Plastic and it's uses offers many advantages to metals. Plastics are lighter in weight than metals, can be coloured and shaped endlessly, and are an ideal mass-produced technology. Plastics are cheap commodity materials, and are widely used in consumer items.
In the past, issues have been raised to challenge the safety of plastics, from a chemical point of view. Many plastics are mixed with stabilizers to assist processing, and to prevent their disintegration, when exposed to UV light outdoors. Early stabilizers were derived from heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium.
The Australian Plastics Industry established in late 1980's the first non-toxic stabilizers, free of heavy metals. However, by then there were millions of litres of plastic paint on cots, beds and furniture, and scores of toys and consumer items already in the market place, making it difficult to know which plastics were safe.
One of the reasons PolySource Australia came into existence was to test and supply safe engineering plastics. PolySource clients have access to an X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument which is capable of checking plastics for heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. Recent RoHS and WEEE compliance codes give strict guidelines on acceptable levels of these metals. This compliance is essential for plastics which reach the market, especially where children are susceptible.
For more information on engineering plastics, visit Polysource Australia.