Secondary Science Home

Chemicals are all around us; in the air we breathe, the clothes we wear and the food we eat. Many of these chemicals are essential for everyday life however there are some chemicals that can be bad for us.

The air around us is full of important chemicals such as the oxygen we need to breath and the carbon dioxide that plants need to grow. So what happens when the air is polluted?  Clean air is vital for our health, our communities and our environment.  Luckily, Scottish air quality is good when compared with other countries however there are still high levels of air pollution in our towns and cities. There are many problems associated with poor air quality so it is important to know what causes air pollution and what we can do to help keep the air clean.

By working your way through this module you will find out about:

  • the composition of the air around us
  • the chemicals that can pollute the air
  • how these chemicals are formed
  • what impact these air pollutants can have on our bodies and our environment
  • what we can do to ensure we have, and continue to have good air quality.

 This section of the website will guide you through the following topics:

  1. Fuels - introduces you to substances that can be used as fuels and looks at those infamous fossil fuels
  2. Crude Oil - looks at crude oil and what must be done to it in order to make it more useful.
  3. Combustion of Fossil Fuels - introduces you to some of the issues associated with burning fossil fuels.
  4. Pollution and Health - looks at the pollutant gases and particles formed when fuels burn and the health implications of these.
  5. Pollution and the Environment - looks at the impact that these air pollutants can have on the world around us.
  6. Solutions: What Can Be Done About It? - think about what you’ve learnt through this package and what you can do to improve air quality.

A Guide for Teachers and external links can be found in the Resources page (a link is at the bottom of every page). Also there are Homework Sheets for some of the topics covered in this section of the website. Links to these can be found in each section where needed.