Air pollution in Southeast Asia

Grade level: 6th grades

Skills: Percentages, fractions, and decimals

Related environmental issues: Air 

Smoke from agricultural fire killed over 100,000 people in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore in the fall of 2015. Smoke released from the farms that produce palm oil and timber for wood pulp and paper has caused air pollution for years in the region.

  1. The number of people who died from air pollution in 2006 was 38% of 100,000 in the region. How many people were killed from air pollution in 2006 in the region?

  2. Write the equivalent fraction and decimal for 38%.
  3. How many times more people died in the fall of 2015 than in 2006 from air pollution?  Answer in fractions in simplest form.

Source: Science Daily, 2016, “Smoke from 2015 Indonesian fires may have caused 100,000 premature deaths

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Answer keys

1.  38,000

2. Fraction: 38/100   Decimal: 0.38

2. 2  12/19  (100,000/38,000 = 100/38 = 50/19 = 2  12/19)

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