Chemicals in your life - an online presentation, Iceland


An online presentation to inform the general public of the challenges that chemicals pose in our daily lives.


People are not aware of the amount of chemicals they are exposed to in their everyday lives. By presenting these chemicals, from the ones added to different materials to give them certain qualities (like plasticisers or PFAS) to more easily recognizable chemicals in special bottles (like detergents or paints), we want to raise awareness to get people involved, wanting them to take action to avoid chemicals or to use them responsibly.


A 45 minutes long online seminar with Powerpoint show and discussion,  broadcasted on Facebook-live at our Facebook-page. Two or three presenters will discuss different items and substances: ”Hey, what do you think about PFAS?”, ”How about nano chemicals?” or ”What’s the problem with fragrances in cosmetics, really? Don’t we all want to smell good?” The other presenters respond with explanations aided by the Powerpoint slides, giving examples of real lift situations where chemicals have had effects on health or the environment.  

The challenge: To make a difficult topic entertaining

We know chemistry and we have up-to-date information on the legislation and what is in the pipeline. We have digital solutions available, as well as the hardware we need, i.e. computers, cameras and audio equipment. We know the topic is important.  And we also know that it is easier than people think to make healthy and sustainable choices, decreasing daily exposure to foreign substances. But how do we reach out? Parents, one important target group, might be interested because of their kids. But how about young people? How do we make this difficult subject more thrilling than watching sports or a movie? Is it possible to make chemistry and it’s negative effects on health and environment entertaining? Arranging the online presentation in the form of a discussion instead of just a lecture is also a way to make the seminar more lively and informal – especially important when people are not gathered in the same room, but sit alone at home in front of their own screens. A part of the set-up has to be the possibility to ask questions from the audience or a selected panel.