Category Archives: Empower

Human impact has created a ‘plastic planet’

Planet Earth's oceans and lands will be buried by increasing layers of plastic waste by the mid-century due to human activity, according to research led by the University of Leicester. A new study, which has been published in the journal Anthropocene, examines the evidence that we now live in the Anthropocene, an epoch where humans…
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Water Quality and Future Generations

Dr. Deborah L. Swackhamer is Professor in Science, Technology, and Public Policy in the Hubert H, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Co-Director of the University's Water Resources Center. She also is Professor in Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health, and is trained as an environmental chemist. She joined the Minnesota faculty in 1987. She studies the processes affecting the behavior of, and exposures to, toxic chemicals in the environment and works on policies to address these potential risks. When not in the classroom or lab, she serves as Chair of the Science Advisory Board of the US EPA and several NAS/NRC committees. In 2009 she received the prestigious Founders Award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry for lifetime achievement in environmental sciences.

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The individuals involved with TEDxUMN have a passion for bringing together the great thinkers at the University of Minnesota and giving them the opportunity to share their ideas worth spreading and to discuss our shared future. We provide these great people the opportunity to share these ideas on a global stage and with an incredibly diverse audience. We believe in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately the world.

Plastic Piles up in the Environment.

Americans discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year. Only 8 percent of that gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfills, is incinerated, or becomes the invasive species known as 'litter.' » More than 5 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tons afloat at sea. Source: Eriksen, Marcus; Lebreton, Laurent C. M.;…
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Plastic Affects Human Health

Chemicals leached by plastics are in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments. » Two broad classes of plastic-related chemicals are of critical concern for human health—bisphenol-A or BPA, and additives used in the synthesis of plastics,…
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