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#1101962 - 04/19/11 12:50 AM Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical?
angelic4296 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3264
Loc: Northeast U.S.
I wasn't sure if this should be in Health & Hygeine or Housing & Accessories, so Mods/Admin, please feel free it move it if need be....

So, I subscribe to Glamour magazine. This month, I came across an article about environmental chemicals in very common household items that could be potentially dangerous to us, and as their research showed, also potentially animals. There was a particular point mentioned about PVC plastic, stating that it contains a chemical called TBT (Tributylin) that is now being thought to contribute to obesity. A professor named Dr. Bruce Blumberg from the University of California, Irvine did a study in which mice were exposed exposed to TBT and it was found that they gained extra fat cells. Furthermore, when female mice who were pregnant were exposed to this chemical, their babies were 15% bigger than the control group. I did some digging online and found some articles, including Dr. Blumberg's actual research article, which was published just in November 2010 I believe in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. I tried getting through the article, but I had alot of trouble understanding alot of the science behind it, so I also found some articles in which he was quoted talking about what he terms "obesogens" and also his mice experiment (I DESPISE animal research, I really do....). Here's what I came across:

His actual journal article:
http://blumberg-serv.bio.uci.edu/reprints/blumberg-2011.pdf

An article that talks about Dibutylin, which is from my understanding similar in structure to TBT, but has a different function, yet is also found in PVC plastics, which has been shown to "interfere with the natural ability of human and animals cells to control important immune responses and inflammation." This article was published in 2008 and uses as a source another article published by Dr. Blumberg in 2007.
http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/e...rs-inflammation

Another article, in which Dr. Blumberg is also quoted, that talks about TBT, which is used to create PVC plastics.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7940105/can_chemicals_be_making_you_fat.html

There's a bunch more results that pop up on Google using Dr. Blumberg's name and terms like "PVC" and "TBT." It just got me thinking since so many of us, if not most of us, use PVC-coated cages. Now, I totally understand that there's a variety, in fact probably tons of types of PVC plastics and it would take more in-depth research to the type of PVC plastic coating that is on our cages and what chemicals might specifically be present in it, but as I said, it made me ponder the effects in terms of our gliders' potential for obesity, their inflammation responses and immune systems, and their hormones and endocrine systems, all of which the articles mention as being effected by these chemicals, both for non-breeding gliders and also our breeding females and their joeys, since research was conducted on pregnant mice and showed results.

Maybe someone who is more scientifically-minded than I could read that first article and decipher it? What does everyone think, should we be concerned about the PVC-coating on our cages in light of the research that has been coming out in the last few years???
_________________________
Jess

2 spoiled gliders, Gizzy (6/05) and Ruthie (?/05) <3

Please consider rescuing first!

Please remember to complete your surveys at http://www.sugargroup.org/ - help better the lives of gliders everywhere smile

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#1101979 - 04/19/11 01:59 AM Re: Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical? [Re: angelic4296]
Gizmogirl Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 13454
Loc: South Africa
If I am not mistaken, there was another thread on this, let me see if I can find anything.
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Casper & Liezl
:grey:Gizzy, Boesman, Muchu, Kiamon, Sky & Boog:grey:
A glider's eyes have the power to speak a great language

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#1101985 - 04/19/11 02:30 AM Re: Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical? [Re: angelic4296]
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
I had this same concern about the plastic mesh that people use for cages and I use for toys. I wrote to the company and that makes the plastic and they claimed that particular chemical/plastic was not included in the mesh and there was no health issues using it.

On another note...When contemplating a plastic coated wire for a toy I asked my electrician friend (he's a brainy sort of fella) about it and he recommended against using it because of the chemicals in the plastic. He also recommended against using the type of plastic conduit sold for electrical work in animal toys and felt the plastic pipe made for plumbing would be safer as its a different type of plastic.

I would write to the individual manufacturers of the cages and ask if the targeted chemicals are in the PVC coating. On that note, there are many cages out there sold as safe that actually contain zinc or lead in the coating, which is not safe.
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#1101996 - 04/19/11 03:17 AM Re: Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical? [Re: angelic4296]
eshaw Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 02/11/11
Posts: 593
Loc: Iowa
Well Jess, I'm a scientific kind of guy and I can tell you this much. I will read this article and see what it says but from past experience I know that a lot of these research facilities expose there lab animals to inordinate amounts of the study pathogen, be it chemical or otherwise.
Most all plastics have a petro-chemical of some sort in their makeup and the particular component in these compounds is usually inert when in a static state. If for example you were to expose it (the plastic)to flame or a heat source it would outgas and could most definitely produce a toxin. Ingestion is also something else to be avoided but animals normally don't eat everything they chew on. Your plumber friend is correct also. The plastic used for electrical conduit is a totally different type of plastic than the "plumbers" version.


Edited by eshaw (04/19/11 03:18 AM)

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#1101999 - 04/19/11 03:56 AM Re: Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical? [Re: angelic4296]
Bozeman Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 2346
Loc: South Africa
Thank you eshaw. Great of you to take a look. Please keep us updated!
_________________________
:grey: Casper (Bozeman) & Liezl (Gizmogirl):grey:
www.sugarglider.co.za
hug2

A glider's eyes have the power to speak a great language


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RIP: Sugar (2009) :grey:
You unfairly passed too young - your passing saved many gliders and will continue to do so

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#1102356 - 04/19/11 10:51 PM Re: Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical? [Re: angelic4296]
angelic4296 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3264
Loc: Northeast U.S.
Thank you very much eshaw, I was hoping for someone like you to come along and explain things to me....I was pre-med in college for 2 years, but quickly realized I do not have a science mind lol, so I changed my major....what you are saying makes perfect sense, the only thing I guess I would worry about is if they DID chew on the cage bars and didn't intentionally MEAN to ingest anything, but a miniscule amount got into their system by accident....I don't even know, would that matter?....
_________________________
Jess

2 spoiled gliders, Gizzy (6/05) and Ruthie (?/05) <3

Please consider rescuing first!

Please remember to complete your surveys at http://www.sugargroup.org/ - help better the lives of gliders everywhere smile

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#1102396 - 04/20/11 02:29 AM Re: Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical? [Re: angelic4296]
eshaw Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 02/11/11
Posts: 593
Loc: Iowa
Jess, Normally for a chemical to be harmful they would need extended exposure to it. I sincerely doubt that a miniscule amount would do any harm other than a potential blockage, but I think that isn't a prominent concern.

One other thing I'd like to make you all aware of is that if you have questions concerning a product what you can do is write, call or email the manufacturer and ask them for a copy of the MSD sheet for that particular product. This is the Material Safety Data sheet. They will tell you what the makeup is of the product, health hazards, fire hazard, etc., etc..

Hope this helps a little.


Edited by eshaw (04/20/11 02:42 AM)

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#1102813 - 04/20/11 10:18 PM Re: Yikes...PVC contains potentially harmful chemical? [Re: angelic4296]
angelic4296 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3264
Loc: Northeast U.S.
Thank you, I feel a bit better now smile
_________________________
Jess

2 spoiled gliders, Gizzy (6/05) and Ruthie (?/05) <3

Please consider rescuing first!

Please remember to complete your surveys at http://www.sugargroup.org/ - help better the lives of gliders everywhere smile

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