Burning plastic in the home

Some feel my worrying about plastic in the home is taking it too far?  Disposables? Yes, they can see I might have a point. But nylon carpet, foam-filled pillows and  polyester drapes…. what could possibly go wrong?

Well good taste aside…. you know how we were talking about hydrocarbons containing a lot of energy? Well all that energy means they burn hot. And that plastic is made from hydrocarbons. You got it. Plastic is a fuel too. So much so  that it actually has a higher BTU than coal. Great for waste to energy incinerators not so good for house fires.

For generations, firefighters’ had, “on average, 17 minutes to get anyone inside out of the building before they succumbed to smoke inhalation.” Because of modern fast burning synthetic furnishings that time is down to 4 minutes. Natural fibres and fillings do not burn as fast.

You can find lots more scary stats here plus a spooky burning chair that shows just how quickly you can be overcome.

Please people make sure your smoke alarm is working and maybe pay a bit more for cotton curtains and a wool rug.

Found this very interesting table on fumes released by burning. Hers an example…

Upholstery • Nylon Polybrominated diphenyl ethers Hydrogen chloride Hydrochloric acid Hydrogen cyanide Dioxins Possible carcinogen; poison by ingestion. Highly corrosive irritant to eyes, skin and mucous membranes; mildly toxic by inhalation. Corrosive; mildly toxic by inhalation; when heated to decomposition emits toxic fumes of chlorides. Asphyxiant; deadly human and experimental poison by all routes. Carcinogen; a deadly experimental poison by ingestion, skin contact and intraperitoneal routes. Immobile in contaminated soil and may be retained for years. No Yes Yes Yes Yes


And this

Burning a small sample of a synthetic fibre yarn is a handy way of identifying the material. Hold the specimen in a clean flame. While the specimen is in the flame, observe its reaction and the nature of the smoke. Remove the specimen from the flame and observe its reaction and smoke. Then extinguish the flame by blowing. After the specimen has cooled, observe the residue.


And this on toxic fibres and fabrics



Plastic Chemicals & Food

Plastic packed food is unappealing in many ways. For me the most immediate problem is the flavor, or lack of it rather. I find it hard to tell which is the plastic and which is the food. Then there is the trash created. Every prepackaged meal results in hundreds of non-biodegradable wrappers that have to be specially disposed off by the state. And that doesn’t come cheap. But we are told it is worth it because it is cleaner and more hygienic to sell food this way. Safer.

But is it really? Many of the chemicals used in plastic production are toxic, carcinogenic or endocrine disruptors. There is no doubt that they leach out of the plastic into the product, equally true is that many of these chemicals are toxic. The question now is do we need to be concerned. (If the question is “whats a chemical?” you might like to read this, and possibly this on endocrine disruptors)

Do all plastics leach chemicals?

E-How states that all “plastic bottles leach chemicals in some degree.” BPA has been shown to leach out of plastic liners and products. Clingfilm leaches pthalates.

As I understand it ,the more fluid the contents the more likely the leaching. Dry products loose in a plastic bag may not absorb chemicals from the plastic, water in a bottle  and contents of a plastic lined will. Moist, high fat products like cheese readily absorb chemicals. For example Cheesemongers advise against storing cheese  in direct contact with plastic. ” being mostly oil and fat, is able to absorb flavors and chemicals from the plastic, which you definitely don’t want.”

Is this a health risk?

It is a matter of determining if the chemicals are inherently harmful, and if the levels reach a point that is cause for concern. As toxologolists love to say – its not the poison its the dose. For sure many of the chemicals used in plastic are toxic but it is claimed that the amounts are so small as to be irrelevant. However no one  knows what the long term implications may be. Or how those chemicals interact with each other.

Some studies…

The Guardian reported in 2014 that scientists were concerned about the effect synthetic chemicals used in the processing, packaging and storing of the food might have on our long-term health. They quoted  the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, part of the British Medical Journal group.

“The scientists claim that tiny amounts of synthetic chemicals leach into food. While these minute quantities in themselves do no harm, no one knows how safe we are from a lifetime’s exposure to the chemicals, such as formaldehyde, through eating food previously wrapped or stored in plastics.Altogether, more than 400 chemicals are involved.Whereas the science for some of these substances is being debated and policy-makers struggle to satisfy the needs of stakeholders, consumers remain exposed to these chemicals daily, mostly unknowingly,” they write.

The Global Mail talking of the same study notes that “of the 6,500 chemicals found in food manufacturing materials, the vast majority have “flown under the radar,”

Only about 25 per cent of these chemicals have been tested for their toxicity, Muncke said. Meanwhile, tiny amounts of potential carcinogens and hormone disruptors are seeping into our breakfast cereals, canned soups, crackers, frozen vegetables and packaged meats.”

Or this from the Science Daily in 2011

“In her research, Lithner studied the toxicity of 83 randomly selected plastic products and synthetic textiles. The newly purchased products were leached in pure (deionised) water for 1-3 days. The acute toxicity of the water was then tested using water fleas (Daphnia magna).

“A third of all the 83 plastic products and synthetic chemicals that were tested released substances that were acutely toxic to the water fleas, despite the leaching being mild.”

And these are just some studies taken from a growing body of reports all confirming that plastics leach chemicals. Some claim tentative links to cancers, others say not yet most suggest this needs to monitored. You can find links to a range of studies here.

Conclusion eat in a week, packaging

Real problem or alarmist chemophobic reporting? There are many toxic, chemical substances we are happy to guzzle voluntarily – alcohol for instance. But if a chemical doesn’t make you really good at karaoke, and can be easily avoided, there seems little point in ingesting it.

So I like to think I am cutting the potential risks. And the very real plastic trash.

To be on the safe and compostable side lets

Cut The Chemicals In Your Diet

Avoid Processed food and cook from fresh. There is lots of plastic-free food here

Don’t buy food packed in

Don’t use the plastic bags available when buying loose food but take your own plastic-free and reusable packaging.

Store food in glass, steel or ceramic containers.

Do not use cling film to cover or wrap food.

Do not heat or serve hot food or drinks in food in plastic containers.

Try freezing food in glass jars  or compostable plastic

Avoid plastic breadboards, plates and cups.

