WASHINGTON — Plastics are getting a generally favorable nod from a preliminary federal report on endocrine disrupters.
The draft report from an Environmental Protection Agency panel has put most common plastics in a group that will not immediately need the expensive tests that determine whether they are endocrine disrupters.
The report does not say whether the plastics are endocrine disrupters — that is, whether they are capable of altering human hormones. Rather, it rates how soon they should be tested.
The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Washington said it is ``mostly satisfied'' with the report because any polymer with an atomic mass of more than 1,000 daltons will not be tested in the initial rounds, unless there are studies suggesting it is an endocrine disrupter. All common polymers are more than 1,000 daltons, SPI said.
Industry officials said the materials might not be tested for years.
The most-expensive tests can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per plastic or chemical. EPA officials do not expect a completed report until midsummer, when they will make final decisions.
An official with the World Wildlife Fund said the report is not complete yet. But the official added that the difficulty in the plastics portion is in getting comprehensive testing without having so many tests that the program bogs down and ``fails under its own weight.''