A new study reports that children of women who are exposed to BPA during pregnancy may face an increased risk of lung problems. Read more from Agata Blaszczak-Boxe at LiveScience.com
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most widely used plastics across the world. Properties such as lightweight, high mechanical strength, abrasion resistance, and toughness make PVC a widely used material in the Construction, Packaging, Automotive, and Electrical industries.
PVC is extensively used in many products, such as pipes and fittings, rigid films, rigid plates, cables and wires, flooring, automotive parts, and packaging. It has an excellent cost to performance ratio, and hence, it is very popular among all consumer segments.
For more information please click on: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/publication/mw88f4j/global_pvc_market_20142018
A 25-foot-long yellow inflatable duck has been drawing attention to chemical regulation in Bangor, Maine. The “Fear the Beard” campaign was launched by members of Prevent Harm, a public health political advocacy group, to protest against Governor Paul LePage’s history of lax chemical regulation. The name of the campaign stems from LePage’s comments in 2011 that the worst possible impacts from BPA would be that some women “may have little beards” – a reference to the chemical’s endocrine-disrupting properties, which may cause effects ranging from cancer to infertility.
“We’re out here today with our little beards [on sticks] to make sure that our next governor will put Maine kids ahead of the chemical industry, not the other way around,” Emma Halas-O’Connor, Prevent Harm advocacy manager, said.
Parents across the country are stocking up on this year’s hottest costumes for their little ghouls, goblins, and princesses, but some costumes may contain hidden toxic chemicals harmful to our children’s health. I wish I were tricking you.
A new study released today by HealthyStuff.org found elevated levels of toxic chemicals in popular Halloween costumes, accessories and even “trick or treat” bags. Dangerous chemicals like phthalates, flame retardants, vinyl (PVC) plastic, organotins, and even lead.
They tested 105 types of Halloween gear for chemicals linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity and cancer. The products were purchased from top national retailers including CVS, Kroger, Party City, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.
These chemicals have no place in products for our little ones. For instance they found high levels of flame retardants in “trick or treat” bags, and a toddler Batman costume that contained very high levels of phthalates, and even lead in the lining of the mask.
We know that big retailers can do better. In fact the new testing also shows that many Halloween products do not contain dangerous substances, proving that safer products can be made.
“Those little slips of paper that accumulate in our pockets and purses may do more than just document recent take-out meals, pumpkin
spice lattes and shopping sprees. Receipts, according to a small study published Wednesday, could also deliver a potentially harmful rush of hormone-scrambling chemicals into our bodies.”
Read more from Lynne Peeples at the Huffington Post
PVC, one of the most toxic plastic for children’s health and the environment, has scared its way into some of our beloved children’s costumes. Even scarier is that many vinyl products are laden with harmful phthalates, endocrine disrupting chemicals banned in toys but widespread in many other vinyl products children come in contact with. Vinyl products also often release a witches’ brew of toxic chemicals into the air. That’s that new plastic vinyl smell so many of us grew up with. Who knew it was so scary!
With that in mind, here are some tips for a safer Halloween for your family and friends:
- Avoid PVC: Shop for PVC-free costumes and masks. If you’re not sure what the costume is made out of, ask the store or manufacturer whether or not it contains PVC and phthalates.
- Make your own costume out of safer PVC-free materials! We bet you can come up with something fun and creative by just diving into your closet.
- Trade safe costumes with your friends. No need to buy more stuff.
- Use safer face-paints.
Happy Halloween – and don’t get spooked by the chemical industry this Halloween season!
Environmental Health News
October 14, 2014
As concerns mount over people’s exposure to the plasticizer bisphenol A in everyday products, it’s also contaminating the air near manufacturing plants: U.S. companies emitted about 26 tons of the hormone-disrupting compound in 2013.
Although research is sparse, experts warn that airborne BPA could be a potentially dangerous route of exposure for some people. Of the 72 factories reporting BPA emissions, the largest sources are in Ohio, Indiana and Texas, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’sToxics Release Inventory.
