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Transcript of Green Chemistry
Developing chemical processes and earth-friendly products that will prevent pollution.
Paradigm Shift by the late 1980's
Chemical industries & the EPA were focused on clean-up until this point.
Chemists began to research preventing pollution in the first place.
Where did it all start?
Science on the Rise
Corporation recruited laboratories
Plastics and pesticides were the most developed during this time
Rachel Carson wrote a mainstream scientific book that outlined the devastation that certain chemicals had on local ecosystems.
This was considered a national wake up call.
By 1970, president Richard Nixon established the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
Americans made up 6% of the world's population yet consumed a third of all the world's goods and services
Better Things for Better Living Through Chemistry
Wold Fair 1964
Natural material (ivory, metal, cotton, leather) are replaced with synthetic products (Nitrocellulose, Rayon, Nylon, Orlon, Decron, Polyester, Neoprene, synthetic rubber, Freon, Ammonia, Cellophane, Mylar, artificial leather.)
Love Canal, Niagra Falls NY - 1978
Thousands of barrels of chemical waste from chemical companies had been buried there over decades.
They built schools and housing on top of the dump site.
The waste leaked out and contaminated the soil & ground water resulting in abnormally high rate of miscarriages and chromosomal damage
Pollution Prevention Act 1990
Major policy change from pollution control to pollution prevention
Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act were all passed by the early 1980's but the US Administrations saw them as burdensome on the economy & began limiting the consequences for big businesses
2001 - Green Chemistry Institute became part of the ACS (American Chemical Society - largest professional scientific society in the world)
Many universities offer advanced degrees in the growing field of Green Chemistry.
98% of all organic chemicals are still derived from non-biodegradable petroleum.
This is the famous "Blue Marble" picture that was taken from Apollo 17 on December 7th 1972.
The greening of products includes making them smaller, and more efficient which reduces pollution.
Every bit of plastic that's ever been made is still on this planet. So What Do WE do? Here's what 19 year old Boyan Slat has come up with....