Avoid plastic cooking utensils

Step away from the non-stick pans

Get a milk man who delivers in glass bottles.


Endocrine disruption, fish & polyethylene

Early warning signs of endocrine disruption in adult fish from the ingestion of polyethylene with and without sorbed chemical pollutants from the marine environment,

Abstract: Plastic debris is associated with several chemical pollutants known to disrupt the functioning of the endocrine system. To determine if the exposure to plastic debris and associated chemicals promotes endocrine-disrupting effects in fish, we conducted a chronic two-month dietary exposure using Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) and environmentally relevant concentrations of microplastic (< 1 mm) and associated chemicals. We exposed fish to three treatments: a no-plastic (i.e. negative control), virgin-plastic (i.e. virgin polyethylene pre-production pellets) and marine-plastic treatment (i.e. polyethylene pellets deployed in San Diego Bay, CA for 3 months). Altered gene expression was observed in male fish exposed to the marine-plastic treatment, whereas altered gene expression was observed in female fish exposed to both the marine- and virgin-plastic treatment. Significant down-regulation of choriogenin (Chg H) gene expression was observed in males and significant down-regulation of vitellogenin (Vtg I), Chg H and the estrogen receptor (ERα) gene expression was observed in females. In addition, histological observation revealed abnormal proliferation of germ cells in one male fish from the marine-plastic treatment. Overall, our study suggests that the ingestion of plastic debris at environmentally relevant concentrations may alter endocrine system function in adult fish and warrants further research.

Keywords: Plastic debris; Endocrine disruption; Japanese medaka; Germ
cells; Gene expression

Chelsea M. Rochman, Tomofumi Kurobe, Ida Flores, Swee J. Teh,

September 2014, Pages 656-661, ISSN 0048-9697,


Perfluorochemicals and plastic

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are a family of man-made chemicals.
They have been around since the 1950s.
They include
perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS; C8F17SO3),
perfluorobutane sulfonate ( PFBS; C4F9C03),
perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA; C8F15O2H),
perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA; C4F7O2H), and
perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS; C6F13SO3).
They are hydrophobic (water-repelling), and oleophobic (oil-repelling).

They are used

  • as a surface coating for paper and cardboard they make them water and grease resistant and so suitable for packaging processed foods.
  • on carpets,leather products and textiles to make them stain resistant and waterproof.
  • in non stick coatings on cookware and pans.

They are added to some plastics.

They do not break down easily and can last in the enironment for years.

They have been found in both soil and water.

When they enter the food chain they are retained in animal tissue leading to a process called biomagnification, meaning that they are passed on up the foodchain from animal to animal and because they are stored in the body for years the amount increases exponentially as they travel up the food chain.

Recent studies have found perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in human serum.

Human studies have been done for a number of years in workers exposed to high levels of PFCs. These studies have not found consistent effects on health.

Read more here

Endocrine Disruptors Category 1

Copied from the

The EU list of potential endocrine disruptors

The EU strategy for endocrine disruptors includes the task of compiling a candidate list of potential endocrine disruptors. The list prioritises the substances that must be evaluated further for endocrine disrupting effects.The European Commission has prepared a strategy for endocrine disruptors.

The proposals were compared and a collective EU list of over 432 candidate substances established, which are to be studied further for endocrine-disrupting properties. In order to prioritise efforts, the substances have been subdivided into a number of categories:

Category 1: Substances for which endocrine activity have been documented in at least one study of a living organism. These substances are given the highest priority for further studies. Contains 194 substances. This does not necessarily mean that there is final proof that the substance is an endocrine disruptor, but there is more or less comprehensive evidence of endocrine-disrupting effects in live animals. The substance should therefore be prioritised for further evaluation of endocrine disrupting properties.

Category 2: Substances without sufficient evidence of endocrine activity, but with evidence of biological activity relating to endocrine disruption.

Category 3a and 3b: Substances for which there are no indications of endocrine-disrupting properties or which cannot be evaluated due to a lack of data.

The plan is to convert these lists into a dynamic working list, where substances can be added or removed as more evidence of their endocrine-disrupting properties becomes available.

