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PVC ? Environmental Concerns

Let’s talk about one of the most commonly used plastics today – Polyvinyl chloride. Or, as we all know it - PVC. In fact, 20 million tons were produced only in 1995. The reason why it is so commonly used,  is because  it’s a low cost material, light weight and comfortable to work with. In this article we will talk about and explain, how PVC is made, what the bad side effects from using it are and what the methods of its disposal are. How PVC  is made? In very simple terms – by linking monomers (a molecule that can be bonded to other identical molecule) together. This creates polymer that can occur in two shapes: rigid and elastic. We get a flexible polymer when we add Plasticizers in the rigid one. Plasticizers are an additive, which passes on special rubber-like attributes of the polymer. (For a more elaborated version of how PVC is made, visit Manufacturing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a three-step process. In the process of making PVC, other additives are used as well, such as: impact modifiers, fillers, processing aids, smoke suppressors, UV stabilizers and optionally, pigments.  What the end product would be used for will decide what sort of additives will be added in the process. Many of these additives are released into the nature when PVC’s are getting made. This delivers a bad effect on the environment, which we will talk about in the succeeding chapter. Why  PVC is bad for the Environment? With the use of raw chemicals, the production of PVC can be harmful for the surroundings. Particularly for the environment that is close to where it is being made. For example, residents from Mosswile, Louisiana – a town that is close to a chemical facility for production of PVC – have  had three times more than normal dioxides level in their blood. All this is caused from the pollution of the water, ground and air. The pollution, of course, comes from releasing and disposal of additives during the devising process. In putting out these chemicals, which some are classified as carcinogenic, we risk our health. In fact, dioxin – one of the elements that occurs in the process, has been classified as a known human carcinogen. This is confirmed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and U.S. National Toxicology Program. Latest research indicates that there is no safe level of dioxin exposure for humans. Tests have been  performed on animals, and they all showed a negative affects. [...]

By |2016-10-23T11:34:30+00:00June 10th, 2015|Environmental, Plastics|0 Comments

Plastic, how it made and its Impact

Starting from coffee cups and shopping bags all up to protective gear and food packaging – plastic is a big part of our lives. Plastic is around us more than many realize, and it’s an important part of our everyday living. But, should it be? How safe it is? In this article, we will try to cover many how plastic is made and what exactly is plastic. Hopefully, we will bust some myths about it and give you a new insight for it. It’s Organic That’s correct – plastic is made from oil and/or plants. The first one that is made is from oil actually made from naphtha – a type of oil that cannot be refined for gasoline or motor oil. The second one that is made is from plants is a bioplastic – mostly used for disposable items like packaging, straws, pots, etc. The method of making a plastic is a long one, but we will try to explained in short words: - The Naphtha is processed into polymers , substances that are formed by chemical reaction in which large number of molecules (monomers) are joined together – creating a chain. - Different combination of monomers can yield the plastic resins with different properties and characteristics. - When the plastic finally emerges from the reactors, it’s not yes as we wanted to be. So therefore, additives are added (hence the name :). Not only that additives are meant to change the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of the plastic, but to protect it as well, from light, heat or bacteria. Bioplastics are made from plants such as corn, orange peels, cellulose, etc.  A good thing about this kind of plastic is that it is  compostable: these plastics can decay into natural materials. There are 2 types of polymers (plastic) -Thermoset, plastic that once is made – it cannot be changed. -Thermoplastic, plastic that once exposed to heat it returns in its original condition. Environmental effects that plastic can cause With so many plastic products around us, some kind of impact on the environment is expected. Some of those impacts include: -Danger to animal life There is a big amount of plastic bags and bottle in our oceans. In fact, that kind of trash in the Pacific is estimated that is a size of Texas. This not only cause dangers to the marine life, but to us as well. Many countries spend a lot of money for picking up litter. Only the country of Australia is spending [...]

By |2016-10-23T11:34:30+00:00June 10th, 2015|Environmental, Plastics|0 Comments

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