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eXXpedition Atlantic 2014

eXXpedition: an all women’s voyage to make the unseen seen, from the toxics in our bodies to the toxics in our seas! On the 16th of November 2014 a crew of 14 women will set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in search of answers relating the health of our environment to the health of our bodies.

With many questions surrounding the increasing presence of plastic and toxic pollution in our oceans and bodies, these women will be on a mission to trace an ‘aqua trail’ back to the products we all consume in everyday life. This is a rare chance to experience expedition living, blue water sailing, field based science communication, and data collection while participating in conversations about women’s health and the environment.

Led by environmental scientist Dr. Lucy Gilliam and ocean explorer Emily Penn, director of Pangaea Explorations this hands-on experience at sea will be on board Pangaea’s 72-foot steel hulled sailing vessel and ocean explorer Sea Dragon.

“Sea Dragon is one of 11 second generation yachts built for the Global Challenge Race – one of the longest, most demanding ocean voyages ever made with an upwind, west-about 32,000km circumnavigation. Designed to thrive in tough conditions the boat was specifically set up for volunteer crew with limited sailing experience. Today, those same qualities make her an exceptional platform for long-distance, remote expedition sailing and perfect for scientific research projects like this” says Emily Penn.

Breast cancer rates in young women are on the rise. Women’s specific disease research has a low public profile in the media and there is an imbalance in research funding directed towards gender specific diseases. Dr. Lucy Gilliam explains that: “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. The aim is to inspire positive actions to tackle the root cause of toxic exposure in women and create a conversation on the science of eco-toxicology”.

Along the eXXpedition voyage the crew will sample the Atlantic oceans for plastic and pollutants. These samples will be used in wider investigations into the impacts of toxics and plastics pollutants on ecosystem health personal health and their links back to the products we consume.

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