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Plastic Toxicity

             Starting in the early nineteen- nineties research on plastic toxicity began to increase and more scientists and students began looking into plastic toxicity. Different groups studied different parts and some studied the same however most of the results were different. New research indicates that plastic toxicity can be potentially harmful to humans the environment and food. The scientists and students that have studied plastic toxicity will be discussed in this paper along with the results of their experiments.
             Chemicals that can potentially leach out .
             When plastic is heated in such as a microwave there are a variety of chemicals that can potentially leach out of the plastic and soak into the food. The chemicals that are most commonly found in PVC products, a commonly used plastic, are called phthalates. Phthalates, which accumulate in body tissues and can damage liver, lungs, and have been shown in lower mammals to damages reproductive organs ("Evaluation of PVC hazards," 2002). Studies have shown that phthalates almost never affect adult humans however; small children could be at a larger risk especially young males who could potentially have their reproductive organs damaged. Two other chemicals which have been found in plastic food wrap are xenoestrogens and carcinogens. Xenoestrogens are linked to low sperm counts in men and to breast cancer in women ("Student studies toxicity of plastic food wrap," 2002). .
             Plastic Toxicity 3.
             Effects of Chemicals.
             There are different effects for each of the different chemicals listed above. DEHP is a phthalate (the most commonly used), in one study it was said to be a reproductive toxin that can damage the testes and potentially be harmful to the kidneys, liver, and lungs However, the DEHP information center released an article in October of 2003 stating that there is no general risk to human health from DEHP. DEHA a carcinogen which is also widely used like DEHP, has been tested on both male and female mice for cancer.

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