Lights, Camera, Plastic

UAlbany chemist featured on nationally-televised science show

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 18, 2016) – From water bottles, to credit cards, to toilet seats, plastic has changed the way we live our lives.

Rabi Musah studies its impact on society.

Musah, an associate professor of chemistry at UAlbany, offered her plastic expertise during the latest episode of the PBS science show “NOVA,” which aired nationally on Tuesday night.

The episode, titled “Treasures of the Earth: Power,” explored the fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – that both power and pollute our world. Musah can be seen talking about the chemistry behind plastics, our dependence on the material, and its threat to the environment.

“One of the challenges with plastics is the very attributes that make it so useful,” Musah said. “It doesn’t degrade. If you put it outside in the elements, nothing happens, it just sits there forever looking at you. These are the very things that make plastic so problematic in nature, because generally speaking, it’s not biodegradable.”

The full “NOVA” episode has been posted online. Musah is featured beginning at the 23-minute mark.

Learn more about all of Musah’s research by visiting her official University faculty expert page.

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