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Bio Build-up

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Tharp, MS.

What Are Pollutants?

To focus student’s attention, begin this activity by asking, What are pollutants? Explain that pollutants are small amounts of harmful chemicals that plants and animals can take in through water, food, or soil. Tell students that pollutants can become harmful if they accumulate in our bodies (through a process called bioaccumulation). 

Next, ask students to think about what might happen to pollutants taken up by producers. Ask, Do you think these pollutants are passed on to consumers? How about the next animal in the food chain? Would they take in the pollutants too? Tell students that they will learn what happens to pollutants in a food chain.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932