Presenter Information

Zachary Kronforst

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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Timothy Donovan

Faculty Sponsor College

College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty Sponsor Department

English

Location

SOARS Virtual Conference

Presentation Website

https://unfsoars.domains.unf.edu/children-die-air-pollution-continues/

Keywords

SOARS (Conference) (2020 : University of North Florida) -- Posters; University of North Florida. Office of Undergraduate Research; University of North Florida. Graduate School; College students – Research -- Florida – Jacksonville -- Posters; University of North Florida – Graduate students – Research -- Posters; University of North Florida. Department of English -- Research -- Posters; Arts and Humanities -- Research – Posters

Abstract

The human species has evolved thanks in part to our ability to learn and solve problems, and now we as a race must solve a universal problem, air pollution. Coal, electricity, automobiles, gasoline, and nuclear power – our proud innovations – are now poisoning the air we breathe. And our children are the ones who reap the worst effects from what humanity has sown. They are the ones closest to the ground, so they consume more automobile toxins. They are the ones who breathe the fastest, faster than adults, thus resulting in consuming polluted air the quickest. They are the ones who are completely innocent of the air they breathe: 100% of children who are born into this world are blameless, yet 90% of them reap the benefits. How are these children affected by breathing polluted air? They may experience respiratory problems, heart issues, and, most importantly, cognitive functioning issues. Children who intake polluted air are at a higher risk for decreased levels of cognitive functioning; in other words, our children, our future, are becoming mentally handicapped by the very air we hope they fix in the future. Thus, humanity must change its current pollutive trajectory by any number of health-conscious countermeasures: raise fuel-economy standards, eliminate coal production and use, and limit CO2 emissions from nuclear plants and other sources. For the future to live, the present-day adult generation must change their pollutive habits.

Comments

Hello, my name is Zachary Kronforst, and I am presenting my poster board “Children Die, Air Pollution Continues” at the 2020 SOARS Conference at UNF.

First off, I’d like to start by stating my exigency of my project: the human species has evolved thanks in part to our ability to learn and solve problems, and now we as a race must solve a universal problem, air pollution. Children who intake polluted air are at a higher risk for decreased levels of cognitive functioning; in other words, our children, our future, are becoming mentally handicapped by the very air we hope they fix in the future. And I’d like to state a couple of points, a couple of facts, that I have found from various articles that state: Children are the ones closest to the ground, so they consume more automobile toxins; also, they are the ones who breathe the fastest, faster than adults, thus resulting in consuming polluted air the quickest; and lastly, they are the ones who are completely innocent of the air they breathe. 100% of children who are born into this world are blameless, yet 90% of them reap the benefits.

Furthermore, as to the “Findings” column, coal, electricity, automobiles, gasoline, and nuclear power – our proud innovations – are now poisoning the air we breathe. Basically, what we have invented up to this point in our existence as a race is now killing us. So, how is this affecting us? Well, the correlation between adolescent cognition and environment pollution has been studied to observe any connections between intelligence and cognitive functioning with regards to air pollution. And I broke these correlations down into age-specific categories: infancy, which is considered birth to one-years-old; early childhood, which is two years old to 12 years old; and, late childhood, which is 12 years old to 20 years old. I determined these ages thanks to the Oxford English Dictionary definitions of infancy, early childhood, and late childhood.

For the third column “Effects,” I took a look at each of these age-specific categories and started with “infancy.” I found literature suggesting that infants are heavily affected by air pollution, specifically Particulate Matter, denoted by the acronym PM, and automobile pollution. More specifically, the literature suggests that when PM levels are reduced, infant mortality rates decrease and infant cognitive functioning improves. On the other hand, when PM levels are high, infants experience deficiencies in memory and intelligence. Also, we see alarmingly high levels of automobile pollution in areas near highways, and thus, the infants are heavily affected by pollution. Regarding the “Early childhood” age range, 10% of worldwide children under five years old die to air pollution, which I found to be a staggering statistic. Also, children exposed to air pollution experience lung, heart, cognitive, and psychological issues. This originates from the air pollution they took in during their infancy and presently, and how it’s affecting them now in their early childhood. Also, air pollution remains a health risk and cognitive gamble for nine out of 10 children under 5 years old. 10% percent of worldwide of children will die to air pollution, so what does that mean for the other 90%? Does that mean they are not affected? Of course not— They are certainly affected. I believe the cognitive issues are the direst because these issues lead to this question: how do we solve this worldwide pollution issue that we’ve created when we’re hindering our children and their intelligence? And lastly, the “Late childhood” age typically experiences years of prior exposure, and experiences present-day stress and cognitive impairment, specifically ADHD and “thought problems”— a term that means obsessive thoughts and behaviors or thoughts that others find strange (I took this definition from sciencedaily).

Consequently, located in the fourth column, humanity may be struggling with its greatest obstacle yet: A self-created air pollution that kills many of its future generation. We created this and are currently adding to this monumental problem of air pollution. For example, globally, we are throwing away an estimated one-third of produced food, and this food typically rots in landfills and leads to the production of methane gas, a pollutant more problematic in many ways than carbon dioxide. As such, innocent children are dying, children that we are currently bring into this world and are introducing to the murderous air quality that we ourselves have created. Therefore, humanity must change its current pollutive trajectory by any number of health-conscious countermeasures: raise fuel economy standards, eliminate coal production and use, and limit CO2 emissions from nuclear plants and other sources. These are solutions that I raise as a response to these problems that may lessen the issue, and hopefully help solve these cognitive issues in children. Yet, as this catastrophe continues, our impaired children may become the new normal, a cognitively-handicapped future responsible for saving humanity. Once again, this is the idea that we are impairing the children of today and hoping that these children can solve tomorrow’s issue. How do we expect these future children – future scientists, academics, doctors – to solve this air pollution issue when we are actively handicapping their cognitive functioning by worsening the present-day air quality? For the future to live, the present-day adult generation must change their pollutive habits: We should no longer add to this statistic: “Every year 600,000 children die from breathing polluted air.” So, in conclusion, I’m advocating for present-day change, to change this ridiculous statistic. How do we expect to live in this world 50 years from now with a far worsened air quality and cognitive functioning? I hope I have convinced many of you to change your current pollutive habits, and to go out and vote for change on a much larger scale. Thank you.

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Apr 8th, 12:00 AM Apr 8th, 12:00 AM

Children Die, Air Pollution Continues

SOARS Virtual Conference

The human species has evolved thanks in part to our ability to learn and solve problems, and now we as a race must solve a universal problem, air pollution. Coal, electricity, automobiles, gasoline, and nuclear power – our proud innovations – are now poisoning the air we breathe. And our children are the ones who reap the worst effects from what humanity has sown. They are the ones closest to the ground, so they consume more automobile toxins. They are the ones who breathe the fastest, faster than adults, thus resulting in consuming polluted air the quickest. They are the ones who are completely innocent of the air they breathe: 100% of children who are born into this world are blameless, yet 90% of them reap the benefits. How are these children affected by breathing polluted air? They may experience respiratory problems, heart issues, and, most importantly, cognitive functioning issues. Children who intake polluted air are at a higher risk for decreased levels of cognitive functioning; in other words, our children, our future, are becoming mentally handicapped by the very air we hope they fix in the future. Thus, humanity must change its current pollutive trajectory by any number of health-conscious countermeasures: raise fuel-economy standards, eliminate coal production and use, and limit CO2 emissions from nuclear plants and other sources. For the future to live, the present-day adult generation must change their pollutive habits.

https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/soars/2020/spring_2020/86