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Determine the effects of Air pollutants on living things


Determine the effects of air pollutants on living things (plants)


Containers (jars or closed tanks)
Seeds or Newly Sprouting Plants
Air Pollutants (such as carbon monoxide from automobile exhaust)


Teachers and students can formulate a number of experimental designs from this topic.

The most common seeds used are probably radish seeds in a small amount of water. The most convenient source of pollution is automobile exhaust fumes.

TYPICAL PROCEDURE: (several variations possible)

1.Place radish seeds in two wide mouth bottles.
2.Add enough water to just cover the seeds.
3.Close one of the bottles and place it aside for use as a control.
4.Expose the other bottles to automobile exhaust fumes for one minute.
5.Close the second bottle.
6.Observe after 48 hours and 72 hours.
7.Compare results in both bottles.


1.What type of seeds or plants were used in your experiment?

2. What pollutants were exposed to your plants?

3. What effect did each pollutant have on each plant species?

4.Does the length of time that the seeds were exposed to pollutants affect growth?

5. In what ways might humans be affected by these pollutants?

6.If substances are produced to kill plants (herbicides), what effects could they have on humans sprayed with these chemicals?

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