The Toxic Twenty

Since the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, our air quality has gone downhill significantly. Before this revolution, we used human and animal power, as well as water and other natural resources to slowly create what we needed. It was a slow process, but there were very few harmful by products. With the creation of the engine, people realized that they could create things much faster. But it took quite some time to realize exactly how harmful all of these by products were to us, long-term. It took quite some time for us to develop the technology to measure pollutants in the air, and realize that chemicals remained that we couldn’t see.

This infographic, found on, shows the toxic 20, or the top 20 air polluted states. Is your state on the list? It also shows the health risks involved in breathing in these chemicals. It’s no wonder that health problems have significantly increased in recent years. And finally, it shows the main ways this pollution gets into our air.

Discuss with your students the causes and implications of air pollution. Do they think it is worth it, to be able to have all the amenities we have today? How is there generation going to suffer 20, 30 or 40 years from now, or the next generation? What can we do to stop and even reverse this pollution?


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