Researchers advise pregnant women to limit exposure to receipts and plastic

Team led by Deborah Kurrasch has shown bisphenol A and S can alter brain development in zebrafish.

Team led by Deborah Kurrasch has shown bisphenol A and S can alter brain development in zebrafish.

Pregnant women are being warned to avoid reaching for credit card and cash register receipts as the ubiquitous bits of paper are increasingly seen as a threat to unborn children.
The receipts can contain the toxin bisphenol A and its chemical cousin bisphenol S, chemicals that a new study shows can alter brain development and behaviour in animals exposed to extremely low doses.

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Plastic Planet _ Declare worst offenders hazardous

Stork in a plastic bag ~JOHNCANCALOSI/NATUREPL.COM

Stork in a plastic bag ~JOHNCANCALOSI/NATUREPL.COM

February 18, 2013

Despite efforts to reduce and recycle plastic, the planet is still awash with wayward wrappers, bottles and bags.

Almost half of the world’s marine animals and a fifth of its seabirds are at risk of becoming entangled or eating the stuff, prompting ecologists to call for the worst plastics to be declared hazardous materials.

Without action, the international group estimates, the planet could have another 33 billion tonnes of plastic by 2050. That would fill 2.75 billion garbage trucks, enough to wrap around the planet 800 times if lined up end to end, the researchers say in a commentaryin the current issue of the journal Nature.

“This could be reduced to just four billion tonnes if the most problematic plastics are classified as hazardous immediately and replaced with safer, reusable materials in the next decade,” they say.

Industry officials were quick to call the idea “neither justified nor helpful” saying plastic debris is better tackled through more research and “public-private partnerships.”

The ecologists say the physical dangers of plastic debris are “well enough established” and the chemical dangers “sufficiently worrying” to warrant regulatory action now. Continue reading

Plenty of plastics in Canada’s Arctic birds

Mar 6 2011

By Margaret Munro
Postmedia News

When biologist Jennifer Provencher headed to the Arctic, she signed on to help assess how seabird diets are changing as temperatures climb in the North.

She never expected to find plastics on the menu. But she and her colleagues at the Canadian Wildlife Service are pulling remarkable amounts of trash from birds in some of the remotest spots on Earth.

Fulmars are strong flyers that skim the surface swallowing tasty tidbits, and 84 per cent of the ones the researchers examined from two Arctic colonies had plastics in their guts. Continue reading