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Sarah (Steve) Mosko, Ph.D. Earth Resource Foundation Health Effects of Petroleum-Based Plastics What Every Consumer Should Know About Plastics 5/2/2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Sarah (Steve) Mosko, Ph.D. Earth Resource Foundation Health Effects of Petroleum-Based Plastics What Every Consumer Should Know About Plastics 5/2/2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sarah (Steve) Mosko, Ph.D. Earth Resource Foundation Health Effects of Petroleum-Based Plastics What Every Consumer Should Know About Plastics 5/2/2015

2 2 Annual US Plastic Resin Production & Recovery

3  Low melting point, °F Soooooo  Soooooo many different types Why isn’t plastics recycling simple?

4 4 Common plastics additives Antimicrobials Antioxidants Antistatic agents Blowing agents Catalysts/curing agents Colorants Fillers Free-radical initiators Impact Modifiers Lubricants/mold releasers Reinforcers Heat stabilizers Ultraviolet stabilizers Plasticizers Flame retardants (www.Mindfully.org; Stringer et al, 2001) Since they’re just “mixed in” they can migrate out!

5 Plastic Resins V or PVC - Polyvinyl chloride PS - Polystyrene Others - Polycarbonates

6 PVC around the house 6 #3 PVC around the house

7 7 PVC Medical Devices with DEHP flexible bags flexible tubing vinyl gloves

8 8 Pre-natal phthalate exposure in rats causes demasculinization of male reproductive tract (J Otby, 2000/EPA; LE Gray, Jr., 1999) Seminal Vesicles Epididymis Control DEHP Control DEHP Control DBP Testes Control DEHP

9 9 Can phthalates subtly alter boys? (Swan et al., 2005) Boys with the highest exposure to multiple phthalates were 90 times as likely to have a short anogential distance as boys with the least exposure. Short anogenital distance was linked to… smaller penis volume undescended testes indistinct scrotum

10 10 (Marsee et al, 2006) Estimated daily phthalate exposure levels in mothers whose sons had short anogenital distances were 100 times lower than EPA’s current safety threshold level for phthalates.

11 11 Bisphenol-A: Bisphenol-A: …in #7 polycarbonate plastics …estrogenic

12 12  Bisphenol-A from drinking water bottles produced aneuploidy.  Exposure levels as low as 20 ng/g body wt (ppb) for one week produced aneuploidy. Chromosomal Damage caused by Bisphenol-A (Hunt et al., 2003) Congression failure in oocyte meiosis from Bisphenol-A

13 13 Bisphenol A – Miscarriage (Sugiura-Ogasawara et al., 2005) BPA and Miscarriage: Recurrent miscarriage - Blood BPA levels were 3x’s higher in women with 3+ consecutive miscarriages. Of those who became pregnant again, ½ miscarried again – ¼ of those fetuses had the wrong chromosome number.

14 14  Bisphenol-A was present in all blood samples.  Exposure was at levels causing reproductive toxicity (prostate enlargement) in mice. Bisphenol-A concentrations in human fluids (Schonfelder et al., 2002) Bisphenol-A concentrations in pregnant women and fetuses

15 15 #6 Polystyrene safety concerns…

16 16 (Silent Spring Institute, 2004) Brominated Flame Retardants Brominated Flame Retardants Consumer Products Computers Printers Hair dryers Toasters Coffee makers Foam furniture (PS, up to 15% by wt.) PBDEs Neurodevelopmental toxins (e.g. learning & memory) EDCs (sex & thyroid) Breast milk (Environmental Working Group, 2003, 2005, 2004) House Dust Umbilical Cord Blood Record levels

17 17 Levels of fire retardants rose 60-fold in Swedish breast milk from 1972 to 1997 (MeironytŽ & Bergman, 1999)

18 18 (Schecter at al, 2003) PBDEs in U.S. Breast Milk Samples (per gram lipid)

19 19 Government Accountability Office report: 1. Of 80,000 chemicals in use, health data available on only 15%. 2. EPA has sought info on dangers of only 200 chemicals. 3. Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 doesn’t protect public e.g. no substance has been banned since 1989 (asbestos ban was later overturned in 1991 for lack of proof). “EPA Is Faulted as Failing to Shield Public from Toxins” LA Times

20 , ,000 man-made chemicals introduced into human society since WII: 1.A chemical or product is widely introduced with little or no testing. 2.Health effects are reported in a subsection of the population. 3. Testing is undertaken to discover what chemicals and mechanisms cause the effects (at taxpayers’ expense). 4. An exposure limit level is devised to protect the population from these health effects. Introduce then test policy

21 21 Precautionary Principle When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. The proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. Declaration of the Rio Conference on Environment and Development, 1992

22 22 Precautionary Principle The Precautionary Principle seeks to prevent harm before it happens. It shifts the current approach toward decision-making from "risk assessment" - asks "how much harm is allowable?" to "alternatives analysis” - asks "how little damage is possible?" For example, instead of asking “how much arsenic in arsenic-treated wood is allowable in children's playground equipment?” look instead for alternatives to arsenic-treated wood.

23 San Francisco Adopts the Precautionary Principle 2003 The City adopted the Precautionary Principle as its policy framework to develop laws for a healthier and more just San Francisco. Every San Franciscan has a right to a safe and healthy environment.

24 24 EU R.E.A.C.H. System (Registration, Evaluation & Authorization of Chemicals, 2001) “Precautionary Principle” 1.Shifts responsibility to industry for testing and risk assessment. 2.Places stringent controls on dangerous substances (carcinogens, reproductive toxins, chemicals that are persistent or bio-accumulate).

25 25 CREDO Cluster (Cluster of Research into Endocrine Disruption in Europe) Links together >60 research laboratories in Europe to understand the causes of escalating reproductive disorders in humans and in wildlife and to examine the impact of mixtures/low dose exposure to EDCs. (www.credocluster,info)

26 US Congress mandated testing of all synthetic chemicals for endocrine disruption 1996 US Congress mandated testing of all synthetic chemicals for endocrine disruption EDSTAC (Endocrine Disruption Screening and Testing Advisory Committee) recommended a 14-assay protocol in 1998 As of 2005, none of the assays have been approved EPA’s lack of funding and staff is cited US efforts to test for endocrine disrupting chemicals has stalled

27 27 EU leaves US in the dust R.E.A.C.H. Directive CREDO Cluster Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 EDSTAC

28 28 US corporations phasing out PVC Microsoft Hewlett-Packard Wal-Mart Johnson & Johnson Catholic Healthcare West Aveda Bath and Body Works Crabtree & Evelyn The Body Shop Victorias’s Secret Nike Adidas (Center for Health, Environment & Justice 12/07/05) Firestone Building Products Kaiser Permanente Shaw Carpet Gerber Samsung SC Johnson Toyota Volvo Honda Volkswagen Lego System

29 Wooden computing from EcoGeek

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