Public concern over plastics safety lingers - consultant

02 May 2011 18:44  [Source: ICIS news]

BOSTON (ICIS)--Public concern over the health risks posed by plastics is one of the biggest issues facing the industry, a consultant said on Monday.

At a presentation during the Society of Plastics Engineer's (SPE) annual technical conference (ANTEC), Ernest Coleman, a consultant for CP Technology, referred to health issues related to plastics as "moving targets".

"Every year there are new concerns and tragedies that require a modification of systems," he added.

The result is that decisions are not made on a technical basis, but to be "politically correct," said Coleman.

"Our ability to detect exceeds our ability to interpret," he added.

Meanwhile, the drive for "greener" products creates another set of problems, noted the consultant.

"Natural polymers are not as thermally stable as man-made polymers," said Coleman.

On the positive side, he said the plastics industry would rise to the challenge.

"I am sure we will find ways to come up with additives to do the impossible," Coleman remarked.

"We are safer, [more] active and healthier today in part because of plastics," he added.

Increasing efforts to educate the public is a necessity, he said, but the industry must also address problems and "keep to the facts".

SPE's ANTEC takes place in Boston from 1 May to 4 May.

By: Ivan Lerner
+1 713 525 2653

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