Join CHE-Alaska on July 28 and August 18 for presentations on microplastic pollution in Alaska’s marine and terrestrial environments and the effects of plastic-born toxic chemicals on Alaska's ecosystems and Alaskans' health.
On July 28, we will be joined by Veronica Padula from the Bering Sea Campus and Research Center at the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island to hear about her ongoing research and results from a 2020 study ‘Plastic-derived contaminants in Aleutian Archipelago seabirds...”. Phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor, were found in 100% of birds studied. Her work highlights the growing concern for high microplastic concentrations in remote environments and the potential toxic effects of chemical contaminants from plastics moving across the biological boundary into marine food webs. Contaminant circulation in food webs may also play a role in human exposure to phthalates and other plastic-dervied toxics.
On August 18, we will be hosting a second microplastic-themed webinar with Dr. Sonia Nagorski from the University of Alaska Southeast. Dr. Nagorski has decades of experience studying water quality as an environmental geochemist and recently turned her attention to the emerging issue of microplastic contamination. Together with a group of UAS undergraduates, Dr. Nagorski is assessing the extent of microplastic pollution in and from the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, Alaska. Her work seeks to understand the role glacial recession could play in microplastic pollution and ecosystem health in Southeast Alaska.
In addition to these speakers, Alaska Community Action on Toxics staff will be sharing findings from their upcoming report on plastics, chemicals, and climate in Alaska, highlighting the most pressing health concerns related to plastic pollution in the Arctic and links to extractive industries in Alaska.