Environment Yale: The Problem with Plastics

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 27, 2010

The Problem with Plastics, by Bruce Fellman. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies – Fall 2009 · Vol. 8, No. 2

  • “The molecules of concern in the plastics story are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and the two most-studied sources of EDCs are bisphenol A (BPA), a basic building block of hard, polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, and phthalates (pronounced thal-ates), which are added to plastics to make them more pliable. Neither, at exposure levels currently considered safe by the EPA—50 micrograms per kilogram per day for BPA; 20 micrograms per kilogram per day for a phthalate called DEHP—are toxic or mutagenic. (Both are currently under federal review.) But in numerous animal studies, EDCs, at concentrations well below that safety zone, have proven all too capable of playing hob with hormones like estrogen, testosterone and others that have a crucial role in orchestrating normal development. There is also now abundant research that links BPA and phthalate exposure to such human health concerns as deformities of the male and female genitals; premature puberty in females; decreased sperm quality; and increases in breast and prostate cancers, infertility, miscarriages, obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergies and neurological problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”
  • Previous post:

    Next post: