The following story and questions are designed to stimulate critical thinking through class discussion or as a brief essay response. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions.
Sylvia Gaylord works as a legal aide on the 12th floor of a tall glass-and-steel monument to modem architectural technology. On clear days, the views are spectacular. From her cubicle, Sylvia’s eye catches the edge of the beautiful blue-and-white skyscaper as she reaches for her inhaler. This is the third attack since she returned from lunch 4 hours ago-her asthma is really bad today. But if she leaves work early again, her boss will write her up for it. Sylvia concentrates on breathing normally.
Her roommate, Kelly, is a respiratory therapist at the county hospital Kelly says Sylvia’s asthma attacks are probably triggered by the city’s high level of air pollution. That can’t be true. They both run in the park every morning before work, and Sylvia rarely needs to use her inhaler. The problems start when she gets to work. The wheezing and coughing were so bad today that by the time she got up the elevator and into her cubicle, she could hardly breathe.
Last night, the cable news ran a story on the unhealthy air found in some buildings. They called it “sick building syndrome” and reported that certain employees developed allergic reactions just by breathing the air. “Hmmm,” she thought, “It seems like more and more people are getting sick in our office. John has had the flu twice. Sid’s bronchitis turned into bronchopneumonia, and Hui complains of sinusitis. Could this building have an air quality problem?”
Suggested Discussion Topics
1. Discuss which environmental factors might cause an asthma attack.
2. Discuss what Sylvia might do to find out if her building has an air quality problem.
3. What factors did Sylvia and Kelly consider as possible triggers for Sylvia’s frequent attack?
4. If Sylvia’s inhaler does not control her attack and her condition worsens, what steps should be taken promptly? Why?
Write an essay of at least 700 words using the questions at the end of Chapter 7 Critical Thinking Exercise Chapter. You may use the format from APA or MLA to write your essay. If you feel that you need to use outside sources in your essay, please be sure to cite those sources
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