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National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth
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DIRTY SECRETS
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Reasons Why You Should Care

Safe water
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Plastic trash has lasting impacts
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Safe water
Many Americans take water quality for granted. We have known for a long time about the effects of pollutants like heavy metals, such as mercury and lead, and bacterial infections from untreated sewage and farm runoff. But how about excessive fertilizer runoff that is causing large “dead-zones” in bays and estuaries worldwide? In these oxygen-depleted dead zones, fish and other creatures cannot survive. And new research is beginning to show that minute amounts of some chemicals can have some disturbing consequences. Some chemicals, like bisphenol A (BPA) can act like hormones, such as estrogen, and affect the normal development of young creatures. Studies are now looking at its effect on human development. A common place to find BPA is in certain commonly used polycarbonate plastics, such as those used to make CDs, sunglasses and even some baby bottles. BPA leaches into the water and. tiny doses of this chemical have been shown to be detrimental in lab animal studies. So think carefully before you throw away that plastic. For more information on plastics, download the Strange Days Smart Plastics Guide (English | Spanish). [PDF file]

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Sources:

DES Action Canada. (2005). Endocrine Disrupters: Effects on humans. DES Action Canada. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from http://www.web.net/~desact/anglais/public/hormonal/human.htm Off-site Link

 

Environment California (2007) Toxic Baby Bottles: Scientific Study Finds Leaching Chemicals in Clear Plastic Baby Bottles Appendix A, Retrieved March 9, 2008 from http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/reports/environmental-health/
environmental-health-reports/toxic-baby-bottles
Off-site Link

 

Kolpin. D.W. et al. (2002) Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams, 1999–2000: A National Reconnaissance, Environmental Science Technology, 36 1202-1211.

 

Frontline online. Interview Frederick vom Saal.. Frontline online. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/nature/interviews/
vomsaal.html
Off-site Link

 


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