Increases in the global use of plastics have caused concerns regarding potential adverse effects on human health. Plastic products contain hundreds of potentially toxic chemical additives, yet the exact chemicals which drive toxicity currently remain unknown. In this study, we employed nontargeted analysis and in vitro bioassays to identify the toxicity drivers in plastics. A total of 56 chemical additives were tentatively identified in five commonly used plastic polymer pellets (i.e., PP, LDPE, HDPE, PET, and PVC) by employing suspect screening and nontargeted analysis. Phthalates and organophosphates were found to be dominant in PVC pellets. Triphenyl phosphate and 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate accounted for a high amount (53.6%) of the inhibition effect of PVC pellet extract on human carboxylesterase 1 (hCES1) activity. Inspired by the high abundances of chemical additives in PVC pellets, six different end-user PVC-based products including three widely used PVC water pipes were further examined. Among them, extracts of PVC pipe exerted the strongest PPARγ activity and cell viability suppression. Organotins were identified as the primary drivers to these in vitro toxicities induced by the PVC pipe extracts. This study clearly delineates specific chemical additives responsible for hCES1 inhibition, PPARγ activity, and cell viability suppression associated with plastic.
Keywords: Chemical additives; Nontargeted analysis; Organotin; PPARγ; Plastics.
To read the article click HERE.
Published: 18 October 2022; Environmental Science & Technology
Author information: Wanzhen Chen (1), Yufeng Gong (1), Michael McKie (2), Husein Almuhtaram (2), Jianxian Sun (1), Holly Barrett (1), Diwen Yang (1), Menghong Wu (2), Robert C Andrews (2), Hui Peng (1,3)
(1) Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, 80 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H6, Canada.
(2) Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, 35 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A4, Canada.
(3) School of the Environment, University of Toronto, 80 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H6, Canada.