The Effects of Plastics on Health

There is no denying that plastic pollution in our oceans and environment is an enormous societal challenge. Globally, plastic production has increased by more than tenfold since 1970, faster than the growth rate of any other group of bulk materials (IEA). Faced with this massive presence in our environment, we wanted to answer this question: What are the effects of plastic on human health? We researched the issues, from production to end-of-life, and brought together a diverse group of scientists, health professionals, policy experts, and advocates to answer this question. 

We are excited to bring you this four-part webinar series, which will present the latest research on the key ways plastic affects public health. As petrochemicals are rapidly becoming the largest driver of global oil consumption, we want to explicitly explore the links between petrochemicals, climate change, and human health. We will begin with the hazardous effects of plastic production, then investigate harmful chemicals in plastic food packaging, probe the emerging science on the impacts of microplastics, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of bio-based plastics. Please join us and sign up for our newsletter to receive updates. 

Topic one: Plastic Production

Plastic Production's Threats to Health: Global Trends, Chemical Footprints of Common Plastics, and the PVC Industry’s Wake of Pollution 

October 30, 2018 at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT / 7pm CET 

Featured Speakers:

  • Araceli Fernandez Pales, MSc, MEng, Senior Energy Technology Analyst, Energy Technology Policy Division, International Energy Agency
  • Mark Rossi, PhD, Executive Director, Clean Production Action
  • Jim Vallette, Research Director, Healthy Building Network

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Topic two: Food Packaging

Plastic Food Packaging: State of the Science on Chemical Constituents and Health Hazards

December 3, 2018 at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 7pm CET

Featured Speakers:

  • Ksenia Groh, PhD, Scientific Communication Officer, Food Packaging Forum
  • Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine, and Population Health & Chief, Division of Environmental Pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine
  • Rachel Shaffer, MPH, co-author, American Academy of Pediatrics' Policy Statement on Food Additives and Child Health

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Topic three: Microplastics

Microplastics: An Emerging Threat to Global Ecology and Public Health

January 30, 2019 at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 7pm CET

Featured Speakers:

  • Chelsea Rochman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto
  • Stephanie Wright, PhD, Research Associate, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment & Health Environmental Research Group, King's College London

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Topic four: Bioplastics

Bioplastics: Investigating Opportunities and Challenges
February 28, 2019 at 11am PST / 2pm EST / 8pm CET 
Featured Speakers:
  • Ramani Narayan, PhD, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University College of Engineering
  • Marty Mulvihill, PhD, Co-founder and Partner, Safer Made and Founder, Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry
  • Ann Blake, PhD, Founder and Principal, Environmental & Public Health Consulting

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