After considering multiple social issues affecting both their school and the larger community, 4th graders in the SLP Club at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School (BPCS) have decided to help prevent air pollution. Especially in New York City, air pollution poses a serious risk to all residents: but children, seniors, and people living in low-income neighborhoods face the highest risk.
Students analyze the causes of air pollution.
Deep into the Research Phase of their project, BPCS students have uncovered many startling statistics:
- According to the World Health Organization, 92% of the world’s population lives in areas with unsafe levels of air pollution.
- Up to 2,700 premature deaths per year in NYC could be attributed to poor air quality. Put in perspective, that’s more than eight times the 2013 murder rate.
- Cars produce more air pollution than any other single human activity, producing 60% of all carbon monoxide emissions nationwide.
- While pollution from natural events such as forest fires or volcanoes does occur, it is marginal compared to air pollution caused by human activity.
- 6.5 millions deaths per year are thought to be caused by air pollution-related diseases; that’s 11.6% of all global deaths.
Though the situation is daunting, government regulation can have a positive impact. According to the NYC Health Department, air pollution in the city is at the lowest level ever recorded, thought to be the result of federal, state and city measures curtailing air pollution. But, under the Trump administration and EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, existing environmental regulations (let alone increased regulation) are in serious danger.
Stay tuned to learn more about which solutions BPCS students determine are the most effective, and what we can all do to help prevent air pollution.