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Khan Academy


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Types

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessments

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Pollution and Human Health

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  • This video connects human health to pollution by discussing one person's experience with asthma and the case study of asbestos causing mesothelioma. 
  • The video emphasizes that it is difficult to study the health effects of pollution because everyone experiences different kinds and levels of pollutants in their environment and it may take many years for symptoms to develop. 
  • The video touches on air, water, and soil pollution, but air pollution is the main focus and specific air pollutants are identified and discussed.
Teaching Tips


  • The video provides examples of how pollution affects human health that students will be able to relate to.
  • The content can be applied to AP Environmental Science courses, with the standards listed under the video.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are interactive practice questions that accompany the video, but to record scores to your digital classroom, you must sign in.
  • The video discusses cancer and other serious health issues that may be sensitive topics for some students.


  • This could be used in a health class to connect climate change and pollution with human health issues, specifically asthma and cancer.
  • Students could use this video as inspiration to further research pollution in their community and the possible health effects of that pollution.
  • Cross-curricular connections can be made to a government course by further discussing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act that are mentioned at the end of the video.
  • This video would pair well with the video Reduction of Air Pollutants, also by Khan Academy. 
  • To incorporate this video into a social studies class, consider these other resources related to air pollution and health, such as this video about asthma in the Bronx, this article about how to protect yourself from air pollution, and this video that connects air pollution and COVID-19 outcomes.
Scientist Notes
This 6-minute video presents an overview of a few forms of pollution impacts on human health with a particular focus on air pollution. The resource discusses sources of air pollution that can cause or worsen asthma, as well as the impact that asbestos can have on human health, especially in relation to mesothelioma. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • MS-LS1-3. Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
      • HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.
    • LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • MS-LS3-1. Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.
      • HS-LS3-2. Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
  • Related Resources


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