Carnegie Mellon University

Identify the Contaminants



The student will become familiar with the use of the Guide to Contaminants that may be found on brownfields. He or she will be able to explain that the concern about contaminants is the reason that property is called a brownfield, and will note that different contaminants may be left by different types of land use (agricultural, industrial, commercial).


Students should be given a copy of the “Guide to Brownfields Contaminants.” This information is taken from a publication of the Environmental Protection Agency. The teacher should explain that the left column lists ways that a property may have been used in the past, and the right column lists contaminants that may have been left behind as a result of that land use.

The student pages for the activity should be distributed. It should be noted that the full set of 18 questions may be too many for all students to complete, so groups may work together and divide the work. The students will have to refer to the Guide to answer the questions, and will discuss their responses with members of their group when all have completed their questions.


Guide to Contaminants: Guide to Brownfield Contaminants [.pdf]
Worksheet for Students: Identify the Contaminants - Students [.docx]
Worksheet for Teachers: Identify the Contaminants - Teachers [.docx]