BPA and Beyond: Plastics and Health


The story is famous now – how an accidental mix-up of cleaning solutions in a laboratory led to the discovery of the toxic effects of the plastic additive Bisphenol A.  The mix-up occurred in the lab of Dr. Patricia Hunt, and started her journey to understand how humans are exposed to toxic plastic additives, and what that exposure does to our bodies.  


You can hear about that discovery and her more recent work in this 37-minute video of her presentation, “Plastics and Human Health”.  


Humorous, non-technical, and full of surprises, this video also contains insights into the kinds of changes we need for our regulatory systems to work.  When talking about plastic additives, “…it’s not just about how they degrade, it is how they act and interact in our bodies.” Professor Hunt said.  In the non-transparent world of product development, plastic products can be created and sold without safety testing, and in the US and many countries, the burden falls to scientists and regulators to try to keep up with thousands of new chemicals – after they have been distributed to the public.


 Dr. Patricia Hunt is the Meyer Distinguished Professor at the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University.  Her talk is part of Zero Waste Washington’s “The Truth About Plastics Summit”.

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