We all want to trust “the system” when it comes to issues such as potentially toxic chemicals that could affect our health. But new reports about polycarbonate baby bottles are disturbing. Research from the federal National Toxicology Program is said to raise ‘’some concern” about bisphenol A potentially leaching from polycarbonate baby bottles and other products. Rats exposed to the chemical showed disturbing changes, including some linked to cancer. Canadian health officials say bisphenol A may endanger humans and any may ban the substance from baby bottles. Polycarbonate producers such as Sabic Innovative Plastics are referring questions to Dr. Steven Hentges, a polycarbonate expert at the American Chemistry Council. The ACC has released a very guarded statement, which says that the new studies confirm their position that exposure to BPA is negligible. Dr. Hentges calls on the U.S. government to conduct more studies to affirm the safety of BPA. I wonder what Dr. Hentges is telling his family members about use of polycarbonate baby bottles, which are typically exposed to high heat in a dishwasher? I’ll bet he’s telling them to take no chances. Use safer BPA-free alternatives. Why take any chances? There are limits (big limits) to how far we should go to protect our chemical industry.
It’s not clear to what extent there are also health concerns about epoxy resins, which are typically made with bisphenol A and widely used as a coating in food n beverage cans.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
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