No one has measured what people in nearby communities are exposed to. But the exposures are likely to be localized and smaller than other sources of BPA.
BPA breaks down quickly in the environment. But it also can attach to particles that infiltrate lungs, said Bruce Blumberg, a University of California, Irvine, biology professor.
“Inhalation of compounds is a big exposure route that most people do not usually consider for BPA,” he said.
BPA, used to make polycarbonate plastic, food can linings and some paper receipts, is found in almost all people tested. Low doses can alter hormones, according to animal tests, and exposure has been linked to a wide range of health effects in people, including infertility, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.
In the only study of its kind, Japanese researchers reported that BPA was ubiquitous in the atmosphere worldwide. They suspected the emissions came from the manufacturing and burning of plastics.
In the United States, chemical manufacturing accounted for 54 percent of the BPA air emissions, while metal manufacturing and metal fabricating accounted for 21 and 20 percent, respectively, according to the EPA database. In addition, U.S. companies in 2013 reported releasing 3,313 pounds of BPA to surface waters, the EPA database shows.
The amount of BPA emitted into the air has been dropping in recent years. Although the number of companies reporting BPA emissions has remained about the same over the past decade, in 2013 the total tons declined 41 percent from 2012 and almost 66 percent from 10 years ago.
There is “no evidence that inhalation exposures are of concern.” –Kathryn St. John, American Chemistry Council Kathryn St. John, a spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers, said the data don’t reflect what people in surrounding communities might be exposed to. Factors such as the proximity of people to the plants and whether the emissions are continuous or intermittent are important when determining people’s exposures.
St. John added that there is “no evidence that inhalation exposures are of concern.” Studies have not provided any information on what happens to BPA if inhaled, such as whether it is absorbed in the lungs and if absorbed, whether it is metabolized.
|BPA can attach to particles that are inhaled.|
But Wade Welshons, an associate professor at the University of Missouri who studies endocrine-disrupting compounds, said airborne BPA could be absorbed through the lungs as well as the skin.
Both and inhalation and skin absorption “would deliver more BPA to the blood than an oral exposure,” he said.
Blumberg and Welshons said since these routes would bypass metabolizing organs such as the intestines and liver, airborne exposures may be more dangerous than food exposures.
“The liver is a great organ for metabolizing substances, lungs are for absorbing, not for metabolizing,” Welshons said.
No one has investigated the potential health effects of inhaling BPA. Regulatory agencies only consider oral doses when analyzing potential effects, Blumberg said.
Several communities with the biggest BPA emitters are also home to large volumes of other toxics from industrial plants.
Deer Park, Texas, had 4,100 pounds of BPA and 2.8 million pounds of other air toxics in 2013, while Defiance, Ohio, had 6,600 pounds of BPA and 387,454 pounds of others, according to the industry reports filed with the EPA. Freeport, Texas, home to a Dow Chemical plant, had 905 pounds of reported BPA air emissions last year and an additional 1.74 million pounds of other toxics.
Compared with exposure from consumer products such as polycarbonate plastic and food cans, there has been little concern about airborne BPA. “But this lower concern level is based on relatively little data,” said Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who studies health effects of BPA. “This is something I would say is not discussed in-depth on our field but it should be.”
Several communities with the biggest BPA emitters are also home to large volumes of other toxics from industrial plants.There isn’t a lot of research on what happens to BPA when it’s released into the air. BPA degrades fairly quickly, but it also can attach to dust particles, Vandenberg said.
Researchers tested for BPA in the dust of homes, dorms and labs at and around Murray State University and the University at Albany in 2011. They estimated that, while diet is the still the major exposure route, people’s BPA exposures through dust are about the same as the low concentrations that cause health problems in lab animals. It’s not clear how the BPA got into the dust; it could have been from indoor sources.
