Stability of PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
I have a doubt about stability of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in our environment. Here are three-research reports that had been reported by Japanese researchers.
The first research report is; they had identified that harmful compounds hardly had arise in the burning test of PET, but they had identified to remain several % concentration of antimony (this compound which has strong toxicity) and vanadium compound in incinerated ashes of PET. (Reference; Akira Furuhasi, PLASTICS, Vol49, No3, 1998, Japan) These compounds are the catalysts in the PET polymerization.
The second research report is; they had identified acetic aldehyde and 1,4-dioxane (which are toxic) in hydrolysis test of PET. (Reference; Ryuiti Fukusato, RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL COUNTERMEASURE, Vol34, No.12, 1998, Japan)
The third research report is; they had identified the high concentration 1,4-dioxane in exudation water from the soil in the waste disposal facilities area. (Reference; Akio Yasuhara, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, Vol2, No.3, 1992, Japan)
I think these research reports suggest having possibility that PET-copolymer of terephthalic acid and 2-ethoxyethanol may hydrolyze in the soil of the waste disposal facilities area.
National Institute for Environmental Studies (http://www.nies.go.jp/index.html) Akio Yasuhara says that they will investigate relationship between 1,4-dioxane and exudation water from the soil in the waste disposal facilities area.
March 16, 1999
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