Category 1

CAS nr. Name
12789-03-6 Chlordane
57-74-9 Chlordane, – cis- og trans-
143-50-0 Kepone (Chlordecone)
2385-85-5 Mirex
8001-35-2 Toxaphene (Camphechlor)
50-29-3 DDT (technical) (Clofenotane)
50-29-3 p,p’-DDT
3563-45-9 Tetrachloro-DDT
50471-44-8 Vinclozolin
12427-38-2 Maneb
137-42-8 Metam Natrium
137-26-8 Thiram
12122-67-7 Zineb
58-89-9 Gamma-HCH (Lindane)
330-55-2 Linuron
1912-24-9 Atrazine
34256-82-1 Acetochlor
15972-60-8 Alachlor
100-42-5 Styrene
118-74-1 Hexachlorobenzene ( HCB)
85-68-7 Butylbenzylphthalate ( BBP)
117-81-7 DEHP (Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate)
84-74-2 DBP (Di-n-butylphthalate)
80-05-7 Bisphenol A(4,4’-isopropylidendiphenol)
1336-36-3 PCB
35065-27-1 PCB 153
32774-16-6 PCB 169
2437-79-8 PCB 47
32598-13-3 PCB 77
53469-21-9 PCB Arochlor 1242
12672-29-6 PCB Arochlor 1248
11097-69-1 PCB Arochlor1254
11096-82-5 PCB Arochlor 1260 (clophen A60)
59536-65-1 PBBs = polybromerede biphenyler
(209 congenere)
40321-76-4 1,2,3,7,8 Pentachloro-dibenzodioxin
1746-01-6 2,3,7,8-Tetrachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin
( 2,3,7,8-TCDD)
107555-93-1 1,2,3,7,8-Pentabromo-dibenzofuran
No CAS Tributyltin compounds
688-73-3 Tributyltin hydride
56-35-9 Tributyl Oxide (bis(tributyltin)oxide)
26354-18-7 Stannane, tributylmecrylate
(Stannane, tributylmethacrylate)
No CAS Methoxyacrylate tributyltin copolymer
4342-30-7 Phenol, 2-(tributylstannyl)oxy)carbonyl-
4342-36-3 Stannane, benzoyloxytributyl-
4782-29-0 Stannane, (1,2- phenylenebis (carbonyloxy))bis(tributyl-
36631-23-9 Stannane, tributyl(naphthalenyloxy)-
(Tributyltin naphtalate)
85409-17-2 Stannane, tributyl- , mono(naphthenoyloxy)-
24124-25-2 Stannane, tributyl (1-oxo-9,12-octadecadienyl)oxy)-
3090-35-5 Stannane, tributyl((1-oxo-9-octadecenyl)oxy)-
26239-64-5 Stannane, (1R-(1alpha,4abeta,4b alpha,10a alpha))-
1983-10-4 Stannane, tributylfluoro-
2155-70-6 Stannane, tributyl ((2-methyl-1-oxo-2-propenyl)oxy)-
No CAS Tributyltincarboxylate
26636-32-8 Tributyltin naphthalate *
No CAS Tributyltinpolyethoxylate
2279-76-7 Tri-n-propyltin chloride (TPrT chloride)
Flere CAS-numre Triphenyltin
900-95-8 Fentin acetate
95-76-1 3,4-Dichloroaniline
108-46-3 Resorcinol
61-82-5 Amitrol (Aminotriazol)
1836-75-5 Nitrofen
140-66-9 4-tert-octylphenol
25154-52-3 Phenol, nonyl-
1461-25-2 Tetrabutyltin (TTBT)
99-99-0 4-Nitrotoluene
63-25-2 Carbaryl
5103-73-1 Cis-Nonachlor
39765-80-5 Trans-Nonachlor
2971-22-4 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chloro-phenyl)ethane
65148-80-3 3-MeO-o,p’-DDE
43216-70-2 3-OH-o,p’-DDT
65148-81-4 4-MeO-o,p’-DDE
65148-72-3 4-MeO-o,p’-DDT
65148-75-6 5-MeO-o,p’-DDD
65148-82-5 5-MeO-o,p’-DDE
65148-74-5 5-MeO-o,p’-DDT
65148-73-4 5-OH-o,p’-DDT
4329-12-8 m,p’-DDD
65148-83-6 o,p’-DDA-glycinat
53-19-0 o,p’-DDD
3424-82-6 o,p’-DDE
14835-94-0 o,p’-DDMU
789-02-6 o,p’-DDT
72-54-8 p,p’-DDD
1022-22-6 p,p’-DDMU
72-55-9 p,p’-DDE
32809-16-8 Procymidon
8018-01-7 Mancozeb
9006-42-2 Metiram(Metiram-complex
319-85-7 Beta-HCH(isomer til gamma-HCH = Lindan)
608-73-1 Hexachlorocyclo-hexane= HCH mixed (inkluderer gamma-HCH = Lindan)
1689-83-4 Ioxynil
2971-36-0 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-Hydroxyphenyl)ethane(HPTE)
30668-06-5 1,3-Dichloro-2,2-bis(4-methoxy-3- methylphenyl)propane
2971-36-0 Bis-OH-Methoxychlor(1,1,1- trichloro-2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethane (HTPE))
72-43-5 Methoxychlor
72-43-5 p,p’-Methoxychlor
122-14-5 Fenitrothion
82657-04-3 Bifenthrin (@Talstar)
91465-08-6 Cyhalothrin, lambda-
52918-63-5 Deltamethrin
10453-86-8 Resmethrin
60168-88-9 Fenarimol
1918-02-1 Picloram
65277-42-1 Ketoconazol
1087-64-9 Metribuzin
86-50-0 Terbutryn
106-93-4 Ethylene Dibromid (1,2-dibromethan or EDB)
12002-48-1 Trichlorobenzene
608-93-5 Pentachlorobenzene
87-86-5 Pentachlorophenol (PCP)
1806-26-4 4-octylphenol
11081-15-5 4-isooctylphenol
9016-45-9 Nonylphenolethoxylat
85535-85-9 Intermediate chain chlorinated paraffins
85535-84-8 Short chain chlorinated paraffins
84-61-7 Dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP)
84-66-2 Diethyl phthalate (DEP)
101-53-1 Phenyl-4-hydroxy-phenylmethane
(4-Benzylphenol eller p-Benzylphenol)
25036-25-3 2,2′-bis(2-(2,3-epoxypropoxy) phenyl)propane
(2,2-BPPP) (isomer til BADGE)
106-89-8 Epichlorohydrin (3-Chloro-1,2-epoxypropane)
35693-92-6 2,4-6-Trichlorobiphenyl
53555-66-1 3,4′,5-Trichlorobiphenyl
67651-37-0 3-Hydroxy-2′,3′,4′,5′- tetrachlorobiphenyl
100702-98-5 4,4′-Dihydroxy-2,3,5,6-tetrachlorobiphenyl
13049-13-3 4,4′-Dihydroxy-3,3′,5,5′-tetrachlorobiphenyl
67651-34-7 4-Hydroxy-2′,3′,4′,5′-tetrachlorobiphenyl
14962-28-8 4-Hydroxy-2′,4′,6′-trichlorobiphenyl
53905-33-2 4-Hydroxy-2,2’, 5′-trichlorobiphenyl
111810-41-4 4-Hydroxy-3,3′,4′,5′-tetrachlorobiphenyl
4400-06-0 4-Hydroxy-3,4’, 5-trichlorobiphenyl
37680-73-2 4-OH-2,2′,4′,5,5′-pentachlorobiphenyl
54991-93-4 Clophen A30
8068-44-8 Clophen A50
No CAS Blanding af 2,3,4,5-Tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 61), 2,2’, 4,5,5′-Octachlorobiphenyl (PCB 101) og 2,2′,3,3′,4,4′,5,5′-Octachlorobiphenyl (PCB 194)
56558-16-8 PCB 104(2,2′,4,6,6′-Penta-chlorobiphenyl)
74472-37-0 PCB 114 (2,3,4,4′,5-Penta-chlorobiphenyl)
76842-07-4 PCB 122 (2,3,3′,4,5-Penta-chlorobiphenyl)
57465-28-8 PCB 126(3,3′,4,4′,5-Penta-chlorobiphenyl)
38380-07-3 PCB 128(2,2′,3,3′,4,4′-Hexachloro-biphenyl)
37680-65-2 PCB 18 (2,2′,5-Tri-chlorobiphenyl)
55702-46-0 PCB 21 (2,3,4-Trichloro-biphenyl)
No CAS PCB Aroclor 1016
32598-14-4 PCB 105 (2,3,3′,4,4′ -Penta-chlorobiphenyl)
7012-37-5 PCB 28 (2,4,4′-Tri-chlorobiphenyl)
35693-99-3 PCB 52 (2,2′;5,5′-Tetra-chlorobiphenyl)
35065-28-2 PCB 138(2,2′,3,4,4′,5′- Hexachlorobiphenyl)
35065-29-3 PCB180(2,2′,3,4,4′,5,5′- Heptachlorobiphenyl)
31508-00-6 PCB 118(2,3′,4,4′,5-Penta-chlorobiphenyl)
12642-23-8 PCT Aroclor 5442
56614-97-2 3,9-Dihydroxy-benz(a)anthracene (3,9-DBA)
7099-43-6 5,6-Cyclopento-1,2-benzanthracene
56-49-5 3-Methylcholanthrene (3-MC)
57-97-6 7,12-Dimethyl-1,2-benz(a)anthracene
50-32-8 Benzo[a]pyrene (BAP)
50585-41-6 2,3,7,8-TeBDD
(tetrabrominated dibenzodioxin)
118174-38-2 6-Methyl-1,3,8-trichloro-dibenzofuran
94-82-6 2,4-dichlorophenoxy-butyric acid ( 2,4-DB)
72-33-3 Mestranol
10043-35-3 Boric Acid
104-40-5 Nonylphenol (4-NP)
1113-02-6 Omethoate
1131-60-8 4-Cyclohexylphenol
120-47-8 Ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate (Ethylparaben)
131-18-0 Di-n-pentylphthalate (DPP)
131-55-5 Benzophenone-2
( 2,2’,4,4’ tetra-hydroxybenzophenon)
131-56-6 2,4-Dihydroxybenzophenon
131-70-4 Mono-n-butylphthalate
13593-03-8 Quinalphos (Chinalphos)
15087-24-8 3-Benzylidene camphor (3-BC)
1582-09-8 Trifluralin
1634-04-4 Methyl-tert-butylether (MTBE)
25013-16-5 tert. Butylhydroxyanisol (BHA)
27193-28-8 Phenol, (1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)-
33204-76-1 2,6-cis-Diphenylhexamethyl-cyclotetrasiloxane
36861-47-9 3-(4-methyl-benzylidene)camphor
4376-20-9 Mono-2-ethylhexylphthalate (MEHP)
50-18-0 Cyclophosphamide
611-99-4 4,4’-Dihydroxy-benzophenone
6164-98-3 Chlordimeform
7400-08-0 p-Coumaric acid (PCA)
77-09-8 3,3’Bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) phthalid
77-40-7 2,2-Bis(4-hydroxy-phenyl)-n-butan
(Bisphenol B)
92-69-3 4-Hydroxybiphenyl (4-Phenylphenol)
92-88-6 4,4’Dihydroxy-biphenyl
94-13-3 n-Propyl p-hydroxybenzoate (Propylparaben)
94-26-8 n-Butyl p-hydroxybenzoate (Butylparaben)
96-12-8 Dibromochloropropane (DBCP)
96-45-7 Ethylene Thiourea (ETU)
99-76-3 Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (Methylparaben)
99-96-7 p-Hydroxybenzoic acid
* The original report to the EU contained this CAS number, which the Danish Environmental Protection Agency has noted is erroneous. Tributyltin naphthalate is already listed under CAS no. 36631-23-9.
Category 1



