Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Producing Safer Plastics | NSF - US News

Hemp for Victory!


Page 2, (cont.):

Manufacturers’ willingness to make yet another market change may be another story, however. “There is consensus that this is coming," Usey says. “But many of the companies are waiting until consumers demand this solution."

However, several companies have jumped on board. Hydrapak, an Oakland, Calif. sports water bottle manufacturer is making an EA-free product co-developed with PlastiPure. Two baby bottle companies, Ajmerani and Adiri, also hope to have EA-free products on the market sometime this year, Usey says.

“The smaller companies seem to have more of an innovative philosophy, and are more aggressive and interested," Usey says. “These will precede the much larger market."

In the meantime, PlastiPure is working with a Vancouver manufacturer to develop EA-free flexible plastics, such as baby bottle liners, food storage bags, freezer and microwave bags, and stretch/cling wrap. The idea is to use them in products targeted to consumers potentially most vulnerable to low levels of synthetic chemicals with estrogenic activity, including pregnant women, infants and young children.

“We believe these products will have wide consumer appeal and societal benefit," Usey says.

Amplify’d from

Producing Safer Plastics

Seeking methods to replace estrogenically active compounds

Posted: March 16, 2011

Content created by National Science Foundation

By Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation

There is a lot to like about plastics.  They are lightweight and recyclable, and use very little energy to make and transport. They are affordable and convenient—and they are everywhere. But are they safe?  

Some scientists don’t think so, not yet anyway, and are working on new ways to make them safer.   

The worry is that these chemicals, still under study, potentially could be disruptive to the human endocrine system. BPA has been the focus of a number of class action lawsuits in recent years, particularly over its presence in products used by children, and the litigation is still pending. 

PlastiPure, a technology company, and CertiChem, a testing laboratory, think they have the solution to making plastic products that are free of chemicals with estrogenic activity. Their research involves studying and testing substances that are used in each stage of the plastics product manufacturing process. “These encompass the full lifecycle of the product from materials to processing to certification,’’ Usey says.

The work is supported through small business grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Researchers at PlastiPure understand the molecular structures of chemical groups most likely to be estrogenic, and apply these data to each additive along the manufacturing pipeline to ensure that each one is safe. 

Each material introduced into the manufacturing process is scrutinized.  “Our database has many thousands of approved chemicals, and we use our models to find replacements if they’re needed," he says.  “But we can’t just send out a list of acceptable chemicals to manufacturers, since every product has different formulas and different requirements. So it’s not just making them EA-free, but making them EA-free in a commercially viable way and making sure they stay EA-free under the conditions that they’re likely to encounter over their life-cycle."

  • Reader Comments

But no proof that these compounds are actually dangerous!

Just because something has some (undisclosed) degree of "estrogenic activity" does not mean that it is harmful. For example, there are lots of phytoestrogens (estrogenic compounds from plants), such as isoflavanoids, found NATURALLY in lots of foods, like soy, beer, fruits, wine, legumes, nuts,etc. Some of these are even more powerful estrogens than BPA.

So, the whole Plasti-Pure model is practically a scam --- that is, determine some estrogenic effect from trace amounts (likely part per billion or part per trillion or even lower) of impurities and scare people and companies into thinking that these are dangerous without any proof of their actual toxicity. When you consider all the phytoestrogens that people eat, the tiny amounts and unproven effects of any impurities in plastics is inconsequential. Plasti-Pure should have to prove that all these supposedly dangerous trace impurities are actually harmful to humans rather than making broad generalizations.

And I don't understand why anyone at the National Science Foundation would appear to buy into this deceptive type of business operation.


of CA
Mar 20, 2011 22:28:21 PM

The Research on EA in Plastics

Full disclosure, I am one of the authors of the peer-reviewed scientific paper published by Environmental Health Perspectives referenced in this story. This important paper presented research from collaborating scientists from PlastiPure, CertiChem, University of Texas, and Georgetown University.

Contrary to Mr. Preston's assertion, PlastiPure's principal business is not making plastic materials and products, but rather to help companies that actually do make plastic materials and products to eliminate estrogen mimics that have potentially negative health effects.

No need to Google- we have always said publicly that CertiChem and PlastiPure were both founded by Dr. Bittner. CertiChem specializes in testing using its state-of-the-art bioassays. PlastiPure specializes in remediation of EA in plastics and products. The two companies are operated independently, but work together as strategic partners on plastics-oriented projects such as this extensive research. Some might believe that reporting a problem is sufficient without also extensively researching causes and prevention, but we respectfully disagree. Some might believe that the problem shouldn't even be reported, and again, we respectfully disagree.

We invite anyone interested in or concerned by this research to download this peer-reviewed collaborative paper from the National Institute of Health's website,;jsessionid=50D8C879A5E10E04D106D19D000F0B8A?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1003220. Note that, in this paper, CertiChem used a well-known MCF-7 assay and found that BPA-containing plastics release chemicals having easily-detectable estrogenic activity --- this is the same result seen in hundreds of other peer-reviewed publications from laboratories which are not captive to the chemical industry. We also report that these assays detect chemicals having EA are released from PET-based plastics--- this is again consistent with peer-reviewed research cited in our paper, published by a top rank university-based lab using a different assay method. What is new is that we have tested hundreds of different types of plastic products using these well-established assays and have found that the great majority leach chemicals with EA- and that the problem can be avoided when the plastics industry decides that it wants to avoid it.

As with all real science, the way to argue about it is with data and in the proper venue: peer-reviewed scientific journals. This is the course we have chosen.

Stuart Yaniger

Vice President R&D

PlastiPure, Inc

Austin, TX

Stuart Yaniger

of TX
Mar 17, 2011 12:53:51 PM

Is this a commercial advertisment for PlastiPure?

I'm sure your story will have it's intended effect - scare people and drive them to your webpage. Hopefully someone will be paying close enough attention to see this in the following shorthand:

A plastic company called PlastiPure owns a lab called CertiChem. This lab (and only this lab) has found that "most" plastics are unsafe except for the ones made by their sister company, PlastiPure. They can't just tell you what the chemicals are because that's too complicated; you have to either develop your products with them or use their brand new proprietary plastic. And, oh yeah, a few products using that new plastic are now hitting the market so please go out and buy them.

Seriously. That's what this article says.

Before I get accused of defending big evil corporations just search "George Bittner". You'll find that he is the CEO of CertiChem and the founder of PlastiPure. He runs the lab that is scaring you, and the company that markets the solution to all your fears.

Thanks for US News and World Report of giving this "story" a voice.

Mike Preston

of CO
Mar 16, 2011 22:42:34 PM


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