Is polypropylene toxic to breathe?

Textile polypropylene

Plastics are everywhere and in most cases they are very cheap and convenient. More and more scientists, however, are discovering that there is a high price tag as they affect our health. Some common plastics release harmful chemicals into the air, food and beverages. These substances are invisible, yet if you use plastic in your food, chances are you are consuming some of it with your meals.

Beyond the immediate health risks, the increasing use of these plastics is causing an enormous amount of permanent pollution. Every bit of this material remains over time (except for the little that has been incinerated and releases toxic chemicals). In the ocean, plastic waste accumulates in giant spirals of garbage, where, among other things, fish ingest pieces of these toxic plastics at a rate that soon eating seafood will become a risk.

Polypropylene is plastic

Unless you have an advanced knowledge of materials, the word polypropylene will sound worse to you than those physics exams when you were a student. However, polypropylene is much more a part of your life than you might think and, in fact, it has yet to become more prominent.

And when we said that it should still be more widespread, we mean, for example, that there are still many bottles made from other plastics that cannot be reused because they release toxins. Until the day comes when polypropylene is used in everything related to the world of food, look for alternatives.

How long have you been thinking about a break from your routine? Do you have a vacation planned in the next few weeks? Do you think you have everything ready? If the answer is no or you have any doubts, don’t worry because it’s common. Some of the most basic elements of any travel kit are always overlooked.

Disadvantages of polypropylene

Chemically PET is a linear thermoplastic polymer, as it softens with heat and hardens with cold, reversibly, it has a high degree of crystallinity. PET plastic is produced by a polycondensation reaction between terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol. It belongs to the group of synthetic materials called polyesters.

I personally would radically eliminate it from regular use. I would only use it if I had no other alternative, for example when I leave the house, and I have no access to water to drink and I am forced to use a PET water bottle. (It is rare that it happens because I usually go equipped with my bottle with filter, but an oversight can have anyone). I would also avoid clothing made with PET (polyester) at all costs for the same reason.

High-density polyethylene is a thermoplastic polymer of the olefinic polymer family. It is formed with many repeating ethylene units. This plastic is also labeled HDPE (high Density Polyethylene).

Polypropylene characteristics

Face masks release plasticizers that we inhale when we breathe. This has been confirmed by a study that has detected the presence of these chemical additives in face masks used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the concentrations of plasticizers remain below the risk values for human health.

“Virtually all facemasks contain plastic material, even those made of fabric: polyester, for example, is a polymer that comes from petroleum. In our study, we have analyzed masks made from other polymers, such as polyethylene or polyamide,” says Eljarrat.

TestsTo evaluate the compounds present in the masks, various inhalation experiments were carried out using dummies to see how much of these plasticizers are released from the mask and can therefore be breathed in. A flow of air was blown into the dummies, and the emitted particles inhaled while the mask was being worn were collected.