Side effects recycling plastic 17-12-2021

Side effects recycling plastic

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-The insidious side effects of recycling plastic

Cookware, water bottles, and hundreds of other items made from recycled plastic worldwide may contain toxic chemicals harmful to human health, a new study has found.

The findings come as countries — including Canada — and companies aim to boost recycling rates in an effort to reduce plastic pollution. But now researchers with the International Pollutant Elimination Network (IPEN) warn those measures could inadvertently expose people to toxins.

The problem is most plastic items contain a suite of toxic chemical additives like bisphenol-A (BPA) or brominated flame retardants, which can cause endocrine issues and other health problems.

While exposure to these chemicals may initially have been relatively low because of how the plastic was first used, once recycled into a new product, it could be subject to far more human contact. Side effects recycling plastic

For instance, the plastics used inside electronics often contain harmful flame retardants, but they pose a low risk to humans because we interact with them relatively rarely. Yet once that plastic is melted down into pellets, it could feasibly end up in a recycled water bottle or in cookware where the risk of exposure is higher.

“It is worrisome that we find so many different chemicals in these pellets,” said Sara Brosché, an environmental chemist and IPEN science adviser. “And we don’t really have any control over what they are used for.”

The IPEN-commissioned study, which was not peer-reviewed, examined pellets collected in 24 different places worldwide made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a common plastic used in everything from toys to milk jugs. Pellets are small plastic beads that manufacturers melt down and use to make new plastic items.

Researchers then tested the samples for 18 chemical additives, at least a dozen of which have confirmed health impacts, including BPA and brominated flame retardants. All the samples contained at least one chemical additive, and the vast majority had more than three. Side effects recycling plastic 

Side effects recycling plastic

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Side effects recycling plastic

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