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Chemicals in Plastics – A Technical Report

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The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) provides the state of knowledge on chemicals in plastics and based on compelling scientific evidence calls for urgent action to address chemicals in plastics as part of the global action on plastic pollution. Findings show:

  • – Based on the latest studies, more than 13,000 chemicals have been identified as associated with plastics and plastic production across a wide range of applications.
  • – Ten groups of chemicals (based on chemistry, uses, or sources) are identified as being of major concern due to their high toxicity and potential to migrate or be released from plastics, including specific flame retardants, certain  UV stabilizers,  per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), phthalates, bisphenols, alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates, biocides, certain metals and metalloids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and many other non-intentionally added substances (NIAS).
  • – Chemicals of concern have been found in plastics across a wide range of sectors and products value chains, including toys and other children’s products, packaging (including food contact materials), electrical and electronic equipment, vehicles, synthetic textiles and related materials, furniture, building materials, medical devices, personal care and household products, and agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries.
  • – And more.

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