Plastic Health Risk Research

Reading List:

We’ve compiled this reading list of articles on the topic of plastic and health concerns. We selected some quotes from each article to share here as well.

Some good points from this long-form article in the New Yorker, The Plastic Panic

“The Toxic Substances Control Act, passed in 1976, does not require manufacturers to show that chemicals used in their products are safe before they go on the market; rather, the responsibility is placed on federal agencies, as well as on researchers in universities outside the government. The burden of proof is so onerous that bans on toxic chemicals can take years to achieve, and the government is often constrained from sharing information on specific products with the public, because manufacturers claim that such information is confidential. Several agencies split responsibility for oversight, with little coördination... The European Union, in contrast, now requires manufacturers to prove that their compounds are safe before they are sold.”

"Academic researchers have found that the enormous financial stakes—the production of BPA is a six-billion-dollar-a-year industry—have prompted extra scrutiny of their results. In 2007, according to a recent article in Nature, a majority of non-industry-supported studies initially deemed sound by the National Toxicology Program on the safety of BPA were dismissed as unsuitable after a representative of the A.C.C. drafted a memo critiquing their methods; experimental protocols often differ from one university lab to another."

"Most plastic products, even those marketed as BPA-free, leach chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen, reveals a new study of 455 common products."

       from - Study: Most Plastic Products Trigger Estrogen Effect

"We're doing an unplanned, intentional science experiment on ourselves," says Michael Green, executive director of the Center for Environmental Health. "Unplanned because we didn't agree to have plastics tested on us, and intentional because we say it's fine to use."

     from Why BPA-Free Plastic Isn't Necessarily Safe

And from Mother Jones, The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics and the Big Tobacco-style campaign to bury it:

"A poison kills you," says biology professor Frederick vom Saal. "A chemical like BPA reprograms your cells and ends up causing a disease in your grandchild that kills him."