Plastic Leaks

I have not written about this recently. Does plastic leak? That is, do various chemicals leach out of a plastic container, and possibly get into our food supply, since we use plastic so often in food containers.

According to the Globe and Mail, “Medical researchers at the University of Alberta say that two chemicals leaking from plastic laboratory equipment were so biologically active they ruined a drug experiment.

The inadvertent discovery could have wide-ranging consequences because the chemicals causing the experiment to go awry were leaching from polypropylene, one of the most commonly used plastics in the world. Besides being found in scientific equipment, the plastic is used to make everything from yogurt tubs to clothing.

The findings were so alarming to the researchers, from the university’s faculty of medicine, that they issued a warning yesterday in the journal Science, alerting others scientists to the possibility that contaminants from plastic ware in their laboratories could put experiments at risk.

Not enough is known about the two substances leaking from the plastic – quaternary ammonium biocides and oleamide – to know what hazard, if any, they might pose through exposure to consumer products made from polypropylene.”

If you have not heard, last month, Health Canada said it would place bisphenol A (another substance that “leaks” from plastic), which is now considered a female hormone mimic, on the country’s list of toxic substances.

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