The Plastics Blog
By Don Loepp | About The Plastics Blog

Here we go again: blog tells readers how to recognize 'hazardous' plastics

By Don Loepp | March 29, 2013 02:39 pm ET

Get ready for another wave of headlines that attempts to inform the public about which plastics are good -- and which ones are bad.

Gawker Media's science blog io9.com yesterday posted a long item headlined "How to recognize plastics that are hazardous to your health."

I've seen articles like this before, rating plastics based on chemical safety issues, giving a clean bill of health to some and advising consumers to avoid others.

This column is pretty ambitious. It's goal, according to authors -- George Dvorsky and Joseph Bennington-Castro -- is to give readers "everything [they] need to know about plastic and its impact on your health."

They include lots of citations and links, and note that, "Where possible, we've made note of which studies involve nonhuman animal test subjects, and when toxicity levels fall below dangerous levels. You should interpret and use this information in a way that satisfies you."

I imagine that typical io9.com blog readers pay attention to that sort of disclaimer and will give the column the necessary perspective. In fact, the comment section so far seems to indicate that readers are pretty sane and understand exactly what these issues mean and how dangerous the various materials really are.

Still, I imagine that some readers will ignore all that and just focus on the message that certain plastics are good, others are bad, and some are very bad.

Heaven help us when the local TV news reporters try to rehash this.

One more note about the post: There's one major difference in this column that doesn't typically show up in news coverage of good vs. bad plastics. This time, the bloggers cite PET as a plastic that's considered safe, but then they bring up some potential issues, mostly related to antimony.

That might scare some folks who generally think that the No. 1 recycling code or the PETE symbol is A-OK.

I expect the plastics industry to be working overtime on damage control on this post, and I encourage Plastics Blog readers to share your comments, both here and on the io9.com website.


Recent Blog Posts

Teknor Apex working to keep talented young workers in Rhode Island   October 15, 2014 6:00 am ET
Fakuma facts and figures   October 13, 2014 8:47 am ET
A look behind Plastics News' 2014 mold makers ranking   October 6, 2014 11:55 am ET
Canadian plastics officials help with shoreline cleanup   October 1, 2014 2:35 pm ET
Does this all-plastic trumpet sound 'as good' as brass?   September 23, 2014 10:54 am ET
Sometimes the headline doesn't match the story   September 22, 2014 2:56 pm ET

Comments

Here we go again: blog tells readers how to recognize 'hazardous' plastics

By Don Loepp

Published: March 29, 2013 2:39 pm ET
Updated: March 29, 2013 4:44 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Woodís economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events