Estrogen Free Polymer Formulations for Food Packaging and Baby Products
Small Business Information
PLASTIPURE, INC., 11212 Metric Blvd, AUSTIN, TX, 78758
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Recent scientific investigations have shown that plastics often leach endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) into the environment. EDCs interfere in various ways with hormones, most commonly estrogens, and can have signif icant adverse effects on many behavioral and physiological processes such as sperm counts, uterine and ovarian functions, aggressive behaviors, and sexual orientation. ED effects (agonistic or antagonistic) sometimes occur at very low (picomolar to nanomol ar) concentrations, especially on fetal or developing mammals (including humans). The prevalence of EDCs in current polymer formulations and their biological effects warrant the development of plastic products free of estrogenic (EA) activity, especially f or plastics used to package foodstuffs or to make baby products. In order to meet this need, Plastipure (PPi) is submitting a Phase I SBIR grant to confirm that it is feasible to develop polymer formulations to make plastics that do not release chemicals h aving EA but that still possess many advantageous characteristics, such as microwavability, resistance to UV light and moisture, similar to current commercially available formulations. PPi proposes to use very sensitive in vitro assays to confirm that plas tic products produced from PPi's formulations do not release chemicals having EA before or after exposure to adverse conditions commonly experienced by plastics during normal use (i.e. heat, moisture, UV light). Secondly, PPi plans to identify 3-5 estrogen ic free antioxidants that can be utilized in additional formulations to produce EA-free plastics with very diverse physical characteristics. If these Phase I feasibility studies are successful, PPi should have the only known formulations that can make a wi de variety of plastic products that do not leach chemicals having EA. These formulations would then be licensed to plastic manufacturers who would then produce EA-free consumer products, such as food containers and baby bottles. Given the increasing concer n of individuals for their and their children's well-being and PPi's requests from large and small retail firms, EA-free plastic products should have high commercial potential. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Recent scientific investigations have shown that many chemicals used to manufacture plastics leach into the environment and are endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) that most commonly exhibit estrogenic activity (EA). EDC having EA cause various disorders such as uterine dysfunction or reduced sperm count and abnormal brain maturation leading to pathologies such as learning disabilities, disorders of attention, motivation, emotion, cognitive development, and changes in aggressive behavior and sexual orientation. Given such adverse effects of EDCs having EA on mammals (including humans) there is high scientific, societal, and commercial merit for PPi to confirm that it is feasible to develop EA-free plastic formulations for food packaging and baby products.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.