Betty Oliver Kaplan University Biology, Particulate pollution has become an increasing problem to our communities. Though it cannot be seen, it is all around us. It is made up of soil and dust particles, metals, and organic chemicals (U. S Environmental Protection Agency n. d). It affects the air we breathe and can cause harmful health problems. Particulate pollution is more prominent in larger cities due to big industries. How does particulate pollution affect the small communities that do not have the big industries? That is the question I am going to try to answer by conducting an air particle experiment in my town of Edenton, NC.
In biology class, we were asked to do an experiment using a coffee filter and Vaseline. We were asked to hang this outside our house in safe place. The purpose for this experiment was to determine if the community we live in was contaminated with air particle pollution. After reading some information about air particulate pollution on the U. S Environmental Protection Agency, I came up with a hypothesis. My hypothesis is there will be a minimum amount of particulate matter in Edenton, NC. The reason for my hypothesis is; I do not live in a town where there are any major air particle factors.
After deciding on a hypothesis, I prepared my filter by applying Vaseline to the coffee filter. I placed it outside underneath my carport. I then made a week to week chart describing what changes I observed. Below is the chart with my observations. WEEK| OBSERVATION| Week 1 JAN. 15, 2010| No changes. The filter is still white and there is no particle matter on the filter. The Vaseline is still on the filter in a thick layer. | Week 2JAN. 22, 2010| This week the filter had a little yellowish tint to it, but not very much. | Week 3JAN. 29,2010| Week three there are some changes. On the filter there are some small black dots on the filter.
I counted six dots. I wanted to mark these spots, so I took a red ink pen and placed a mark by these spots. This way I can tell the difference between the new dots and the old ones. The filter had turned a little more yellow. I think this color change on the filter is from the snow and rain we have had here in Edenton, NC. | Week 4FEB. 5,2010| This week I noticed four more black spots on the filter. There was more snow this week, but the filter stayed the same in color. | After making my observations, I explained to three people the purpose of my project and what air particulate pollution was.
I asked them what their opinions were of what they saw on the filter. The first person thought it was just dirt that was kicked up by the storms. The second person could not decide what it was. The third stated they thought it could be air particulate pollution. They said though we live in a small town, there are a lot of vehicles on the roads in Edenton. They thought this could be the reason for the particles on the filter. Once comparing these answers with my observations, I decided that my hypothesis was correct. There are not a lot of air particulate pollutants in Edenton.
NC. I did some research on the air particle pollution on the EPA website. According to the EPA there are several sectors that could cause these particles on this air filter. One factor is Edenton is a farming community and there is a field behind my house. This could explain the black spots on the filter. The wind may have picked these particles up and carried them and depositing them on the filter. Those particles could have also come from transportation, like my friend stated. I do not live on a busy road, so I feel that those particles most likely came from the fields.
I think that my hypothesis was correct. There were not a lot of particles on my filter. This means that the air quality in Edenton, NC is not completely free of air particles. There are some Inhalable coarse particles. These are particles that can from road ways and dusty industries such as farms and cars (EPA, n. d. ). The level of air particle pollutants is very low. Being that there is hardly any air pollutants, the health risk are low. Whether you live in a small town or big city, air particle pollution affects everyone. Though you cannot see it, it is there.
There needs to be more steps taken to eliminate air particles pollutants in the air. If ignore, there can be serious health risk. References U. S Environmental Protection Agency. Particulate Matter. n. d. EPA website. Mayor Roland H. Vaughan 209 East Water Street Edenton, NC 27932 Mayor Vaughn, The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the amount of air particulate matter in our lovely town of Edenton, NC. Air particulate matter is a type of pollution that comes from farms, cars and industries. It occurs when dangerous chemicals are released into the air.
This type of pollutant is invisible, but can be harmful to our health if present in the air. For my biology class, we had to conduct an experiment to find out if and how much particulate air pollution we had in our individual communities. To start my experiment, I took a coffee filter and applied Vaseline to it. This coffee filter was hung up outside to trap any particulate matter that was present in the air. Over the next four weeks, I observed the changes that took place. The first few weeks there was little change, but in the third and fourth week, I noticed some small black spots on the filter.
This filter showed that Edenton had some Inhalable coarse particles. These types of particles can be inhaled in the lungs and can cause breathing problems. Even though there was some very small evidence of particulate air pollution in our town, we do not have the major industries that contribute to the higher levels of particulate pollution. Most of Edenton’s air particulate pollution comes from the farming and cars emitting gas. What does concern me, is the amount of gas stations Edenton has. I counted six gas stations in a two mile radius.
This cannot be good for our community’s environment. The gases that are given off by these gas stations can eventually become a major problem for our lovely town. Are all of these gas stations necessary? As a community, we need to look toward our town’s future and providing a healthy environment for our children to grow up in. Besides the amount of gas stations in our town, over all, I would have to say that we, as Edentonians, can breathe a little easier knowing our town is not contaminated with harsh harmful air particulate pollutants. Matter articulate Matter