Helmut Reinecke and colleagues note that manufacturers add large amounts of plasticizers to PVC to make it flexible and durable. Plasticizers may account for more than one-third of the weight of some PVC products. Phthalates are the mainstay plasticizers. Unfortunately, they migrate to the surface of the plastic over time and escape into the environment.
As a result, PVC plastics become less flexible and durable. In addition, people who come into contact with the plastics face possible health risks. The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2009 banned use of several phthalate plasticizers for use in manufacture of toys and child care articles.
The scientists describe development of a way to make phthalate permanently bond, or chemically attach to, the internal structure of PVC so that it will not migrate. Laboratory tests showed that the method completely suppressed the migration of plasticizer to the surface of the plastic. "This approach may open new ways to the preparation of flexible PVC with permanent plasticizer effect and zero migration," the article notes.
ARTICLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Phthalate Plasticizers Covalently Bound to PVC: Plasticization with Suppressed Migration"
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