Sensing Device for Six Common Phthalates in Plastic 

Project: Research

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Plasticizers are a widely used additive in the whole world. By adding them, the physical properties of a material will become softer. There are many types of plasticizers, while phthalates are the most commonly one on the market. According to the statistics of the plasticizer market in the world in 2014, the total usage is about 8.4 million metric tons. [1] Although useful, some phthalate plasticizers are classified as suspected environmental hormones at the same time. Excessive absorption can cause endocrine disorders and impair the reproductive performance of organisms. [2] Since plasticizers are not chemically bound to polymers, plasticizers will be transferred from the carrier to food and even to the human body. In view of this, all countries have clear restrictions on the usage of plasticizers. In recent, the research team from the State University of New York at Fredonia found out microplastic contamination can be found in more than 90% of the samples (250 water bottles samples from 11 brands in 9 different countries). [3]Traditionally, the plasticizer content test mainly relies on the gas spectrophotometry-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) in the laboratory. Therefore, consumers are not able to check the plasticizer content themselves. In this project, we aim to develop a consumer affordable device that can test the plasticizer content in plastics. Molecular Imprinting Technology (MIT) is the key technology in this project. MIT is a technique to create artificial receptors with specificity and selectivity to the given plasticizer. We will develop six phthalate plasticizers (dibutyl phthalate (DBP), di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP), Di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP)), and the development of related electronic instruments to translate the interaction between artificial receptors and six phthalates into a form that is understandable to the consumer. Consumers can use the device to test samples for the presence of a specific plasticizer to determine whether the concentration of these contaminants fulfill the requirements of the regulation. [1]: Malveda, Michael P (July 2015). "Chemical Economics Handbook Report on Plasticizers". [2]: Halden, Rolf U. "Plastics and health risks." Annual review of public health 31 (2010): 179-194. [3]: Mason, Sherri A., Victoria Welch, and Joseph Neratko. "Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water." Available from:. Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences, Fredonia University, New York [Accessed 23 March 2018]. http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_03_13_finalbottled. pdf (2018).


Project number9440223
Grant typeITF
Effective start/end date1/05/1931/10/21