Indoor air pollution by microplastics :
Plastic is and will be a plague on mankind. Not only are plastics the main waste products, but they are a real danger for man and his ecosystem.
Plastics degrade by forming micro-particles and releasing their constituents into the environment. Fine and ultra-fine particles of plastics are inhaled continuously. Alongside the physical pollution is an unprecedented chemical pollution because they contain toxic substances with proven health effects: phthalates.
Phthalates are the main markers of plastic pollution.
This family of substances is widely used in the polymer and plastics industry. These phthalic acid derivatives are added in significant quantities during polymerization to improve the mechanical properties of plastics. Thus phthalates can represent up to half the mass of the plastic.
Where are the phthalates?
There are a multitude of phthalates, the most widely used of which are DMP (Di-Methyl Phthalate), DEP (Di-Ethyl Phthalate), DBP (Di-Butyl Phthalate), BPP (Benzyl-Butyl Phthalate) and DEHP (Di-Ethyl-Hexyl Phthalate).
As an example, up to 100,000 tonnes of DEHP are manufactured and used in Europe each year.
Di-Ethyl-Hexyl-Phthalate DEHP is one of the most widely used plasticizers.
In the indoor environment of homes, schools and workplaces, phthalates are found in cosmetics, plastic materials (furniture and floor coverings, film, toys), clothing and fabrics, carpets and rugs, adhesives, food packaging ...
What are the health effects of phthalates?
The scientific studies carried out show toxic effects for a large number of phthalates. In particular, endocrine disrupting effects that can be transmitted over several generations.
It is recognised that phthalates have an impact on fertility and the development of the foetus and newborn.
People who have difficulty having a child should test their indoor environment to see if they live or work in an area contaminated with excessive amounts of phthalates.
Several phthalates are now classified by health authorities as being of very high concern.
Phthalates are endocrine disruptors responsible for disrupting human fertility.
Are there any regulations?
In Europe, the use of phthalates has been regulated for about twenty years, particularly for toys and childcare articles, cosmetics, food products and medical devices.
In the United Kingdom, the regulations do not require the formulation to comply with positive lists of authorized substances. Manufacturers therefore act as they see fit.
In the United States, eight phthalates are restricted to 1000 mg/kg in accessible parts of toys and childcare articles.
In Canada, the authorities assessed in 1994 that DEHP was harmful to human health and banned it in cosmetics and regulated it in medical devices and in products intended for children.
With the exception of B79P, other phthalates are not considered hazardous in Canada, however, the authorities advise you to minimize your exposure to phthalates.
What does the industry do?
In recent years, some phthalates have been replaced by...
other phthalates or bisphenols or organophosphates whose effects on human health have not yet been sufficiently documented.
For some bisphenol A (BPA) substitutes, scientific studies show at least as severe effects in terms of endocrine disruption (bisphenols, BPS).
How to protect yourself from phthalates?
Phthalates are ubiquitous in indoor air and are the main organic pollutants in household dust. Human exposure is such that all biological samples (blood, urine, hair) contain them.
Phthalates are the main pollutants in indoor air and action must be taken to limit exposure to plastics.
Since we spend almost all of our time inside buildings, our health is most at risk in our homes and workplaces.
Being aware of this problem and measuring indoor phthalate pollution allows us to take action to improve indoor air quality and prevent health risks.
Plasticizers Pollution TestIndoor air quality diagnosis to measure the pollution of the indoor environment by phthalate, bisphenol and organophosphate plasticizers. Test with laboratory analysis. Order your Test