Toxic Additives in Plastics: Hidden Hazards Linked to Common Plastic Products | Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production


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Toxic chemicals of concern that are widespread in common plastic products can hinder the momentum for a circular economy. A new report, coordinated by the Barcelona-based Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), serving both the Stockholm Convention and the Barcelona Convention, has been produced in collaboration with the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) in order to shine a light on extensive evidence of toxic chemical components in plastics that can harm human and environmental health and impede a safe circular economy.


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Specific examples of toxic substances studied for potential release from various plastic products include brominated flame retardants (BFRs), SCCPs/MCCPs, phthalates, bisphenol-Abisphenol-A, dimethacrylate, lead, tin and cadmium formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, 4-nonylphenol, methyl tert-butyl ether (tMTBE), benzene and many other volatile organic compounds. Although several of these studies report released concentrations that are lower than the established legal limit values, there are also occasions where they are considerably higher. It has also been highlighted that the guideline values do not take into account of the low levels at which endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be in effect nor do they consider the toxicity of mixtures

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