. How can you know when levels are high or fairly low?

2.  Does your body respond to bad-air days? If so, what are your symptoms? If you feel no effects, does that mean you’re immune to impacts from current levels of air pollution?

During Reading

1.  Why did Mary Prunicki’s team choose to study kids in Fresno, Calif.?

2.  What measurements did she make on the kids?

3.  What immune changes did her team find in the most pollution-exposed children?

4.  What does the word “epigenetic” mean and what type of epigenetic changes did the team find?

5.  What change to something other than immunity did air pollution cause in the most exposed kids? And what were the risks from this additional health effect?

6.  What is cotinine and why did Rebecca Levy’s team study its presence in kids? How old were the kids her team studied and what pollution impacts did she find in them?

7.  What early health-related change did Angela Haczku’s team find in people exposed to California’s Camp Fire?

After Reading:

1.  Lung impacts of a pollutant can leave you coughing. But if you can’t see or feel the pollution impacts, how do you protect against them? Think about what the effects of the pollution described in this story and then brainstorm with a partner about how you might change your behaviors or lifestyle factors when you hear that local pollution levels are going to be high.