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EHP research finding pervasive leaching of chemicals with EA from plastic products

March 05/2011

(PlastiPure) -- Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, published a major scientific article from researchers at PlastiPure, CertiChem, and Georgetown University, focused on quantifying and addressing the potential health issue of estrogenic activity (EA) in plastic products. The results of this study indicate that the large majority of commercially available BPA-free plastic materials and products readily leach chemicals having EA. Leaching increases when products are subjected to common-use stresses such as dishwashing, microwaving and sunlight.


There is currently great scientific concern about the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Chemicals with EA are believed to constitute the largest group of EDCs and have been linked to adverse health effects such as birth defects, reproductive cancers, and behavioral and learning disorders. While the estrogenic chemical BPA is widely known by the public, it is less well known that thousands of other chemicals are suspected to have EA. The EHP paper is groundbreaking in its quantification of levels of EA across multiple BPA-free materials and consumer plastic products, which until PlastiPures research have been suspected, but largely unmeasured.


In this study, all types of plastic materials often tested positive for leaching of chemicals having EA, including those manufactured from polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Bio-resins, such as several polylactic acid (PLA) resins and products, also showed easily detectable EA. In addition, materials specifically targeted and used as replacements for BPA-containing polycarbonate (PC), such as polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) and polyethersulfone (PES), often leached chemicals having EA levels equivalent to or above those found leaching from BPA-containing PC.


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