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(later called celluloid). The development of plastics has come from the use of natural plastic materials (e.g., chewing gum, shellac) to the use of chemically modified natural materials (e.g., rubber, nitrocellulose, collagen, galalite) and finally to completely synthetic molecules (e.g., bakelite, epoxy, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene). ABOUT PLASTIC Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic amorphous solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce costs. The word derives from the Greek πλαστικός (plastikos) meaning fit for molding, and πλαστός (plastos) meaning molded. It refers to their malleability, or plasticity during manufacture, that allows them to be cast, pressed, or extruded into an enormous variety of shapes—such as films, fibers, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, and much more. There are two types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermoplastics will soften and melt if enough heat is applied; examples are polyethylene, polystyrene, and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Thermosets do not soften or melt no matter how much heat is applied; an example is polyester. TOXICITY Due to their insolubility in water and relative chemical inertness, pure plastics generally have low toxicity in their finished state, and will pass through the digestive system with no ill effect (other than mechanical damage or obstruction). TOXIC ADDITIVES However, plastics often contain a variety of toxic additives. For example, plasticizers like adipates and phthalates are often added to brittle plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to make them pliable enough for use in food packaging, children's toys and teethers, tubing, shower curtains and other items. Traces of these chemicals can leach out of the plastic when it comes into contact with food. Out of these concerns, the European Union has banned the use of DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), the most widely used plasticizer in PVC. Some compounds leaching from polystyrene food containers have been found to interfere with hormone functions and are suspected human carcinogens. Moreover, while the finished plastic may be non-toxic, the monomers used in its manufacture may be toxic; and small amounts of those chemical may remain trapped in the
as an antioxidant in some plasticizers. sports equipment. and thermoset plastics can be ground up and used as filler. There are methods by which plastics can be broken back down to a feedstock state. polysulfones. Type 7 plastics. With an annual production of 2–3 million metric tonnes.product. CDs and DVDs. and products containing bisphenol A-based plastics have been in commerce for more than 50 years. Also. the manufacturing of plastics often creates large quantities of chemical pollutants. tetrabromobisphenol A. it is an important monomer in the production of polycarbonate. one billion tons of plastic has been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years. commonly abbreviated as BPA. ADDITIVES Bisphenol A. are made from bisphenol A monomer. Type 3 (PVC) can also contain bisphenol A as antioxidant in plasticizers. . In some cases. Bisphenol A is also a precursor to the flame retardant. which is clear and nearly shatter-proof. such as polycarbonate and epoxy resins. By 1995. and as a polymerization inhibitor in PVC. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recognized the chemical used to make PVC. the molecular bonds that make plastic so durable make it equally resistant to natural processes of degradation. plastic recycling programs were common in the United States and elsewhere. and was formerly used as a fungicide. It is a key monomer in production of epoxy resins and in the most common form of polycarbonate plastic. as a known human carcinogen. dental fillings and sealants. medical and dental devices. Some polymers may also decompose into the monomers or other toxic substances when heated. . vinyl chloride. Burning the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) may create dioxin. is an organic compound with two phenol functional groups. Thermoplastics can be remelted and reused. though the purity of the material tends to degrade with each reuse cycle. and polyether ketones. burning plastic can release toxic fumes. Polycarbonate plastic. Since the 1950s. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Plastics are durable and degrade very slowly. It is used in the synthesis of polyesters. There are seven classes of plastics used in packaging applications. is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles. eyeglass lenses. Epoxy resins containing bisphenol A are used as coatings on the inside of almost all food and beverage cans. and household electronics. Bisphenol A is used primarily to make plastics. It is a difunctional building block of several important plastics and plastic additives.
it is used by members of the remote-controlled aircraft community to build nearly indestructible  SPAD (simple plastic airplane design) model aircraft. 2 (HDPE). Triacetin is also a component of casting liquor with TG and as an excipient in pharmaceutical products where it is used as a humectant. It is widely used in the packaging of automotive and electronic parts as well as agricultural produce. refers to a wide range of extruded twinwall plastic sheet products produced from high impact polypropylene resin with a similar make up to corrugated fiberboard. It has recently found a use among guinea pig. Correx. Corflute. with an oral LD50 of 3250 mg/kg in rats. It is a light weight tough material which can easily be cut with a craft knife. for instance as a solvent in flavourings. Phosphates are probably the most pervasive organophosphorus compounds. including . TRIACETIN Corrugated sheet is recyclable and is therefore considered by many to be environmentally friendly. rabbit. Additionally. with E number E1518 and Australian approval code A1518. Many of the most important biochemicals are organophosphates. and 6 (polystyrene) do not use bisphenol A during polymerization or package forming. Corrugated plastic is also referred to as Twinwall plastic. Corriflute. but it is an endocrine disruptor. and as a solvent. a plasticizer. Polyflute or Twinplast. commonly used as a food additive. and for its humectant function. An organophosphate (sometimes abbreviated OP) is the general name for esters of phosphoric acid. This material is commonly used to create commercial signs and for constructing plastic containers and reusable packaging. Corrugated plastic or corriboard. 5 (polypropylene).Types 1 (PET). Corrugated sheet is recyclable and is therefore considered by many to be environmentally friendly. 4 (LDPE). also known under the tradenames of Coroplast. domesticated hedgehog and other small pet enthusiasts as a component of a type of DIY cage. It is an artificial chemical compound. Bisphenol A has low acute toxicity.
metal surfaces. Organophosphates are also the basis of many insecticides. and EP additives.DNA and RNA as well as many cofactors that are essential for life. yet can be processed like other thermoplastics. textile. herbicides. mixed martial arts. The weight percent vinyl acetate usually varies from 10 to 40%. The precursors to such esters are alcohols Ethylene vinyl acetate (CAS# 24937-78-8. and resistance to UV radiation. hot glue sticks. coated paper. It is a polymer that approaches elastomeric materials in softness and flexibility. stress-crack resistance. EVA emulsions are polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) copolymers based on vinyl acetate (VAM) internally plastized with vinyl acetate ethyleen (VAE). PVAc copolymer are adhesives used in packaging. Esterification entails the attachment of organic groups to phosphorus through oxygen linkers. and nerve gases. It is typically used as a shock absorber in sports shoes. Organophosphates are widely used as solvents. low-temperature toughness. also known as EVA) is the copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. phosphoric acid can form triesters whereas carboxylic acids only form monoesters. Hot melt adhesives. plasticizers. hockey. wakeboard boots. EVA foam is used as padding in equipment for various sports such as ski boots. EVA is one of the materials popularly known as 'expanded rubber' or 'foam rubber'. with the remainder being ethylene. The material has good clarity and gloss. and fishing rods. hot-melt adhesive water proof properties. EVA is also used as a clinginess-enhancing additive in plastic wraps. bookbinding for bonding plastic films. are usually made from EVA. EVA has little or no odor and is competitive with rubber and vinyl products in many electrical applications. waterski boots. boxing. Organophosphates are widely employed both in natural and synthetic applications because of the ease with which organic groups can be linked together. . Being a triprotic acid. barrier properties. usually with additives like wax and resin.