Plastic Plague Series

For these are not remnants of a heroic age,
but middens of a culture of distraction and disposability.
They are mundane, trivial, unnecessary — and fatal.

Philosopher Hannah Arendt

Convinced that petroleum-based plastics represent serious threats to the environment, wildlife, and human health, I draw on my scientific training to translate recent research findings about plastics into something hopefully informative and palatable to the public.

The original 12 articles in this series appeared in Vall-E-Vents, the newsletter for the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Sierra Club. More recent articles concerning plastics have appeared in various environmental magazines & newsletters and in local southern California newspapers.

2021 – April: Why California’s First-in-World Plan to Monitor Microplastics in Drinking Water Matters

2020 – January: Microplastics in Food, Water & Air: Can We Avoid Them?

2018 – November: What Do Beer, Oysters, Salt, Air & Tap Water Have in Common?

2017 – October: Plastic Ocean Pollution a Driver of Climate Change?

2016 – May: A Twofer: Carbon Tax Solves Both Climate Change and Plastic Ocean Pollution

2015 – April: Tide Turning Against Plastic Microbeads in Toiletries

2014 – May: Youthful Skin Comes at Cost to Ocean Food Web

November: BPA Regulatory Reform Moves Glacially Slow
May: Mid-Ocean Plastics Cleanup Schemes: Too Little Too Late?
March: Plastics-Free Living: Beyond the Low Hanging Fruit
February: Chemicals in Plastics Foster Diseases Passed on to Future Generations
January: Plastic Debris Delivers Triple Toxic Whammy, Ocean Study Shows

October: Bioplastics: Are They the Solution?
July: Are Plastics Making America Fatter?
May: BPA Newly Linked to Human Infertility
April: L.A. City Leaps Aboard Plastic Bag Ban Wagon

November: Greening Laundry Day: Avoid Polyester Fabrics
August: Huntington Beach Next City to Ban Plastic Bags?
June: Curb Exposure to BPA and Phthalate Through Diet
March: “BPA-Free” Label No Guarantee That Plastics Are Safe
January: BPA Chemical Lookalike Potentially More Risky

December: Beverages Bottled in PET Plastic Maybe Not Safe to Drink
March: Serving Plastics For Dinner? Unhealthy and Avoidable

September: Toy Buyer Beware
August: Fewer Toxins in Toyland
July: So You Like That “New Car Smell?” Think again.

June: Zero Waste! Let’s Get Out of This Dump
February: The Polystyrene Ban Wagon: Laguna Beach Will Require Biodegradable Eating Utensils
November: Hot Beverage Cups Go Green

October: Toxins in Toyland: A Scientist’s Timely Caveat Emptor
March: All That Shines Is Not Gold

November: San Francisco Nixes Plastic Toxins
July: Breaking Our Addiction to Plastics
March: Can Bioplastics Save Us?
February: Plastics Damaging To Health: Fetuses and Children Particularly at Risk
January: Plastics — an Unhealthy Habit?

November: Thirsty Californians Trash the State
November: Is Bottled Water Really Safer? Billions of Plastic Bottles Harm the Environment
September: Plastics in the Food Chain
July: Plastics for Dinner
May: Plastics Plague: From a “fix it” to a “throw away” society

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