  • are used as a plasticiser  used to make a material like PVC softer and more flexible.
  • But they are also used in a wide range of other products.
  • They are small molecules that can dissolve into liquids that come into contact with them.
  • they  are endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Phthalate plasticizers are colorless liquids like vegetable oil with a faint odor, and they are insoluble in water. They are however, miscible in mineral oil, hexane, and most organic solvents. This makes them readily soluble in bodily fluids, such as plasma and saliva (1).

Two good examples of phthalate plasticizers are DEHP ( Di-Ethylhexyl Phthalate), and DINP (Di-Isononyl Phthalate).DEHP has been the most commonly used, and is still the plasticizer of choice for all PVC medical and surgical products.However due to evidence of the toxicity of DEHP in laboratory animal studies it was replaced in childrens products with DINP.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and potential EDCs are mostly man-made, found in various materials such as pesticides, metals, additives or contaminants in food, and personal care products. EDCs have been suspected to be associated with altered reproductive function in males and females; increased incidence of breast cancer, abnormal growth patterns and neurodevelopmental delays in children, as well as changes in immune function. World Health Organisation

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is widely used as a plasticizer in flexible vinyl products. Plastics may contain from 1 to 40% di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate by weight and are used in consumer products such as
  • imitation leather,
  • rainwear,
  • footwear,
  • upholstery,
  • flooring,
  • wire and cabels,
  • tablecloths,
  • shower curtains,
  • food packaging materials,
  • children’toys.
  • tubing and containers for blood products and transfusions.
It is also found in
  • rubbing alcohol,
  • liquid detergents,
  • decorative inks,
  • munitions,
  • industrial and lubricating oils and defoaming agents during paper and paperboard manufacture (Environmental Protection Agency, 1998)
  • hydraulic fluid and as a dielectric fluid (a non-conductor of electric current) in electrical capacitors (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1989).

Phthalates & Cosmetics.

Non-classified phthalates, DMP and DEP are the most widely used in cosmetics in the EU. They have not been classified or restricted because they do not pose any risks for our health or the environment.

Classified low orthophthalates such as  DBP and DIBP are no longer found in products manufactured and sold in the European Union due to provisions of the European Cosmetics legislation, which prohibits the use of substances classified for carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR) hazards.

This EU legislation does not apply in other regions of the world, such as the US, where classified low orthophthalates are still permitted, although some companies have voluntarily stopped using them.

