Watch Out for Water-hating Chemicals

People talk about water as being the universal solvent, but it turns out that some chemicals hate being in it. Yup, chemicals can be hydrophobic. And some of them might cause serious problems:

Toxic chemicals turn up in Great Lakes plastic pollution

By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Great Lakes Echo, April 9, 2013

Toxic chemicals clinging to plastics could cause health problems for fish and other organisms in the Great Lakes.

They were discovered in samples from the first-ever Great Lakes plastic survey in Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior last summer, Lorena Rios Mendoza, an assistant chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin – Superior, announced Monday.

And instead of just sitting in sediments as some scientists previously thought, those pollutants might be traveling with plastics to other parts of the Great Lakes.  Read more…

Lorena Rios Mendoza aboard the tall ship Niagara during last summer’s first plastics pollution survey of the Great Lakes. Image: Courtesy Lorena Rios Mendoza

Lorena Rios Mendoza aboard the tall ship Niagara during last summer’s first plastics pollution survey of the Great Lakes.
Image: Courtesy Lorena Rios Mendoza

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