Emissions of Additives from Plastics in the Societal Material Stock: A Case Study for Sweden
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Estimating the size of the problems related to release, fate, exposure and effects from the human use of chemical substances in materials and consumer products is daunting. More than 100,000 chemical substances are in commercial use and a reasonable description of their existence in, and release from, plastic polymers, glues, paints, fibres, lubricants etc. comprise a big challenge. Here we report the initial results from a generic emission model that has been developed and applied to estimate emissions of a set of organic chemicals from products. The scope of the study was to estimate emissions from products containing plastic materials during their average lifetime within the geographical boundaries of Sweden. The results show that approximately 2% of the plastic additives are emitted annually. Plasticisers, flame retardants, organic pigments and stabilisers are the use categories of additives that are emitted in the largest quantities. Until now, the method has only been used to estimate emissions of additives from plastic materials, but it is believed to also be applicable to other materials.
KeywordsAdditives Diffuse emissions Diffusion Emission model Material stock Plastic additives Plastics
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Swedish EPA given to the ChEmiTecs programme (2008–2012).
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