Historically, the phthalates used in cosmetic products have been dibutyl phthalate (DBP), used as a plasticizer in products such as nail polishes to reduce cracking by making them less brittle; dimethyl phthalate (DMP), used in hair sprays to help avoid stiffness by allowing them to form a flexible film on the hair; and diethyl phthalate (DEP), used as a solvent and fixative in fragrances. DEP can also function as an alcohol denaturant , rendering alcoholic products unfit for oral consumption.    DEP is the only phthalate still periodically used in cosmetics

Phthalates Leaching From Plastic.

Because phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, they can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. Phthalate exposure can be through direct use or by indirect means through leaching and general environmental contamination. Diet is believed to be the main source of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and other phthalates in the general population. Fatty foods such as milk, butter, and meats are a major source.  Wikkipedia

“ A 2011 study demonstrated that just a three-day period of limiting intake of packaged foods decreased by half the concentrations of DEHP found in urine (Rudel, 2011)”

Some studies also claim that phthalates are readily absorbed through the skin (Janjua, 2008) and can also enter the body through inhalation or medical injection procedures (Schettler, 2005).

When plastic toys are chewed by a child the plasticiser may be dissolved by the saliva of the child and possibly ingested.

Phthalates have been found in indoor air and dust (Rudel, 2001) and in human urine and blood samples from children, adolescents and adults (Calafat, 2011; Frederiksen, 2011; Kato, 2003; Rudel, 2011).

They are also found in breast milk.

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate released into air can be carried for long distances in the troposphere and it has been detected over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; wash-out by rain appears to be a significant removal process (Atlas & Giam, 1981; Giam

Are they dangerous?

In a National Institutes of Health (NIH) report published in 2000, di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), commonly found in PVC plastics, was found reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.

The breast cancer fund have no doubts that it causes cancer and the reports they quote all reinforce that view

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified DEHP as non-carcinogenic to humans.

How much is out there?

Production of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in the United States increased during the 1980s, from approximately 114 000 tonnes in 1982 to over 130 000 tonnes in 1986 (Environmental Protection Agency, 1998).
In 1994, production of di(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate in the United States was 117 500 tonnes; production in Japan in 1995 was 298 000 tonnes; production in Taiwan in 1995 was 207 000 tonnes, down from 241 000 tonnes in 1994 (Anon., 1996).

Most Common Phthalates In Use

Name Abbreviation Structural formula Molecular weight (g/mol) CAS No.
Dimethyl phthalate DMP C6H4(COOCH3)2 194.18 131-11-3
Diethyl phthalate DEP C6H4(COOC2H5)2 222.24 84-66-2
Diallyl phthalate DAP C6H4(COOCH2CH=CH2)2 246.26 131-17-9
Di-n-propyl phthalate DPP C6H4[COO(CH2)2CH3]2 250.29 131-16-8
Di-n-butyl phthalate DBP C6H4[COO(CH2)3CH3]2 278.34 84-74-2
Diisobutyl phthalate DIBP C6H4[COOCH2CH(CH3)2]2 278.34 84-69-5
Butyl cyclohexyl phthalate BCP CH3(CH2)3OOCC6H4COOC6H11 304.38 84-64-0
Di-n-pentyl phthalate DNPP C6H4[COO(CH2)4CH3]2 306.40 131-18-0
Dicyclohexyl phthalate DCP C6H4[COOC6H11]2 330.42 84-61-7
Butyl benzyl phthalate BBP CH3(CH2)3OOCC6H4COOCH2C6H5 312.36 85-68-7
Di-n-hexyl phthalate DNHP C6H4[COO(CH2)5CH3]2 334.45 84-75-3
Diisohexyl phthalate DIHxP C6H4[COO(CH2)3CH(CH3)2]2 334.45 146-50-9
Diisoheptyl phthalate DIHpP C6H4[COO(CH2)4CH(CH3)2]2 362.50 41451-28-9
Butyl decyl phthalate BDP CH3(CH2)3OOCC6H4COO(CH2)9CH3 362.50 89-19-0
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP, DOP C6H4[COOCH2CH(C2H5)(CH2)3CH3]2 390.56 117-81-7
Di(n-octyl) phthalate DNOP C6H4[COO(CH2)7CH3]2 390.56 117-84-0
Diisooctyl phthalate DIOP C6H4[COO(CH2)5CH(CH3)2]2 390.56 27554-26-3
n-Octyl n-decyl phthalate ODP CH3(CH2)7OOCC6H4COO(CH2)9CH3 418.61 119-07-3
Diisononyl phthalate DINP C6H4[COO(CH2)6CH(CH3)2]2 418.61 28553-12-0
Di(2-propylheptyl) phthalate DPHP C6H4[COOCH2CH(CH2CH2CH3)(CH2)4CH3]2 446.66 53306-54-0
Diisodecyl phthalate DIDP C6H4[COO(CH2)7CH(CH3)2]2 446.66 26761-40-0
Diundecyl phthalate DUP C6H4[COO(CH2)10CH3]2 474.72 3648-20-2
Diisoundecyl phthalate DIUP C6H4[COO(CH2)8CH(CH3)2]2 474.72 85507-79-5
Ditridecyl phthalate DTDP C6H4[COO(CH2)12CH3]2 530.82 119-06-2
Diisotridecyl phthalate DIUP C6H4[COO(CH2)10CH(CH3)2]2 530.82 68515-47-9
Interesting links

Endocrine System & Endocrine Disruptors

A few quotes on the endocrine system…….

“Although we rarely think about them, the glands of the endocrine system and the hormones they release influence almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies. The endocrine system is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, and metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.

In general, the endocrine system is in charge of body processes that happen slowly, such as cell growth. Faster processes like breathing and body movement are controlled by the nervous system. But even though the nervous system and endocrine system are separate systems, they often work together to help the body function properly.”Kids health

“Endocrine systems, are found in all mammals, birds, fish, and many other types of living organisms. They are made up of:

Glands located throughout the body.
Hormones that are made by the glands and released into the bloodstream or the fluid surrounding cells.
Receptors in various organs and tissues that recognize and respond to the hormones.
Hormones are released by glands and travel throughout the body, acting as chemical messengers.

