Questions for ‘How fossil fuel use threatens kids’ health’


Smokestacks spew pollution that can harm human health.



Before Reading:

1. List three types of fossil fuels and the things/places for which they are a common energy source.

2. Investigate how scientists have linked the burning of fossil fuels to global warming and climate change. (Hint: There are many stories at Science News for Students that can help here.)

3. Why might children in poor households have more stressful lives than kids in wealthier ones?

During Reading:

1. What is a review paper?

2. Why did Frederica Perera and her colleagues conduct their review?

3. Why might youngsters face a higher risk of health problems from the burning of fossil fuels than would adults?

4. Why is it risky for a baby to be born prematurely?

5. What is asthma?

6. Give three examples of extreme weather.

7. How can extreme weather affect kids’ health?

8. Why does Frederica Perera argue that ending the burning of fossil fuels would result in health-care savings?

After Reading:

1. In many places, people are switching from energy that is based on fossil fuels to renewable sources, such as wind or solar. The financial costs of the renewable energy sources can be much higher. However, financial costs usually do not account for any health problems that can come from producing and using a particular energy source. After reading this story, do you think that a switch to cleaner, but potentially more expensive, energy sources is a good idea? Explain your answer.

2. Science rarely gives a definitive answer, only more questions to investigate. Come up with three questions you think this story does not answer. Pick one and explain how scientists might investigate it.


1. A 2015 report estimated that urban air pollution costs Europe $1.6 million each year. If costs increase by 2 percent each year, how much will urban air pollution cost Europe in 2030? Show your work.