A Toxic World

A new study suggests chemical pollution has become so pervasive that it has pushed Earth outside the relatively stable environment of the past 10,000 years.

Beyond the widespread use of plastics, researchers say they are also highly concerned about 350,000 synthetic chemicals, including pesticides, industrial compounds and antibiotics. “There has been a fifty-fold increase in the production of chemicals since 1950 and this is projected to triple again by 2050,” said research team member Patricia Villarrubia-Gómez of Sweden’s Stockholm Resilience Center. “Shifting to a circular economy is really important. That means changing materials and products so they can be reused, not wasted,” Villarrubia-Gómez added.

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