Published On: Thu, Oct 27th, 2016

Scientists warn about Vietnamese habit of reusing plastic bottles

VietNamNet Bridge – he reuse of plastic bottles in Vietnam may bring serious health consequences, according to scientists.

US scientists, in a report released on October 18, affirmed that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) can intervene in human hormone systems, affecting the body’s development and leading to vulnerability to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

plastic products

Scientists warn about Vietnamese habit of reusing plastic bottles

The chemicals can be found in thousands of products for daily use, from food-containing items made of metal and plastics to detergents, fire extinguishing agents, toys and cosmetics.

According to Nguyen Duy Thinh from the Biotechnology and Food Technology Institute, there are many different kinds of plastic bottles made of different compounds. There are about 25 types of plastics used to make packing and there are different types of bottles for different purposes, including fish sauce, drinks, milk and cosmetics.

Bottles are safe when containing certain substances, but they are toxic if containing other substances. The bottles themselves are not toxic, but the toxicity depends on the liquid the bottles contain.

There are also plastics bottles which are unsafe, but are safe if technological solutions are applied. The bottles for containing milk, for example, are made of PVC, but their inside part is covered with a PE layer.

Therefore, Thinh said it is necessary to clarify what kinds of plastic bottles will become toxic when containing different kinds of liquid.

Packaging for food is always a matter of concern. However, there is no laboratory in Vietnam which specializes in conducting research about packaging toxicity.

“I am really worried about this. However, Vietnam still doesn’t have research work on the matter,” said Pham Gia Khai, Chair of the Cardiovascular Association.

“The number of cancer cases has been increasing rapidly. Cancer is caused mostly by unsafe food and the polluted environment,” he said.

“It is unsafe to use Chinese porcelain because there is much lead in the products. I know this, but I still cannot find any solution. Some scientists and I are continuing research on this,” he said.

The scientist went on to say that the liquid contained in plastic tubs, pots and bottles will become toxic overnight, and that nothing is better than clay or cast-iron pots.

“Plastic products should not be reused. They should be thrown away after the first use, because they will become unsafe later,” he said, adding that he has shifted to use glassware and pottery.

People now tend to use traditional materials to avoid toxicity and fatal diseases.

However, the majority of Vietnamese have the habit of reusing plastic bottles to save money.