Hormones interface with cells that contain matching receptors in or on their surfaces. The hormone binds with the receptor, much like a key would fit into a lock. The hormones, or keys, need to find compatible receptors, or locks, to work properly. Although hormones reach all parts of the body, only target cells with compatible receptors are equipped to respond. Once a receptor and a hormone bind, the receptor carries out the hormone’s instructions by either altering the cell’s existing proteins or turning on genes that will build a new protein. Both of these actions create reactions throughout the body. Researchers have identified more than 50 hormones in humans and other vertebrates.

The endocrine system regulates all biological processes in the body from conception through adulthood and into old age, including the development of the brain and nervous system, the growth and function of the reproductive system, as well as the metabolism and blood sugar levels. The female ovaries, male testes, and pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands are major constituents of the endocrine system.”The EPA website

“The Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) focuses on the estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormones. Estrogens are the group of hormones responsible for female sexual development. They are produced primarily by the ovaries and in small amounts by the adrenal glands. Androgens are responsible for male sex characteristics. Testosterone, the sex hormone produced by the testicles, is an androgen. The thyroid gland secretes two main hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, into the bloodstream. These thyroid hormones stimulate all the cells in the body and control biological processes such as growth, reproduction, development, and metabolism. For additional information on the endocrine system and endocrine disruptors, visit the Endocrine Primer.” The EPA website

“Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products– including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.” National institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“Disruption of the endocrine system can occur in various ways. Some chemicals mimic a natural hormone, fooling the body into over-responding to the stimulus (e.g., a growth hormone that results in increased muscle mass), or responding at inappropriate times (e.g., producing insulin when it is not needed). Other endocrine disrupting chemicals block the effects of a hormone from certain receptors (e.g. growth hormones required for normal development). Still others directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system and cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (e.g. an over or underactive thyroid). Certain drugs are used to intentionally cause some of these effects, such as birth control pills. In many situations involving environmental chemicals, however, an endocrine effect is not desirable.

In recent years, some scientists have proposed that chemicals might inadvertently be disrupting the endocrine system of humans and wildlife. A variety of chemicals have been found to disrupt the endocrine systems of animals in laboratory studies, and there is strong evidence that chemical exposure has been associated with adverse developmental and reproductive effects on fish and wildlife in particular locations. The relationship of human diseases of the endocrine system and exposure to environmental contaminants, however, is poorly understood and scientifically controversial (Kavlock et al., 1996, EPA, 1997).

One example of the devastating consequences of the exposure of developing animals, including humans, to endocrine disruptors is the case of the potent drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen. Prior to its ban in the early 1970’s, doctors mistakenly prescribed DES to as many as five million pregnant women to block spontaneous abortion and promote fetal growth. It was discovered after the children went through puberty that DES affected the development of the reproductive system and caused vaginal cancer. Since then, Congress has improved the evaluation and regulation process of drugs and other chemicals. The recent requirement of the establishment of an endocrine disruptor screening program is a highly significant step.docrine disruptor screening program is a highly significant step.”The EPA website

Find out more about the endocrine disruptors in plastic here



Is a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemical – ie one that lasts a long time, accumulates in the food chain and is, well, toxic. Read more here…

Humans absorb  antimony  from the  air, drinking water and  food – but also by skin contact with soil and contaminated substances.

Exposure to “relatively high concentrations of antimony (9 mg/m3 of air)” over long periods of time ( doesn’t say how long is long)  can cause irritation of the eyes, skin and lungs.

Greater exposure may result in lung diseases, heart problems, diarrhea, severe vomiting and stomach ulcers.

It is not known whether antimony can cause cancer or reproductive failure.


“Relatively high” levels may kill rats, rabbits and guinea pigs and can cause damage  to the lungs, heart, liver and kidney of a rat.

Low levels of antimony in the air, experienced for a long time, may result in eye irritation, hair loss and lung damage in animals. Even shorter exposures of a couple of months may result in fertility problems.

Dogs may experience heart problems if exposed to low levels of antimony.


Antimony is most often found in soil.

It can travel long distances through water.


Antimony is used in

  • Polyester – a synthetic fabric -you always knew those slacks were wrong!
  • PET bottles – used in the beverage industry

Its is shown to leach from both those products.

With thanks to

 Lentech and EPA



Persistant Organic Pollutants

I was under the impression that pops was some kind of horrid Yorkshire dish involving hot milk and bits of bread but this is not the case. Rather POPs are a small set of toxic chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods and accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals.

POPs stands for persistent organic pollutants, also classed as PBTs (Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic) or TOMPs (Toxic Organic Micro Pollutants.)

  • Persistant because they are are resistant to natural biodegradation. They do not break down and can last for decades.
  • Pollutants because they are highly toxic, causing death, disease, and birth defects among humans and animals.

plastic in fishHow can you avoid them? You cant! They travel through the environment through the atmosphere (windbourne), the food web (by being eaten) and through the waterways by attaching themselves to particles in water. POPs released in one part of the world can be transported many hundreds of miles away from the original source. POPs have been discovered in remote regions where they have never been used, the middle of oceans and Antarctica.

Pops can enter the food chain at the most basic of levels. “Planktonic organisms are the first link for pollutant transfer in the pelagic system. Traditionally, primary producers, (all those organisms that are able to synthesise organic matter capturing the energy of the sunlight) such asphytoplankton have been considered as the initial step for transport of POPs into food webs. Recent studies, however, point out that the capacity of uptake of bacteria is an important route for POPs transportation via the microbial food chain. The microbial food chain is the link between microorganisms in the sea.” From GPA website.

Because POPs are not soluble in water but readily absorbed and retained in fatty tissue of animals, this leads to a process called Biomagnification, also known as bioamplification or biological magnification. This is, is the increase in concentration of a substance that occurs in a food chain as a consequence of:

Food chain in a swedish lake. From the bottom:...

Food chain in a swedish lake. From the bottom: freshwater shrimp, bleak, perch, northern pike, osprey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Persistence (can’t be broken down by environmental processes)
  • Food chain energetics
  • Low (or nonexistent) rate of internal degradation/excretion of the substance (often due to water-insolubility)

Which means as POPs pass up the food chain, they increase exponentially. For example lets say that each bit of plankton contains 1 POP. A worm eats 5 plankton so now it contain 5 POB, 5 worms are in turn is eaten by a fish (25) and 3 fish are caught by a fisherman (75). The higher up the food chain the more you absorb.