Sudan Loganathan, who led the study while a student at Murray State University, said the estimated daily exposure for people through dust was low compared with food exposure. But, she added, “when you look at the average dust intake for adults and then infants, this is more of a concern for infants. They are on the floor, and there’s more hand-to-mouth contact.”
Blumberg said air quality monitoring should expand to test for BPA.
“There are a lot of people studying inhalation exposure with things like particulate pollution, ozone and other major components of exhaust, but not much at all when it comes to chemical exposure like BPA,” Blumberg said. “That’s a big open area right now.”
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Original story at http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2014/oct/bpa-emissions
For questions or feedback about this piece, contact Editor in Chief Marla Cone email@example.com.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
From Mark Rossi at BizNGO
The dominant movement in the marketplace is to alternative plasticizers to DEHP and other phthalates. Yet this is the less preferred solution to avoiding PVC and plasticizers altogether. Some recent assessments on alternative materials and plasticizers include:
• Clean Production Action’s Plastics Scorecard demonstrated the benefits of substituting medical IV bags made from PVC/DEHP with polyolefin bags that require no plasticizers (see figure to the right). The substitution eliminated the need for plasticizers, which are roughly 30% of the weight of an IV bag.
• Alternative plasticizers need to be assessed for their hazards. While less preferable than avoiding PVC and plasticizers altogether, if a company can’t avoid PVC, here are two analyses of alternative plasticizers. The Healthy Building Network (HBN) and Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) used the GreenScreen (GS) to evaluate alternatives to phthalates in building products (HBN) and DEHP in wire and cable (GC3). Here are their findings:
- Two bio-based products that appear to be the least toxic of all the plasticizers it evaluated (Grindsted Soft-n-Safe and Polysorb ID 37) – GS Benchmark (BM) undetermined due to data gaps (HBN)
- DEHT – GS BM 3 (with data gaps) (GC3 & HBN)
- Vegetable oil based blends that vary from GS BM 2 to GS BM 3 (GC3 & HBN)
- DINCH – GS BM 2 (GC3 & HBN)
- Dibenzoate plasticizer – potentially GS BM 1 (while safer than DINP still has significant hazardous properties) (HBN); and
- Polymeric adipate – GS Benchmark 2, 3, or 4 (depending on chemical assessed) (GC3).
• Further alternative assessments of phthalates: The U.S. EPA Design for Environment program is in the middle of a project to evaluate alternatives to eight phthalates.
Greenpeace received word that the DC Court of Appeals has ruled against them in their lawsuit against Dow Chemical, Sasol, Dezenhall Resources, Ketchum, and the former operates of the now-defunct Beckett, Brown, Inc. corporate espionage firm. The court dismissed the case because Greenpeace rents its office space and the court ruled that as tenants and not owners, Greenpeace had no standing to sue the burglars for intruding on our premises.
Some of you that have been with CHEJ for a while might remember this is the same suit in which CHEJ and Lois Gibbs was targeted with both her home address listed in the espionage firm’s documents as well as photos of the front of her house. Too bad the case was dismissed but not surprising. CHEJ knows that they are watched and our phone and internet wires cut a few years ago also went unsolved. For a recap of the case read Ralph Nader’s recent article.
Like other firms specializing in snooping, Beckett Brown turned to garbage swiping as a key tactic. BBI officials and contractors routinely conducted what the firm referred to as “D-line” operations, in which its operatives would seek access to the trash of a target, with the hope of finding useful documents. One midnight raid targeted Greenpeace. One BBI document lists the addresses of several other environmental groups as “possible sites” for operations: the National Environmental Trust, the Center for Food Safety, Environmental Media Services, the Environmental Working Group, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, an organization run by Lois Gibbs, famous for exposing the toxic dangers of New York’s Love Canal. For its rubbish-rifling operations, BBI employed a police officer in the District of Columbia and a former member of the Maryland state police. Ridgeway Mother Jones Article.