Exxpedition is an all women’s voyages to make the unseen seen, from the toxics in our bodies to the toxics in our seas. I’ve been part of the first Atlantic Voyage in December 2014 as Innovation and Ocean advocate and I’m stil volunteering to spread eXXpedition Vision & Mission.
My role has been to have all the needed technologies for our one month ocean crossing from environmental and health sensors to conceptualising the first Ocean & Seas Health Global Database to collide all the data about oceans and seas with fish and human health data in one platform.
Thousands of toxic chemicals, many of which pollute ocean ecosystems and contaminate marine products, potentially cause human diseases (www.atsdr.cdc.gov).
The main industrial chemicals of concern include bis-phenol A, triclosan, perfluorochemicals, phthalates, pharmaceutical residues, hydrocarbons and metals (e.g. mercury and arsenic), and pesticides in terrestrial runoff (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2012; Crinnion, 2010).
Chemicals enter marine ecosystems through many routes and can be deliberately introduced into estuaries, coastal and open seas as complex effluents, or enter via atmospheric deposition or as a result of agricultural practices or inadvertently contaminate marine ecosystems through product use or discard. (Depledge et al 2012)
Creating life changing all female research missions exploring the unseen problem of plastic and toxic contamination while creating an inspiring narrative of female leadership, personal and environmental exploration, and cultural conversation space aboard Sea Dragon, a scientific exploration vessel.
Our mission is to explore the issue of chemicals, endocrine disrupters and carcinogens in our personal and global environment that can cause disease, in particular raising awareness of those linked to the rise in breast cancer rates.
Our aim is to engage women in scientific narratives relating to the consumer choices they make, and their long term health impacts on themselves and our environment.
During an eXXpedition voyage we collect environmental samples to assess plastic and pollutants, feeding in these samples to wider studies investigating the impacts of toxics and plastics pollutants and linking this sampling to narratives of ecosystem health, personal health and the products we consume.
The eXXpedition crew participate in biomonitoring with the UN founded initiative ‘Safe Planet‘ to assess personal exposure to known toxic substances. Through personal exploration of our internal environment (MeSearch) we aim to better understand the levels of toxic exposure in women. Through our shared mission to understand this invisible pollution we hope to create a conversation which sheds light on the science of ecotoxicology and inspire positive actions to tackle the root causes.
WHY I DECIDED TO JOIN THIS MISSION
I decided to join this mission for three main reasons.
First of all I have always had a deep desire to sail around the world. I’m a sailor since I was seven and I deeply love the sea and its ecosystem, I think it’s our responsibility to start to act and activate a positive impact to really “Make the unseen seen” from the toxics in our seas to the toxics we are used to eat, wear or breath every day.
My second reason is because as Designer I always felt a duality on being creative in designing amazing things, products and services to improve our life but also to design systems which are respecting the environment and the limited resources we have on our planet. I’m concerned of how hidden cocktail of chemicals, mostly generated by our life style, are concealed in our body and I’m interested in understanding the deep connection between health of the environment and of our bodies. I’m aligned with this mission because I believe I can make more aware choices in my daily design activity even with the big corporations clients I’m used to work with, to inspire a change in the way of designing, producing and delivering products and services generating a better cradle to cradle process.
The third reason, not the last of relevance, is because I really think we can make a huge difference starting from the bottom. I believe that with eXXpedition team we can launch a global conversation around the issue of how environmental toxics and consumerism choices can cause diseases, and how we might consciously improve our health related to the environment and the whole planet ecosystem we are living in, starting from our daily life little-big choices.