Globe Investigation

What are you breathing?

by Líadan 5th Class

Do you know what is in the air that you breathe in every day? At my school, St Clare’s, we decided to investigate.

Air pollution is harmful to the health of humans, animals and plants. It also affects the integrity of the atmosphere. Air pollution results from a variety of causes ranging from factories to spray cans.

We suspected that the main cause of air pollution in Harold’s Cross was vehicle traffic. We chose to measure NO2 (nitrogen dioxide). We placed test tubes in 6 areas to measure NO2. The results showed medium pollution levels in 3 areas and medium ‐ low in the other 3. We did all this thanks to the GLOBE project for schools.

I would encourage citizens to inform themselves about air quality by first looking up the EPA website. This shows results from air quality monitoring stations in different parts of the city. Next, for more detailed results, citizens could buy some cheap test kits funded through their community group. Sometimes universities do air quality research too, with citizens helping out.

So, find out the options in your area and club together as good citizens to investigate and make a change. If we schoolchildren can do it, you can too!