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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 5 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - South, North Carolina


YouTube Video

How "Forever Chemicals" Polluted America's Water

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  • This 12 minute video about PFOA chemical pollution describes what "forever" chemicals are, some of the products you'll find them in, and how widespread the toxic pollutant is in drinking water across America, detailing the pollutant's impacts on North Carolina's Cape Fear River and city of Wilmington.
  • It discusses the need for the precautionary principle when reviewing and approving new products, chemicals, and chemical ingredients in products. 
Teaching Tips


  • The graphics in the video are very informative.
  • It provides a local example in North Carolina that some students may identify with.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are ads during the video.
  • Although there is no direct discussion of climate change, clean and fresh water is vital to life on Earth and this dwindling resource is being affected by climate change and pollution.


  • Students could investigate the companies that make PFOA chemicals and investigate other chemicals that may be damaging to human health through the FDA, CDC, OSHA, and NIH websites.
  • Students could research all of the products that contain PFOA chemicals and types of water filters that might be able to filter them out of drinking water.
  • Other resources about pollution include this video, this lesson, this experiment, and this interactive map.   
Scientist Notes
The United States has a long history of industrial pollution. It continues to this day. This well-researched video from Vox takes a look at "forever chemicals" in the drinking water in North Carolina and elsewhere. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 6.SL.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • 11-12.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, perspective, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Social Sciences
    • Economics (K-8)
      • 7.8 Examine how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
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