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Polymers 2018, 10(8), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080834

How Green is Your Plasticizer?

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University, 3610 University St, Montréal, QC H3A 0C5, Canada
2
Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, Yale University, 370 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
3
Department of Civil Engineering & Applied Mechanics, McGill University, 817 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 28 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Plasticizers for Polymers)
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Abstract

Plasticizers are additives that are used to impart flexibility to polymer blends and improve their processability. Plasticizers are typically not covalently bound to the polymers, allowing them to leach out over time, which results in human exposure and environmental contamination. Phthalates, in particular, have been the subject of increasing concern due to their established ubiquity in the environment and their suspected negative health effects, including endocrine disrupting and anti-androgenic effects. As there is mounting pressure to find safe replacement compounds, this review addresses the design and experimental elements that should be considered in order for a new or existing plasticizer to be considered green. Specifically, a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach should be taken which includes toxicity testing (both in vitro and in vivo), biodegradation testing (with attention to metabolites), as well as leaching studies. Special consideration should also be given to the design stages of producing a new molecule and the synthetic and scale-up processes should also be optimized. Only by taking a multi-faceted approach can a plasticizer be considered truly green. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive; plasticizer; phthalate; toxicity; biodegradation; leaching; metabolites additive; plasticizer; phthalate; toxicity; biodegradation; leaching; metabolites
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Jamarani, R.; Erythropel, H.C.; Nicell, J.A.; Leask, R.L.; Marić, M. How Green is Your Plasticizer? Polymers 2018, 10, 834.

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