The Ecology Center

Mike Schade
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families / saferchemicals.org

A new report released today by the Mind the Store campaign (a partner organization of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor) finds significant chemical policy improvement. Nearly 70% of companies surveyed have better chemical safety programs now compared to their first evaluation dating as far back as 2016. Mike Schade is director of the campaign and joined by WEMU's David Fair to discuss the ongoing efforts to remove chemical hazards from consumer products. 

  


Janis Bobrin
Michigan League of Conservation Voters / michiganlcv.org

For 24 years, Janis Bobrin served Washtenaw County as Water Resources Commissioner.  Some of the programs she devised and implemented are now industry standard and the positive environmental impacts she's had in our community are quite tangible.  For the final Women's History Month edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Bobrin about her remarkable career and the lasting impacts she has had on the health of our environment and quality of life. 


Mary Beth Doyle
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

Mary Beth Doyle Park is a beautiful and serene area in which to spend time and enjoy the outdoors.  It is appropriately named after environmental advocate and activist Mary Beth Doyle.  She helped bring the Ecology Center to international prominence and improved the health of environment and inspired others to do the same.  WEMU's David Fair checked in with Doyle's mentee, colleague, and friend Rebecca Mueninck from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor for a Women's History Month rememberance. 


Donna Murray-Brown
Michigan Nonprofit Association / mnaonline.org

Nonprofit organizations have been among those forced to adapt change and overcome survival challenges in 2020.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair called Donna Murray-Brown, president/CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association. to discuss what was learned in 2020 and how that will carry forward in 2021.  

  

City of Ann Arbor

Six environmental and climate organizations in Washtenaw County have endorsed the City of Ann Arbor’s affordable housing proposal that voters will see on the November ballot.  

Jeff Gearhart
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

Do you like the occasional Big Mac or Whopper?  It turns out the packaging those fast food favorites come in contain the toxic, forever chemicals known as PFAs.  For this week's "Issues of the Environment," Jeff Gearhart from the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center speaks to WEMU's David Fair about all you need to know to protect yourself and the environment and the work underway to remove PFAS from food packaging and other consumer products permanently.


Mara Herman
Erica Bertram / The Ecology Center

Michigan passed new standards for PFAS back in July, and, in August, the most strict regulations in America went into effect.  On this week's "Issues of the Environment," Mara Herman, Health Policy Specialist for the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, will discuss the new standards and what it means to environmental and public health with WEMU's David Fair. 


University of Michigan
University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability / seas.umich.edu

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  A group of environmentally aware and concerned students at the University of Michigan formed the group ENACT during a rather heady time on campus in 1969.  Through activity and organization, it led to the first-ever Earth Day in 1970.  In Part 1 of a special, Earth Day edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair caught up with David Allan to look back at the five decades since that event.  Allan was a founding member and co-chair of ENACT and an organizer for the first Earth Day. 


Electric Car
Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine / flickr.com

By all accounts, electric vehicles are the future.  Right now, EV’s comprise a small percentage of the automotive marketplace.  A new study from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor shows the electric vehicles owners are paying far more in taxes and fees and that can serve as a disincentive to purchase.  The center’s Charles Griffith joined WEMU’s David Fair for this week’s "Issues of the Environment" to share the study’s findings and discuss the need to create policy that will create tax parity for EV vehicles. 


Car Seat
Ciukes / flickr.com

Car seats are designed to keep children safe inside moving vehicles, but toxic chemicals are used to keep them flame-retardant in the manufacturing process.  That is a danger in and of itself.  The Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center has been working with car seat companies to have the chemicals removed and is noting some progress as we head into 2020.  WEMU's David Fair gets the details in a conversation with the Ecology Center's green living resources director, Melissa Cooper Sargent.


Trish Koman
University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Design Program / umich.edu

Many cities and residents in Michigan have already begun to feel the effects of climate change.  Such changes can damage the environment and public health.  Dr. Trish Koman, a research investigator for the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, and her colleagues have developed the Michigan Environmental Project, an online mapping tool designed to track climate change impacts in Michigan.  She talks about how the project works with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

PFAS chemicals are being linked to more and more serious health problems.  But still, it’s legal to use them in the U.S., with minor exceptions.  And they can be imported from other countries.  Manufacturers are not required to make the public aware of PFAS content in their products.  Consequently, consumers are pretty much in the dark.  In the fifth of our 5-part series on PFAS, we look at policies and perspectives on where we are, and we can go from here.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Over the last half-century, PFAS chemicals have been added to the formulation of innumerable products we use on a daily basis.  The manufacture and disposal of these products releases them to our environment, where they can get into our food and water.  Unfortunately for us, they can be harmful to our health, and they don’t biodegrade.  These “forever chemicals” have become pervasive in our lives.

Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been highly valued by industry as useful in a wide variety of products.  But, as more studies are conducted and more information comes to light, the more concerns grow.  In this first of 89.1 WEMU's five-part series on PFAS, we explore the growing list of health issues associated with PFAS, in " The Green Room." 


Melissa Cooper Sargent
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

For those living near a trash incinerator in Detroit, the smell was awful, and the air quality just as bad.  Asthma rates far exceed state averages, and many living in the area felt powerless. Melissa Cooper-Sargent is Green Living Resource Director for the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center and lives with her children in the vicinity of the incinerator.  From the Ecology Center, the 'Breathe Free Detroit' campaign was launched, and, as of the end of May, the incinerator shut down.  Sargent joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the details on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


2019 marks year two of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s “Festival Footprint Initiative.”  Initially, the plan was to get to a 90% waste diversion rate in 3-5 years.  Now, the plan is being accelerated.  James Carter, the festival's programming and operations manager, joins WEMU’s David Fair for a conversation on environmental stewardship through the course of a three-week long event in this week's "Issues of the Environment." 


Milk
Tom Ray / flickr.com

Pure and pasteurized milk and dairy products may taste good and be good for you, but the process that brings you this product may be making you sick.  WEMU’s David Fair explores a new study showing the plastics used in processing are contaminating some dairy products with toxic chemicals.  Mike Belliveau is executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center and this week’s guest on "Issues of the Environment."


Charles Griffith
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

This year's North American International Auto Show is underway in Detroit.  Once again, the world's top automakers believe the future lies in electric and automated vehicles.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair explores what impacts these vehicles may have with Charles Griffith, who directs the Climate and Energy Program at the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor.


  

The impacts of exposure to lead are costly to both public health and Michigan's bottom line.  While the Flint Water Crisis brought greater awareness of lead exposure hazards, lead-based paints continue to damage children throughout the state.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Rebecca Meuninck, Deputy Director of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, to discuss new EPA standards for the amount of lead permitted in household paint, dust, and soil.  


Issues Of The Environment: BPS And BPA In Store Receipts

Jan 17, 2018
Receipt
Max Pixel / freegreatpicture.com

When people go shopping, they usually take home a receipt.  But did you know those receipts could be hazardous to your health?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's Patrick Campion speaks to Lauren Olson, Science Campaign Director for Healthy Stuff at the Ecology Center, about the discovery of dangerous chemicals found in store receipts.


New Year
Pixabay / pixabay.com

We all make resolutions for the New Year, whether it's improving our health or our finances. But, what resolutions can we make to improve the environment?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Melissa Cooper Sargent, Green Living Resources Director for the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, about ways to make 2018 more environmentally friendly.


Gift
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Dr. Gillian Miller, Senior Scientist for HealthyStuff.org, to discuss avoiding toxic chemicals or environmentally hazardous substances when shopping for gifts.  


Mark Clevey
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

How would a “Mental Health and Public Safety Preservation” tax levy enhance funding for environmental measures?  A countywide ballot initiative will be decided next month and, if passed, could help the city of Ann Arbor move closer to meeting the goals of its Climate Action Plan.  In this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair talks it over with Mark Clevey, Vice Chair of the Ann Arbor Energy Commission.  


Washing Hands
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Melissa Cooper-Sargent, Green Living Resources Director for the Ecology Center, about the environmental and health risks of using antibacterial soap.


Ecology Center
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

2017 has begun, so it's time to make some resolutions, especially for your personal and environmental habits.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Melissa Cooper Sargent, Green Living Resources Director for the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, about tips for being and healthier and more environmentally responsible for the New Year.


French Fries
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A protest was held Thursday in Ann Arbor outside the McDonald's on Washtenaw Avenue near the Arborland Center.  


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

A plume of 1,4-dioxane has been spreading under Ann Arbor since the 1980s.  During this time, numerous homes on private wells have had dioxane in their drinking water before being hooked up to city water.  Is that the only source of dioxane to consider when weighing body burdens?  In the 15th of our series on 1,4-dioxane, Barbara Lucas looks at other ways people can be exposed to this chemical of emerging concern.


Canned Food
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Ecology Center in Ann Arbor is working on a project to make sure supermarkets don't sell canned food products that could contain BPA in them.  


Rebecca Meuninck
Courtesy Photo / The Ecology Center

The Flint water crisis  is only one of many water quality issues that need to be addressed.  There are numerous threats to the Great Lakes and Michigan's  inland waters.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Ecology Center Deputy Director Rebecca Meuninck about updating the federal Toxic Substances Control Act to better protect these natural resources. 

Happy 2016
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

2016 is just around the corner, and many of us have made New Year's resolutions.  So, why not make a few changes that could benefit the environment?  WEMU's David Fair speaks to Mackenzie Maxwell, Environmental Educator for the Ecology Center, who offers some ecologically sound New Year's resolutions.


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