The Benefits Of Plastics: The History And Future Of Plastics

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Plastic is useful and it enhances the quality of life for everyone. Plastics are used in thousands of products that we use every day from water bottles and food containers in our home to portable electronic devices that let us access the internet and communicate with our friends and family. But does the possible harm of certain plastics outweigh the benefits? Plastic is a word that originally meant “pliable and easily shaped” (Delaney 333). It only recently became a name for a category of materials called polymers (“The History and Future of Plastics”). The first synthetic polymer in the world, celluloid, was invented in 1869 by John Wesley Hyatt as a substitute for ivory (“The History and Future of Plastics”). In 1907, Leo Baekeland…show more content…
As noted by Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic, one of the toxic ingredients that have come into sharper focus over the last ten years is bisphenol A, also known as, BPA. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s (Bauer). The canned foods we get from the store are often lined with plastics that contain BPA. Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverage from containers that are made with BPA (“State Laws on BPA”). Dr. Bauer also notes that exposure to BPA has been linked to an increased risk of prostate and breast cancer, early puberty, autism, hyperactivity and childhood obesity. Children metabolize the chemical more slowly than adults, putting them especially at…show more content…
Some states have taken things even further and banned BPA from products such as infant formula containers and sports water bottles (“State Laws on BPA”). Furthermore, two bills have been introduced in Congress to do the same on a national scale. Massachusetts Senator, Ed Markey, has introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives banning BPA in all food and beverage containers (“Senator Markey Calls for Ban on BPA”). California Senator, Dianne Feinstein, has introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate banning BPA nationally in certain baby products (“Feinstein Introduces Bill to Ban

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