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Green chemistry is environmentally benign chemistry that considers the life-cycle cost of products. A core principle is that products should be designed to degrade harmlessly rather than persist or produce toxins in the environment. In contrast, our society encourages planned obsolescence and repeated purchase and disposal of single-use plastic items.
This unit follows two strands. First, students will learn about the production of municipal solid waste and use historical data to compute the derivative, or rate of change, and consider the effects. Second, students will research environmental toxins and use the integral as a Riemann sum to calculate cumulative exposure to one toxin, lead.
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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