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22.2: Effects of Pollution

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Lesson 22.2: True or False

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Write true if the statement is true or false if the statement is false.

_____ 1. Breathing polluted air increases the risk of lung cancer.

_____ 2. Ozone in smog can kill entire forests.

_____ 3. Some people are more sensitive to smog than others.

_____ 4. Small fish are likely to contain higher levels of lead than large fish.

_____ 5. Exposure to heavy metals can cause brain damage in unborn babies.

_____ 6. Acid rain contains higher-than-normal levels of carbonic acid.

_____ 7. Acid rain damages structures but does not harm living things.

_____ 8. The hole in the ozone layer shows that air quality is improving.

_____ 9. The ozone hole is bigger in some seasons than in others.

_____ 10. Ground-level ozone is especially harmful to people with heart disease.

Lesson 22.2: Critical Reading

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Read this passage based on the text and answer the questions that follow.

Acid Rain

The pH value of normal rain is 5.6. A pH value of 7 is neutral, so normal rain is slightly acidic. That’s because carbon dioxide in air dissolves in rain. This forms carbonic acid, a weak acid. Acid rain has a pH value of less than 5. Acid rain forms when nitrogen and sulfur oxides in air dissolve in rain. They form nitric and sulfuric acids. Both are strong acids. Acid rain may have a pH value as low as 4.0. Acid fog may be even more acidic than acid rain. Acid fog with a pH value as low as 1.7 has been recorded. That’s the same pH value as toilet bowl cleaner!

Acid rain ends up in soil and bodies of water. This can make them very acidic. Acid can also strip soil of its nutrients. These changes can kill trees, fish, and other living things. In addition, acid rain dissolves limestone and marble. This can damage buildings, monuments, and statues.


  1. Why is normal rain slightly acidic?
  2. Compare the acidity of normal rain, acid rain, and acid fog.
  3. What causes acid rain?
  4. How does acid rain affect soil and water? How do these changes affect living things?
  5. Why does acid rain damage buildings, monuments, and statues?

Lesson 22.2: Multiple Choice

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Circle the letter of the correct choice.

  1. Air pollutants that increase the risk of asthma include
    1. ozone.
    2. particulates.
    3. heavy metals.
    4. two of the above
  2. An air quality index of 120 parts of ozone per million parts of air is
    1. safe only for young people.
    2. unhealthy for some people.
    3. unhealthy for all people.
    4. safe for all people.
  3. Nitrogen and sulfur oxides
    1. are toxic to humans.
    2. can cause lung diseases.
    3. form acid rain.
    4. all of the above
  4. Which organisms in a food chain have the highest levels of heavy metals?
    1. producers
    2. primary consumers
    3. secondary consumers
    4. tertiary consumers
  5. Sources of VOCs include
    1. cleaning solutions.
    2. building materials.
    3. paints.
    4. all of the above
  6. Normal rain is slightly acidic because it contains dissolved
    1. oxygen.
    2. nitrogen.
    3. carbon dioxide.
    4. nitrogen dioxide.
  7. The ozone layer in the atmosphere
    1. occurs in the stratosphere.
    2. is being destroyed by acid rain.
    3. protects Earth from harmful CFCs.
    4. forms only over the South Pole and Antarctica.

Lesson 22.2: Matching

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Match each definition with the correct term.


_____ 1. type of pollutant that is usually higher in indoor than outdoor air

_____ 2. buildup of heavy metals in the tissues of organisms

_____ 3. harmful radiation blocked by the ozone layer

_____ 4. gas in smog that is harmful to plants and people

_____ 5. type of air pollutant that destroys the ozone layer

_____ 6. type of air pollutant that blocks sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface

_____ 7. odorless, colorless gas that is deadly to people in a confined space


a. ozone

b. bioaccumulation

c. particulate

d. carbon monoxide

e. VOC

f. CFC

g. UV

Lesson 22.2: Fill in the Blank

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Fill in the blank with the appropriate term.

  1. Children are __________ likely than adults to be affected by air pollution.
  2. Solid air pollutants called __________ may reduce the energy available for photosynthesis.
  3. If nitrogen and sulfur oxides dissolve in raindrops, the result is __________ rain.
  4. Mercury and lead are examples of pollutants called __________.
  5. The pollutants in question 4 enter food chains from the __________.
  6. Acid rain has a pH value of less than __________.
  7. CFCs are human-made chemicals that contain the element __________.

Lesson 22.2: Critical Writing

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Thoroughly answer the question below. Use appropriate academic vocabulary and clear and complete sentences.

What is bioaccumulation, and why does it occur?

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