Most school budgets are depleted for the 2015-2016 class year. They book Chemistry on a Budget contains inexpensive chemistry labs that could be useful. You can buy this lab book for $23 at amazon.com or lulu.com. Check it out!
There are two versions of each lab, one with a ten-question conclusion and one with directions for a full lab report. This way the teacher has the option! Each lab is two pages to allow for one two-sided handout.
It will take a week or so to get to you, so Order Now!
*Some of you have purchased my lab book – be sure to check out Page 141 !
I had previously posted about a possible cleanup scheme for the large garbage patches in the ocean on 06/25/2015.
“The first comprehensive effort to estimate how much plastic pollution is going into the world's oceans has come up with a staggering figure: As much as 13 million tons flow into the sea every year, and the annual pile could get 10 times bigger over the next decade.”
This article contains a brief (41 second) video clip titled, “What Is an Ocean Garbage Patch?”
Recently, an article came to my attention about smaller pieces of plastic affecting the health of marine life:
“Over time, waves and sunlight break down large chunks of plastic, leaving the remnants of discarded packaging, bottles and bags nearly invisible to the naked eye. These so-called microplastics, particles under a millimeter across, may pose big troubles, experts warn. …How all this translates into potential harm to wildlife or human health remains unclear...Some plastics are manufactured with chemicals known to mess with hormones. Perhaps even more concerning is that plastic can act as a sponge for other toxic pollutants such as flame retardants and pesticides. Even DDT, long banned in the U.S., still lingers in coastal waters and can hitch a ride on plastic particles. “
“Plastic waste could find its way deep into the ocean through the faeces of plankton, new research from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory shows.
The study is further evidence of the widespread impact plastic pollution could have on the marine environment. Researchers have found tiny marine creatures called zooplankton readily ingest "microplastics", plastic debris smaller than one mm in size. This plastic is later egested within their faecal pellets. …
This new study showed plankton that ate polystyrene microplastics produced faeces that were lighter than normal and therefore sank more slowly. Because these pellets sink slower there will be greater opportunity for them to be eaten by animals. “
Here is a 4 minute video clip explaining impact of microplastics on sea life:
"When researchers analyzed fifteen brands of common table salt bought at supermarkets across China, they found among the grains of seasoning micro-sized particles of the common water bottle plastic polyethylene terephthalate, as well as polyethylene, cellophane, and a wide variety of other plastics (Env. Sci.& Tech. 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03163).
The highest level of plastic contamination was found in salt sourced from the ocean: The researchers measured more than 250 particles of plastic per lb of sea salt. “
“A new study linking microplastic pollution to low reproductive rates in Pacific oysters underscores the need to overhaul the use of petroleum-based plastics, according to a leading American ecotoxicologist.
‘The reason why we study these species is because we know they’re indicators for what is happening to us,’ said environmental chemist Sherri Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia, whose work has documented widespread microplastic contamination in aquatic ecosystems. ‘People are ingesting microplastics when they eat shellfish and other seafood.’ “
This article includes a 3 minute description of the problem and possible solutions
“The best solution is to prevent more plastic from reaching the ocean. Trash traps and litter booms can snag garbage before it enters waterways. Even better: Reduce plastic waste at its source. Be aware of packaging and buy items that use less of it, Law suggests. Skip the plastic bags, including zippered ones used for foods. Invest in reusable water bottles and lunch containers. And say no to straws.”
This article's focus on plastics might be a good additional or Extra Credit article while covering Organic Chemistry.
*This Blog contains several entries that would be helpful to your chemistry classroom. Remember, you can check out the Topic List to help you to find past Blog entries.
Also, Write To Me about your successes, challenges, or questions in the Chemistry Classroom.
Remember, buying a copy of the lab book Chemistry on a Budget can be very useful to your Chemistry classroom with labs and class article ideas.
Have a great week!