It is claimed that plastic particles in the sea attract POPs.

Related articles

Where Do Pops Come From

Most are created by humans in industrial processes, either intentionally or as byproducts.

Many POPs are currently or were in the past used as pesticides. Others are the result of industrial processes. Including plastic manufacture and disposal

In May 1995, the United Nations Environment Programme Governing Council (GC) began investigating POPs. and 2001 the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was formed to organise the severe restriction of their production, by the international community.

State parties to the Stockholm Convention on P...

State parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Italiano: Stati ratificanti della Convenzione di Stoccolma sugli inquinanti organici persistenti. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These are related to the plastic industries


They are of concern because of their highly toxic potential.

Once dioxins have entered the body, they endure a long time because of their chemical stability and their ability to be absorbed by fat tissue, where they are then stored in the body.

Their half-life in the body is estimated to be seven to eleven years.

In the environment, dioxins tend to accumulate in the food chain. The higher in the animal food chain one goes, the higher the concentration of dioxins.

Doixin is a known human carcinogen and the most potent synthetic carcinogen ever tested in laboratory animals. Find out lots more here.

Dioxins occur as by-products in the incineration of chlorine-containing substances such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), in the chlorine bleaching of paper, and from natural sources such as volcanoes and forest fires, waste incineration, and backyard trash burning, and herbicide manufacturing. More on burning plastic here.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) compounds are used as additives in paint, carbonless copy paper, and plastics.

Of the 209 different types of PCBs, 13 exhibit a dioxin-like toxicity. Their persistence in the environment corresponds to the degree of chlorination, and half-lives can vary from 10 days to one-and-a-half years.

PCBs are toxic to fish, killing them at higher doses and causing spawning failures at lower doses. Research also links PCBs to reproductive failure and suppression of the immune system in various wild animals, such as seals and mink.

Read more about PCBs here.

And here are some more…

Aldrin is an organochlorine insecticide that was widely used until the 1970s, when it was banned in most countries.

Chlordane a pesticide,  It was sold in the United States from 1948 to 1988, both as a dust and an emulsified solution. It is now banned.

DDT, First synthesized in 1874, DDT’s insecticidal action was discovered by the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller in 1939.  A worldwide ban was formalised under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day and remains controversial.

Dieldrin  an alternative to DDT, and a highly effective insecticide widely used during the 1950s to early 1970s. Long-

term exposure has proven toxic to a very wide range of animals including humans.It is now banned in most of the world.

Endrin  A pesticide. Currently, the use of endrin is banned in many countries.

Heptachlor was used as an insecticide. Animals exposed to Heptachlor epoxide during gestation and infancy are found to have changes in nervous system and immune function. Higher doses of Heptachlor when exposed to newborn animals caused decrease in body weight and death.

Hexachlorobenzene, a fungicide now banned globally under the Stockholm Convention

Mirex, is a chlorinated hydrocarbon that was commercialized as an insecticide and later banned because of its impact on the environment.

toxaphene is an insecticide. It is a mixture of closely related substances whose use is now banned in most of the world due to concerns of toxicity.

Since then, this list has generally been accepted to include such substances as carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and certain brominated flame-retardants, as well as some organometallic compounds such as tributyltin (TBT).

Thanks to Wikipedia and the worldbank

Chemicals & Additives In Plastic

The first stage in plastic production, the polymerisation of raw material.

Then substances such as fillers and chemicals (sometimes called monomeric ingredients), are added to give color, texture and a whole range of other qualities. Reinforcing fibers for example make the base polymer stronger while man-made organic chemicals, such as phthalates are added to make plastic flexible, resilient and easier to handle.

These give the plastic an additional range of qualities. There are thousands of addatives used in making plastic.

Plastic additives

Reinforcing fibers to make the base polymer stronger.  For example baron, carbon, fibrous minerals, glass, Kevlar all Increases tensile strength. Others increase flexibility, heat-deflection temperature (HDT) or help resists shrinkage and warpage.
Extender fillers such as calcium carbonate and silica, clay reduces material cost.
Conductive fillers means electromagnetic shielding property can be built into plastics, which are normally poor electrical conductors include  aluminum powders, carbon fiber, graphite Improves electrical and thermal conductivity.
Coupling agents such as Silanes, titanates  improve the bonding of the plastic matrix and the reinforcing fibres.
Plasticizers – man-made organic chemicals, such as phthalates added to make plastic flexible, resilient and easier to handle. Some are considered unsafe – read more here.
Stabilizers (halogen stabilizers, antioxidants, ultraviolet absorbers, and biological preservatives) to stop it breaking down over time>Protects from thermal and UV degradation (with carbon blacks).
Processing aids (ie lubricants to reduce the viscosity of the molten plastic and others)
Flame retardants Chlorine, bromine, phosphorous, metallic salts Reduces the occurrence and spread of combustion.
Anti-static agents can be used to attract moisture, reducing the build-up of static charge.
Colorants (pigments and dyes) Metal oxides, chromates, carbon blacks.
Blowing agents Gas, azo compounds, hydrazine derivatives Generates a cellular form to obtain a low-density


As you can see that is a lot of additives. So many that  we do not know what they all are. Also manufacturers are not obliged to reveal what they use in their plastic mixes. So while the polymers used in base plastics are mostly considered to be harmless, the potential toxicity of the additives is often unknown.

It is claimed that many of the additives used have not been passed as fit for human consumption and that more research needs to be done on the safe handling and ultimate disposal of these plastics.

Rather worryingly, some of the chemicals used in plastic seem to be mobile and can leach from the plastic product into the contents. For example from the plastic packaging wrapped round your cheese or the epoxy resin lining of your can of beans into your food. The jury is still out on wether this is dangerous or not but add that to a brown toast cancer scare and cheesy beans don’t look so tasty!

Halogenated plastics like PVC will, when burnt, release dioxin one of the most powerful carcinogens known.

More animals are being found with plastic in their stomachs having mistaken for food and microplastics are being ingested by bottom feeders and plankton. Some reports claim that chemicals from plastic are being absorbed by animals with ill effects.You can read more on microplastic here and read reports on animals eating plastic.

