Plastics

Endocrine Disruptors Everywhere

“Does not contain” has become a prime advertising slogan. “No cholesterol.” “No saturated fat.” “No sugar.” “No salt.” “No nitrites.” “No MSG.” “No GMOs.” And the ultimately absurd, “no chemicals.” Within the last few years another “no” has joined the alliance. “No BPA.” Most people would be hard pressed to identify what the letters stand for [To read more click on Title.]

From Storax to Polystyrene

Most chemists will not have heard of storax, yet it plays an important role in chemical history. It isn’t a specific compound, it is a resin produced by a number of tropical trees of the family Styracaceae in response to an injury to their bark. It has a long history of use in perfumes because of its lingering fragrance and its ability to slow the evaporation of other compounds that contribute to the overall scent. This “fixative” effect allows a perfume to... [To read more click on Title.]

Polycarbonate is Polyfunctional

You really have to do something major to have a street named after you. You can thrill the world with music, you can make an impact in politics, you can become a star athlete, or like Daniel Fox, you can invent a plastic. Dan Fox Drive in Pittsfield Massachusetts is a tribute to the man who gave the world polycarbonate, a plastic that was to profoundly alter our lives. [To read more click on Title.]

Recycling Plastics

Recycling is easy to advocate, it is harder to do. In theory, paper, plastics, glass and metals can all be recycled but in practice, well that’s a different story. Aluminum, for example, is readily recycled. The metal can be melted down and used to make aluminum’s properties being affected. But such is not the case for plastics. Take, for example, polyethylene terephthalate, the plastic used to make those ubiquitous water and soft drink bottles.

On Behalf of Plastics

Just imagine a world without plastics. Although they are now a part of our daily lives, plastics are a relatively recent arrival on the chemical scene. These synthetic materials only began to enter our lives in a major fashion some seventy years ago. But they quickly captured peoples' imagination. Plastic Man, who could extend his arm to catch criminals, became an immediate hero!