Dirty Secrets (Pd 7) “Something is amiss in our global world water supply: Striped bass are succumbing to flesh-eating bacteria in Chesapeake Bay; seabird chicks are starving in Hawai‘i; coral reefs are weakening under a growing assault of invisible contaminants and an increasing variety of aquatic animals are showing signs of developmental disorders. Experts and citizens are racing to find clues to the causes—and the solutions. Find out how we all can make a difference.” Recipe for Pollutant Soup:


Ingredients:

  • Car oil

    • Spills into the ocean every day
    • Approximately 10.9 million gallons of car oil leaks into the ocean every eight months.
      • The infamous oil tanker, Exxon Valdez, spilled approximately this amount when it ran ground on March 24, 1989.
  • Trash

    • In the North Pacific Gyre, Charles More found tons of trash, mainly plastic.
      • The North Pacific Gyre is an area in the Pacific Ocean. Its strong currents pick up trash and collect it into one, miles long, "Garbage Patch".
      • Charles More used a net, originally used to catch plankton, to sample the volume of plastic in the water.
        • According to some of the samples Charles took, the volume of plastic was larger than the volume of plankton in some areas.
    • Michelle Hester tagged and tracked albatrosses.
      • She intended on finding where the birds got their source of food so she could find where the albatrosses had found the plastic that was discovered in their stomachs.
      • She uncovered the North Pacific Gyre, an area with an unbelievable amount of trash, as the source of the birds' food.
      • 70% of the birds Michelle Hester tagged had been found to mistake plastic from the North Pacific Gyre for food.
      • Albatrosses starve because the plastic filling their stomachs leaves no room for actual food.
    • About 15 hundred tons of trash is produced every year.
    • Only 5% of plastic products in the United States are reincarnated into another product.
  • Chemicals
    • Fredrik vom Saal and Don Tillet have been researching aquatic "gender- benders."
      • They've found abnormalities throughout the waters of America such as male fish producing eggs and amphibians with developing disorders.
      • The suspected chemicals causing these abnormalities are chemicals from fertilizers, industrial wastes, cosmetics, pesticides, and several other substances.
      • Bisphenol A is a manufactured chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics. It has be known to affect animals in their development because it acts like estrogen, the female hormone. Bisphenol A is the most likely chemical linked to the abnormalities found in the waters Fredrik vom Saal and Don Tillet studied.
        • Based on Saal's research, Bispenol A doses as small as parts per trillion can have a huge impact on how the fish develop. Saal tested the chemical on mice and concluded that even a very small amount of the chemical can disrupt early cell development.
        • Fredrik vom Saal said that "Too much of any hormone at the wrong moment can be risky. You have essentially set a time bomb in the genes of that animal."
        • This chemical is found in many of plastic products. One example is baby bottles. Baby bottles were tested and all gave off bisphenol A. When they were washed in a dish washer, the bisphenol A levels just rose. When a product made with this chemical reaches a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, more toxins are released.

Summary:

At the beginning of this section, Michelle Hester is telling of her journey acrros the North Pacific so she can tag and track albatrosses. She explains that she is tracking the birds because of her discovery of many of them dead with a plastic-filled stomach. Meanwhile, while Michelle is studying the albatrosses, Captain Charles More is sailing across the North Pacific Gyre and making a disturbing discovery. He has found that the swirling currents of the North Pacific Gyre collect trash and all the trash soon is gathered into a miles long "Garbage Patch." The story then goes back to Michelle Hester who has found where the albatrosses has found their source of food. 70% of the birds she has tagged found their source of food in the North Pacific Gyre, or the "Garbage Patch." Then, Fredrick vom Saal and Don Tillett where finding abnormalities in the waters of America. The most likely suspected chemical was bisphenol A which could be found in many plastic products used by people around the world. Bisphenol A mimics the female hormone estrogen which causes fish to have different development problems. They tested baby bottles, a plastic product containing the chemical, by leaving water in them for 24 hours and then testing how much of the chemical is found. In ALL of the baby bottles, there was bisphenol A found. And when the bottles were washed, the chemical levels just rose!

Great Job lots of detail! I like your format.
75/75 points