The next New Bedford Science Café: Tuesday, 1/8, 6:00–8:00pm. At Greasy Luck Brewpub, 791 Purchase St., New Bedford. Open to everyone. Free, except for beer and food! (If possible, come early & place an order!)
“PFAS contaminants in the nation’s drinking water supplies. Where these non-stick chemicals come from, how they affect our health, and what we can do to reduce our exposure.” The New Bedford Science Café’s next guest will be Laurel Schaider, Ph.D., an environmental chemist and research scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, a scientific research organization based in Newton, MA.
Contaminants in groundwater, surface water and drinking water have been identified as a rapidly emerging health threat, with the U.S. Congress last September calling on the EPA to move faster in assessing their potential hazards.
Laurel Schaider singles out a group of chemicals known as PFASs, which have been linked to immune system problems, certain cancers, thyroid disruption and adverse effects on pregnancy. They are in products we use every day, “and eventually they make their way down the drain,” she explains. “What’s concerning is that we are potentially re-exposed to them through our drinking water.” On Cape Cod, Schaider has spearheaded private well and septic system testing in conjunction with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program Center (STEEP). The five-year project is a collaboration between URI, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health, and Silent Spring Institute, based in Newton, Ma.
What is a Science Café? There are dozens, if not hundreds, worldwide. They are informal gatherings, often at a pub or restaurant, between a local scientist or expert who sheds light on a certain topic and anyone interested. Café-goers range from techies to those with little exposure to science. For more info, call Victoria Pope, 202-333-0604. Keep track of events by visiting http://www.nbsciencecafe.com or join our FaceBook page (New Bedford Science Café).
Stay tuned: Our guest on Tuesday Feb 5 will be Seth Garfield, aqua culturalist and co-manager of Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farms, who will discuss: “Down On A Watery Farm: Lessons learned by A Local Shell-Fisher & The Hurdles That Lie Ahead.” Seth and his wife Dorothy began one of New England’s first off-bottom oyster farms 37 years ago.
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Click here to download the entire 1/3/19 issue: 01-03-19 PolarPlunge