Research reveals the number of “unexpectedly high” concerns in plastic products

Each year, over 350 million tonnes of plastic (many of which are used in the food industry) are produced worldwide. According to researchers at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, these plastics contain a wide variety of chemicals that can be released during their life cycle, including substances that pose a significant risk to humans and the environment. .. However, only a few of the chemicals in plastics are publicly known or widely studied.

For the first time, a team of ETH researchers edited a comprehensive database of plastic monomers, additives and processing aids used in the manufacture and processing of plastics on the global market and systematically categorized them based on usage patterns and hazards. Claims to have done. Potential.

The team has identified about 10,500 chemicals in plastics. 2,109 were used for food contact applications. Packaging (2,489), textiles (2,429); also for medical devices such as toys (522) and masks (247).

Of the 10,500 substances identified, researchers classified 2,480 (24%) as potential concerns. Among food contact applications, 679 is a potential concern.

Of the 679 substances of concern for food contact applications, the following have been identified:

  • 528 High Production Volume Chemicals, 434 Unregulated Chemicals, and 52 Chemicals without scientific reference.
  • 9 is persistent and bioaccumulative, 120 is carcinogenic, 51 is mutagenic, 132 is reproductive toxicity, 300 is toxic to specific target organs, 404 is toxic to aquatic organisms, 22 is endocrine disruptor.
  • 119 substances of unknown or variable composition (UVCB), 131 containing metals, 507 (partially) organic, 13 containing silicon, 23 containing phosphorescence, 77 containing sulfur, 92 containing halogen (bromine) , Chlorine, fluorine, etc.)

Of the 2,109 chemicals used, the following are:

  • 513 substances of unknown or variable composition (UVCB), 402 contains metals, 1682 is (partially) organic, 69 contains silicon, 90 contains phosphorus, 226 contains sulfur, 214 is halogen ( Contains bromine, chlorine, fluorine, etc.). Research reveals the number of “unexpectedly high” concerns in plastic products

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