Health Impacts of Plastic (A-Z Series)

If you live in the watershed of the great Ohio River, most of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, the future of your water and air is in the balance and now is the time to act.

There are multiple proposed (and current) industrial threats in the region – all expanding the extraction and use of fossil fuels. These are projects the fracking industry hopes will unlock new ways to profit from their dangerous and reckless operations.

A new digital series begins TOMORROW to confront these projects, and explore the impacts of plastics on health, economy, environment, and climate.

Sign-up for the series at, and read about the presenters below.

or visit (and share)

What are the projects threatening the Ohio River Valley?

We’re talking about the Shell ethane cracker plant, which would make brand new raw plastic from fracking.

We’re talking about the shift of responsibility away from the Ohio River Water and Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and various state “environmental” agencies for monitoring and regulating toxic chemicals in the waterways.

We’re talking about the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub and Dilles Bottom ethane cracker to throw a lifeline to a sinking (and still poisonous) fracking industry. Will the Ohio River valley become a toxic sacrifice zone instead of source of water for people, farms, and wildlife?

The production of plastic – from underground gas pocket through the wellhead, pipelines, refineries, shipping/logistics to your trash– has impacts that affect our health, economy, environment and climate.

In this series you can join a discussion of leaders working toward solutions and actions we can take together.

Learn how:

  • plastics impact our health, economy, environment, and climate
  • to engage with communities to protect our shared well-being.
  • to find practical solutions around reducing and living plastic free.

The end goal is to connect and mobilize, to organize around solutions and actions that allow everyone to live a quality life, making informed decisions about the true trade-offs related to fracking for plastics.

Sign-up for the series at, and read about the presenters below.

This Month’s Theme – Plastics and Health

This month’s webinar will focus on health, and feature Dr. Ned Ketyer of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Environmental Health Project and Julie Dermansky of DeSmog Blog.

About the presenters:

Dr. Ned Ketyer, a prominent pediatrician in Pittsburgh and a consultant for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, has been conducting research in air quality and the health impacts of the proposed “ethane cracker plant” near Pittsburgh. Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC expects the Beaver County cracker plant to be operational in the early 2020s. It will “crack” ethane, one of the components of natural gas, to produce ethylene—the building block for plastics. The air quality of South-Western PA is already poor and there are more cancer cases there compared to other places in the state. Dr. Ketyer will explain his findings and answer questions about known health effects of “fracking and cracking” natural gas.

Julie Dermansky is a photojournalist and multimedia reporter documenting society’s impact on the natural world and social injustice. She is based in the New Orleans area putting her at ground zero to shoot the impacts of climate change and humankind’s role in creating it.

She photographs extreme weather events, the industrial landscape, and those fighting to protect the planet. Since the BP oil spill in 2010, she has been documenting Cancer Alley, the 84 mile long stretch of land between Baton Rouge and New Orleans along the Mississippi River that is packed with petrochemical plants and refineries, where pollution has become the norm.

Dermansky is an affiliate scholar at the Rutgers University Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and a recipient of a National Endowments for the Arts grant. Her photographs have been published by The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Weather Channel, NBC, The Times of London, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Daily Beast, Bloomberg, Buzzfeed, Reveal, Landscape Architecture Magazine and the Virginia Quarterly among others and her multimedia reportage appears regularly on DeSmog, an independent environmental news site.

About these webinars:

This upcoming webinar is hosted by Halt the Harm Network, and organized by A-Z Impacts of Plastic Series Programming Committee.

Each month, the Impacts of Plastic organizing collective will offer two events;

  • Tuesday night presentations by our featured speakers.
  • Thursday night sessions will be an opportunity to continue the discussion, share your concerns and issues in your community, and network with others.

Conversation and connection will happen inside the new Campaign Network, a private social forum hosted by Halt the Harm Network.

Join the A-Z Impacts of Plastics discussion group in the Campaign Network to get involved and stay up to date on the series


Ryan Clover,
Halt the Harm Network and the A-Z Impact of Plastics Series Programming Committee

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Halt the Harm Network is supported by Netcentric Campaigns.