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Author Topic: plastics s harmful 4 health  (Read 672 times)

Offline COLD BLOOD@Brar

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plastics s harmful 4 health
« on: September 28, 2010, 05:42:02 AM »
Since 1950, plastics have played an omnipresent part of our daily lives. They are everywhere and globally we use more than 260 million tons of plastic each year. Most of the marine debris in the world is comprised of plastic materials (between 60 to 80% of total marine debris). Field studies have shown that mega- and macro-plastics have concentrated in the highest densities in the Northern Hemisphere, adjacent to urban areas, in enclosed seas and at water convergences. The longevity of some plastics is estimated to be hundreds to thousands of years!

The environmental impacts resulting from the accumulation of plastic waste are huge and increasing. Plastic debris affects wildlife, human health, and the environment. The millions of tons of plastic bottles, bags, and garbage in the world's oceans are breaking down and leaching toxins posing a threat to marine life and human. Plastic materials in landfills sink in harmful chemicals into groundwater. Chemicals added to plastics are dangerously absorbed by humans like altering hormones. Research on plastics includes a large and robust literature reporting adverse health effects in laboratory animals and wildlife at even low doses. Plastic debris is ingested by hundreds of species choking and starving them. Floating plastic debris can spread invasive species.

The current mass packaging and other short-lived applications of plastic is simply not sustainable and acceptable. There are solutions, including material reduction, design for end-of-life recyclability, increased recycling capacity, development of bio-based feedstocks, strategies to reduce littering, and the change of consumer behavior. Consumers are a major actor and can minimize or eliminate the use of short-lived applications of plastic (e.g., water bottle, plastic bags). There is some urgency, as the quantity of plastics produced in the first 10 years of this century is likely to approach the quantity produced in the entire last century!

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