In an article published by news provider Huffington Post on July 29, 2019, correspondent Natasha Hinde reports on the issue of hazardous chemicals used in plastics. The article starts by presenting that “while there’s been a lot of noise around the need to recycle more, use fewer carrier bags and ditch single-use products, not as much fuss has been made about the potential impact of everyday plastics on human health.” Anna Watson from non-governmental organization (NGO) ChemTrust says that for her “one of the main concerns is that plastics contain hazardous chemicals” and highlights human exposure to functional additives in products. A study referenced in the article found microplastics present in the feces of all people sampled in Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the UK, and Austria (FPF reported). Bisphenols and phthalates are discussed as two chemical groups of concern often used in plastics, including in food packaging. Some chemicals within these group have “been linked to hormone-related cancers, infertility and reproductive problems and heart disease.”

“We’ve been trying to identify what hazardous chemicals are associated with plastic packaging and we found at least 148 particularly hazardous chemicals, either used in the process of making the plastic or in the end article,” Watson told Huffington Post, “and 35 of those chemicals are known hormone-disrupting chemicals.” Watson is referring to results from a project in which The Food Packaging Forum is a research partner. Through interviews and reviews of recent studies, the article concludes that “there’s still very little known about plastic’s impact on health” and sees it as being “far more complex than you might think.”

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Natasha Hinde (July 29, 2019). “Here’s What We Know About How Plastic Is Impacting Our Health.”