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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Tox Town"- educating us about environment health concerns

"Tux Town"is an interactive guide to commonly encountered toxic substances, your health, and the environment. It helps users explore a Port, Town, City, Farm, to identify common environmental hazards.

Information on chemical and environmental concerns is from the TOXNET and MedlinePlus resources of the National Library of Medicine

Tox Town is designed to give you information on:

- everyday locations where you might find toxic chemicals
- non-technical descriptions of chemicals
- links to selected, authoritative chemical information on the Internet
- how the environment can impact human health
- Internet resources on environmental health topics

Tox Town uses color, graphics, sounds and animation to add interest to learning about connections between chemicals, the environment, and the public's health. Tox Town's target audience is students above elementary-school level, educators, and the general public.

For Teachers:

* Environmental Health Education

Tox Town and other National Library of Medicine resources can help with student-friendly information on human health and the environment, plus pollution and toxic chemicals.
Students can learn about their school's indoor air quality and environment, toxic chemicals in homes and communities, and the impact of the environment on the quality of drinking water or outdoor air.

Raising Environmental Health Awareness

Print and photocopy one or more of the location scenes on the clip artpage and pass to students.
Ask students to circle the places on the scene where they might encounter environmental health concerns and give examples of what they think they might find. List specific risks that those problem areas might pose, for example the river might be polluted, the school chem lab might store toxic chemicals or trucks may be spewing exhaust.
Then give the students time to explore Tox Town. Students can compare the concerns circled on paper with those they find illustrated in Tox Town.

Ask students to choose one environmental health concern from the scene and write 2-3 paragraphs about the possible effects of that concern on people's health.

-For higher level thinking, students can predict what risks might exist in their own community (that match the scene) and where. Students could also check local government resources, newspapers, and environmental groups to learn about and verify local concerns.

- Classroom Activities and Discussion Questions
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