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PLASTICS-HEALTH
RTXTJYX
October 18, 2010
A technician takes a sample from a rubber band to measure how much phthalates it contains during a demonstration...
Berlin, Germany
To match Special Report PLASTICS-HEALTH/
A technician takes a sample from a rubber band to measure how much phthalates it contains during a demonstration at a laboratory in Berlin October 8, 2010. Phthalates are a range of chemicals regularly used to make plastics more flexible. In recent decades these colourless, odourless chemicals - there are about 25 common types - have permeated the very fabric of our society, right down to the shoes on our feet. They are in the air we breathe and the paint on our office walls, they soften the vinyl floors of kitchens and bathrooms, they put the flex in our shower curtains and electric cables. A report published last week by a consortium of 140 environment groups shows that these potentially risky chemicals are present in dozens of everyday plastic items for sale by European retailers -- from shoes to erasers, from pencil cases to sex toys. Picture taken October 8, 2010. To match Special Report PLASTICS-HEALTH/ REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY - Tags: SOCIETY SCI TECH)
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