What are the harmful effects of plastics?

already exists.

Would you like to merge this question into it?

already exists as an alternate of this question.

Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

exists and is an alternate of .

In this era of many astonishing industrial developments, probably no industry has under gone such rapid growth and development as the plastics industry. According to most authorities in this field, the plastics industry really began in 1868. A young American printer, named John Wesley Hyatt, was searching for a new material to be used as a substitute for ivory in the making of billiard balls. This new plastic was called Bakelite. Many new plastics have been made since Bakelite. Production of plastics has increased over 2000% since Bakelite was first produced, and there are now more than twenty known types. Research along the lines of plastics has given a great impetus to research and invention in many other different fields of endeavor. Millions of dollars are spent yearly in plastics research, trying to find new plastics and to improve the existing ones. Much research will be done in the future to lower the cost of producing plastics so that their consumption will become greater. In spite of the varied and widespread application of plastics in practically every phase of everyday life, the possibilities of this wonderful new material have been by no means exhausted. It seems safe to say that if the application and use of plastics continue to increase at the present rate, we may be living in a "Plastics Age." An apt definition of plastics has been given by the head of the Monsanto Plastics Research who says, "Plastics are materials that, while being processed, can be pushed into almost any desired shape and then retain that shape." The major chemicals used to make plastic resins pose serious risks to public health and safety. Many of the chemicals used in large volumes to produce plastics are highly toxic.Some chemicals, like benzene and vinyl chloride, are known to cause cancer in humans; many tend to be gases and liquid hydrocarbons, which readily vaporize and pollute the air. Many are flammable and explosive. Even the plastic resins themselves are flammable and have contributed to numerous chemical accidents. The production of plastic emits substantial amounts of toxic chemicals(eg. ethylene oxide, benzene and xylenes) to air and water. Many of the toxic chemicals released in plastic production can cause cancer and birth defects and damage the nervous system, blood, kidneys and immune systems. These chemicals can also cause serious damage to ecosystems. Ethylene oxide is used as a sterilant in hospitals. It is also the principle metabolite of ethene, a precursor to polyethylene plastics and other synthetic chemicals. Ethylene oxide can be measured by gas chromatography in air or biological specimens. Ethylene oxide reacts in the body with hemoglobin. Many food containers for meats, fish, cheeses, yogurt, foam and clear clamshell containers, foam and rigid plates, clear bakery containers, packaging "peanuts," foam packaging, audio cassette housings, CD cases, disposable cutlery, and more are made of polystyrene. J. R. Withey in Environmental Health Perspectives 1976 Investigated styrene and vinyl chloride monomer as being similar: "Styrene monomer readily migrates from food contained in it. It makes no difference whether the food or drink is hot or cold, or contains fat or water. ...It is not inconceivable that the animal body behaves as a 'sink' for styrene monomer until the lipid portion of the animal body either becomes saturated (although death would probably occur prior to this event) or the tissues are equilibrated at the same concentration as the exposure atmosphere." PVC is used for many products including: flooring, toys, teethers, clothing, raincoats, shoes, building products like windows, siding and roofing, hospital blood bags, IV bags and other medical devices. One of it's major ingredients is chlorine. When chlorine-based chemicals are heated in the presence of hydrocarbons they create dioxin, a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. All PVC production releases dioxin. Other sources of dioxin are: production and use of chemicals, such as herbicides and wood preservatives, oil refining, burning coal and oil for energy, all car and truck exhaust, cigarette Plasticizers are used in PVC that migrate into a blood recipient via the blood bag, IV bag, IV tubing. Children's toys are made with pvc. Anyone who receives blood, is on kidney dialysis, or has tubes either inserted in them or has liquid or air transported to their body is at risk. About 85% of medical waste is incinerated, accounting for ten percent of all incineration in the U.S.Approximately five to fifteen percent of medical waste needs to be incinerated to prevent infectious disease. The remaining waste, while not posing any danger from infectious pathogens, is very dangerous when burned. It contains high volumes of chlorinated plastics including PVC (also the toxic substances mercury, arsenic, cadmium and lead.)
+ 73 others found this useful
Thanks for the feedback!

Why is burning plastic harmful?

it is harmful -------- Examples: releasing of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sometimes nitrogen dioxide or sulfur dioxide or fluorine compounds, many other organic compou (MORE)

Reasons why plastic bags are harmful?

Here are some of the harmful effects of plastic bags: Plastic bags litter the landscape. Once they are used, most plastic bags go into landfill, or rubbish tips. Each year mo (MORE)

Understanding the Harmful Effects of Weed Use

Among illegal drugs, cannabis, also known as pot, weed and various other names, is considered to possess relatively few negative health effects. There are, however, harmful ef (MORE)

Passive Smoking: The Harmful Effects of Cigarettes on Others

There have been several cases of people dying from tobacco-related illnesses, despite the fact that they have never lit up a cigarette in their lives. Even non-smokers are at (MORE)

Key Reasons Why You Should Recycle Your Plastic

The modern world increasingly turns to using plastic in all sorts of products. Plastics are used to store and sell food and beverages of all kinds. Another popular use for pla (MORE)

Harmful Side Effects of Excessive Alcohol Use

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol harms you in every possible way. No good comes from your excessive drinking. You get sick, become injured or damage vital organs, not to (MORE)

The Potential Side Effects of Reusing Plastic Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles conveniently package one of life's necessities. The impulse to reuse the bottles is commendable since they take an average of 1,000 years to biodegrade. (MORE)

The Harmful Internal Effects of Cigarette Smoking

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, disease and health complications in the United States and in the world. Cigarettes harm your body whether you are (MORE)
In Biology

How plastics are harmful?

the plastics are harmful because:- 1. non-biodegradable 2. harmful gases evolve when they are burnt 3. cause degradation to the soil 4. pollution when dump or burnt to (MORE)

Useful and harmful effects of plastics?

Plastic is useful in that it is strong, flexible, and versatile. It  can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. It  is also composed of many toxic chemic (MORE)
In Health

Harmful effects of plastic on animals?

Plastic can be harmful to animals if they swallow it, as it can  block their intestines. Animals can also get tangled in some types  of plastic, such as bags and can caddies (MORE)