Plastic particles attract persistent organic Pollutants (POPs). POPs are a small set of toxic chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods and accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals. Bottom feeders eat the plastic pellets and so the POPs enter the food chain.


Plastic Food 
What Are Chemicals?

Burning plastic in the home

Some feel my worrying about plastic in the home is taking it too far?  Disposables? Yes, they can see I ...
Read More

Plastic Chemicals & Food

Plastic packed food is unappealing in many ways. For me the most immediate problem is the flavor, or lack of ...
Read More

Endocrine disruption, fish & polyethylene

Early warning signs of endocrine disruption in adult fish from the ingestion of polyethylene with and without sorbed chemical pollutants from the marine ...
Read More

Perfluorochemicals and plastic

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are a family of man-made chemicals. They have been around since the 1950s. They include perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS; ...
Read More


are used as a plasticiser  used to make a material like PVC softer and more flexible. But they are also ...
Read More

Endocrine System & Endocrine Disruptors

A few quotes on the endocrine system....... "Although we rarely think about them, the glands of the endocrine system and ...
Read More


Is a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemical - ie one that lasts a long time, accumulates in the food chain ...
Read More

Persistant Organic Pollutants

I was under the impression that pops was some kind of horrid Yorkshire dish involving hot milk and bits of ...
Read More

Chemicals & Additives In Plastic

The first stage in plastic production, the polymerisation of raw material. Then substances such as fillers and chemicals (sometimes called ...
Read More

Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of manmade chemicals. They are oily liquids or solids, clear to yellow in color, ...
Read More

PTFE Non stick plastic

When I was young and innocent, I knew nothing of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Well, it's not the kind of thing a ...
Read More


 A white brittle plastic until you add plasticisers the most common being phthalates then it becomes soft and flexible. PVC is ...
Read More

What’s in a PET bottle?

I am lucky enough to live in a country that supplies clean drinkable tap water so obviously I don’t need ...
Read More

Tin Cans, Plastic Liners & Health

So you think, no that you've given up plastic but at least you can buy stuff in tins. At least ...
Read More


Bisphenol A or BPA is it is known to its chums is used in some thermal paper products such as till receipts. the ...
Read More

Dioxins & Burning plastic

So, is it safe to burn plastic? Well most plastics don't  burn easily - it melts and bubbles.  It will burn eventually ...
Read More




Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of manmade chemicals. They are oily liquids or solids, clear to yellow in color, with no smell or taste. PCBs are very stable mixtures that are resistant to extreme temperature and pressure. PCBs were used widely in electrical equipment like capacitors and transformers.

The commercial production of PCBs started in 1929.

Since the 1970s and 80s use has been banned or severely restricted in many countries  because of the possible risks to human health and the environment.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) compounds were used as additives in paint, carbonless copy paper, and plastics.

They were used as a plasticiser to make plastics more flexible.

Commercial production of PCBs ended in 1977 because of health effects associated with exposure. In 1979, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) banned the use of PCBs; however, PCBs are still present in many pre-1979 products.

Of the 209 different types of PCBs, 13 exhibit a dioxin-like toxicity. Their persistence in the environment corresponds to the degree of chlorination, and half-lives can vary from 10 days to one-and-a-half years.

From the 1920s until they were banned in 1979, the U.S. produced an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of these industrial chemicals. They were used in a variety of manufacturing processes, particularly for electrical parts, across the country. Wastes containing PCBs were often improperly stored or disposed of or even directly discharged into soils, rivers, wetlands, and the ocean.

Exposure to PCBs is through food

  • Food: PCBs in food are probably the single most significant source of exposure for people.
  • Surface Soils: 
  • Drinking Water and Groundwater: PCBs are not very water-soluble so it is quite rare for them to be found in groundwater.
  • Indoor Air: Older fluorescent lights found in schools, offices, and homes may still contain transformers or ballasts that contain PCBs. 

Case Studies ( almost complete) from the world bank website

PCBs are toxic to fish, killing them at higher doses and causing spawning failures at lower doses. Research also links PCBs to reproductive failure and suppression of the immune system in various wild animals, such as seals and mink.

Large numbers of people have been exposed to PCBs through food contamination. Consumption of PCB-contaminated rice oil in Japan in 1968 and in Taiwan in 1979 caused pigmentation of nails and mucous membranes and swelling of the eyelids, along with fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.

Due to the persistence of PCBs in their mothers’ bodies, children born up to seven years after the Taiwan incident showed developmental delays and behavioral problems. Similarly, children of mothers who ate large amounts of contaminated fish from Lake Michigan showed poorer short-term memory function. PCBs also suppress the human immune system and are listed as probable human carcinogens.”

Dioxins are classed as a persistant organic pollutants, (POPs), also known as PBTs (Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic) or TOMPs (Toxic Organic Micro Pollutants.)

Find out more about dioxins here.

POPs are a small set of toxic chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods and accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals. You can find out more about POPS here

Related articles

PTFE Non stick plastic

When I was young and innocent, I knew nothing of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Well, it’s not the kind of thing a nicely brought up girl should have to deal with.

Instead, I went out met a man, got married and got given some very nice, very expensive wedding pans. Lovely non-stick pans.

Which brings us right back to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) .

  • This is what the non-stick coating on pans is made from.
  • Teflon is perhaps the best known manufacturer of polytetrafluoroethylene (non-stick) linings.
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene is a plastic and, like other plastics, has a down right nasty side.

Over to wise geek…..
The nonstick coating used in DuPont’s Teflon® pans has been found to release one or more of 15 different toxic gases when heated to certain temperatures, but is generally safe when used according to manufacturers’ specifications. Which chemicals are released depends on the temperature of the pan. This outgassing can be fatal to pet birds and can cause “polymer fume flu,” also known as “Teflon® flu,” in humans.

read the rest here

Teflon say if you use the pans properly(?), there shouldn’t be a problem. Try telling that to the budgie.

Whatever, the pans are too good to throw out, and I feel bad about giving them away, so I am still using them – but in future I will not be buying any more non-stick.

New Non Stick Pans


No PTFE non stick frying pan

More info

You can find out about the other sorts of plastic here