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World News March 18, 2024

Study reveals plastics contain significantly more chemicals than previously estimated

A recent report reveals that there are over 16,000 chemicals present in plastics, significantly more than the approximately 13,000 previously estimated by environmental agencies like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funded by the Norwegian Research Council, the report indicates that about a quarter of these chemicals are potentially harmful to both human health and the environment. Plastic chemicals have the ability to leach into water and food, posing potential risks to consumers. Adverse health outcomes such as fertility issues and cardiovascular disease have been linked to some of these chemicals. Despite the plastics industry emphasizing recycling and reuse, the report’s authors argue that addressing plastic waste alone is insufficient to protect people. Greater transparency regarding the chemicals used in plastics, including additives, processing aids, and impurities, is crucial. However, a significant portion of these chemicals lack basic information on their chemical identity. Only a small fraction of these chemicals are internationally regulated, highlighting the need for a comprehensive plastics treaty to address this issue. Negotiations for such a treaty are ongoing, with the aim of finalizing it later in the year.

Source – CGTN

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