After completing the work on the Great Smog of London (see previous post) you may think that pollution from coal burning is a problem from history that we have largely been able to manage. However, earlier this year, as bush fires raged around Gippsland, the Hazelwood coal mine caught alight and burned for over a month. Firefighters were warned that too much water would interrupt the state’s electricity supply and smoke from the fire inundated Morwell and Taralgon. Read the following articles and do some research to answer the following questions:
- Air quality continues to deteriorate as fire burns - ABC news 9/2/2014
- Hazelwood fire now under control - ABC news 10/3/2014
- Hazelwood coal fire health impacts – Australasian Science
- Q&A on the Latrobe Valley mine fire - EPA site
- What organisation is responsible for monitoring air quality in the state?
- What are at least five pollutants mentioned that have effects on human health?
- Look up these pollutants on the National Pollutant Inventory and draw a table showing the characteristics of the pollutant and the human health impacts.
- What are the health effects of exposure to these pollutants?
- What groups of people are particularly vulnerable to these pollutants?
This term we will be doing an experiment to observe the effects of sulfur dioxide on various materials (YouTube video). Please organise a time with your supervising teacher to complete this practical work. You will be required to write up and submit the experimental report.
- Student video about the Effects and Sources of sulfur dioxide – YouTube
- Chloe’s common-craft style video about Sulfur dioxide as a pollutant – YouTube