Chemical hazards in plastic industry

How many harmful chemicals are in plastic?

Based on the latest studies, more than 13,000 chemicals have been identified as associated with plastics and plastic production across a wide range of applications.

Plastic manufacturers use a variety of chemicals, such as monomers, solvents, and catalysts, which can be hazardous to worker health. Exposure to these chemicals can cause skin and eye irritation,
respiratory problems, and even cancer.

Bisphenol A – a key ingredient in plastic and resin manufacture. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a substance that is used in the industrial manufacture of polycarbonate plastic products. These include common consumer goods such as re-usable plastic tableware and bottles for drinks, sports equipment, CDs and DVDs.

Specifically, the top three categories for phthalate toxicity are cardiotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, and nephrotoxicity and the most commonly caused diseases are cardiovascular, liver, urologic, endocrine, and genital diseases. Those who were exposed to more phthalates are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Items containing more than 1 per cent by weight of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) are banned.

The most common methods are:

  • Plastic extrusion.
  • Injection moulding.
  • Rotational moulding.
  • Plastic extrusion & injection blow moulding.
  • Vacuum casting.
  • Thermoforming & Vacuum forming.
  • Compression moulding.

Chemicals used in the Manufacture of Plastics

1. BPA
2. Phthalates
4. BBP
5. DBP

6. Carbon
7. Hydrogen
8. Oxygen
9. Nitrogen
10. Parabens

11. Alkylphenols
12. Dioxin
13. Perfluorinated Compounds
14. UV Stabilizers
15. Brominated Flame Retardants, BFRs

Other chemicals maybe used in plastic manufacturing:

Acrylonitrile are in the manufacture of polymers, resins, plastics and nitrile rubbers.
Plastics containing cadmium pigments.
MOCA is commonly used as a coating to set plastics.