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.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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