ABS is a tough, heat-resistant and impact-resistant
acrylonitrile providing heat resistance, and the styrene
units giving rigidity. It is widely used for appliance and telephone
housings, luggage, sporting helmets, pipe fittings and automotive
In many plastic
products, the polymer is
only one constituent. In order to arrive at a set of properties appropriate
to the product, the polymer is almost always combined with other ingredients,
or additives, which are mixed in during processing and fabrication.
Among these additives are impact modifiers, colorants, reinforcements,
that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by ordinary chemical
processes. Elements are the fundamental materials of which all matter
is composed. They can combine with one another to form a wide variety
of more complex substances called compounds.
A chemical process in which substances
are changed into different substances. Chemical reactions are manifested
by the disappearance of properties characteristic of the starting
materials and the appearance of new properties that distinguish the
products. Examples of chemical reactions include burning of wood,
fermentation of crops to make alcohol, tarnishing of silver, digestion
of food and the synthesis of polystyrene plastics.
A compound (or molecule)
is a combination of two or more chemical elements (atoms) held together
by chemical bonds.
Expanded polystyrene, or EPS, is a closed-cell,
thermal plastic material supplied to molders in the form of a polystyrene
bead. The beads, which contain a blowing agent, are processed and
molded into low-density foam articles, such as protective packaging,
foam insulation and building and construction.
An exposure assessment attempts to answer the
following questions for a particular substance or chemical:
- Who or what is exposed (e.g. people, aquatic ecosystems?)
- How does the exposure occur?
- How much exposure occurs?
- How often and for how long does exposure occur, that is, what
is its frequency and duration?
Extruded polystyene, or XPS, is a closed-cell,
thermal plastic material manufactured by a variety of extrusion processes
(single screw, twin screw). Polystyrene foam board and extruded foam
sheet have properties which make it an excellent choice for thermal
insulation, sheathing, roofing and building and construction application.
The hazard associated with a chemical is its intrinsic
ability to cause an adverse effect. It should be compared to risk,
which is the chance that such effects will occur. For example, whilst
a chemical may have hazardous
properties, provided it is handled safely under contained conditions,
any risk to human health or the environment is extremely low.
An organic compound
that consists exclusively of the elements carbon and hydrogen. Generally,
the term hydrocarbon is used for the chemicals that are derived from
natural gas, oil and coal.
|Latex (pl. latices)
Latex is a general term often used to refer to
both natural latex and synthetic latex, even though these products
have significantly different chemical and biological properties. Natural
latex is a milky usually white fluid that is produced by cells of
various seed plants and is a well-known source of rubber. Many people
are allergic to natural latex which is caused by sensitivities to
the over 200 naturally occurring proteins that can be found in the
Chemical combination of two or more atoms of the
same chemical element (such as O2 - which is Oxygen) or different
chemical elements (such as H2O - which is water).
A molecule that can combine with others to form
The occupational exposure is a standard term that
concerns adult workers in good health, with a possible exposure of
8 hours per day, 5 days a week, 11 months per year. See exposure.
See Unsaturated polyester resins
An organic compound
that has been derived from petroleum or natural gas. There are almost
200 chemicals that can be so described and they include many simple
methane, ethane), aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g. benzene, styrene), naphthenes
and several of their derivatives.
Any of numerous synthetic
materials that consist of giant molecules
called polymers, with
extremely long chains of repeating units derived from short molecules.
Plastics can be formed into products by moulding or otherwise shaping.
The two major divisions of plastics are the thermosetting
resins and thermoplastic
resins. Raw materials for plastics include coal and cellulose, but
by far the chief source is petroleum. Because of their easy manipulation,
economical manufacture, low specific gravity, and resistance to corrosion,
plastics have replaced metal, wood, glass, and other materials in
many applications. An immense array of plastic industrial and consumer
goods is available.
When identical individual molecules
(monomers) come together and link up in a chain-like fashion they
form a polymer. The chemical reaction that forms a polymer is called
polymerisation. There are natural polymers (often referred to as biopolymers),
such as cellulose, certain rubbers
and DNA, and synthetic
polymers, such as polystyrene
and fibreglass (see uPES).
See also plastics and resins.
A solid plastic
made from polymerised styrene
and used in a wide variety of everyday applications, from coffee cups
through to CD jewel boxes.
Product Stewardship is the responsible and ethical
management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a product
throughout its total life cycle. Product Stewardship is Responsible
Care applied to products.
Any natural or synthetic
organic compound consisting
of a non-crystalline or viscous liquid substance. Natural resins are
organic substances that
are transparent or translucent, formed in plant secretions. Synthetic
resins comprise a large class of synthetic products that have some
of the physical properties of natural resins but are different chemically.
Most synthetic resins are polymers.
The term resin dates from the early years of the plastics industry;
it originally referred to naturally occurring amorphous solids such
as shellac and rosin. See also plastics.
Responsible Care is the chemical industry's commitment
to continuous improvement in all aspects of health, safety and environment
performance and to openness in communication about its activities
and achievements. Find out more about Responsible Care by Visiting
Risk should be clearly distinguished from "hazard".
Risk is the chance that a given hazardous effect will occur. The use
of fire by humans is an interesting example of optimising the balance
between hazard and risk, as fire, being extremely hazardous, must
be used under carefully controlled conditions to keep risks to a minimum.
on European priority lists must undergo an in-depth risk
assessment covering the risks posed by the priority chemical to man
(covering workers, consumers and man exposed via the environment)
and the environment (covering the terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric
eco-systems and accumulation through the food chain). This risk assessment
follows the framework set out in European Commission Regulation (EC)
1488/94 and implemented in the detailed Technical Guidance Documents
(TGD) on Risk Assessment for New and Existing Substances. The first
draft of the risk assessment reports are written by the Member States
which act as "rapporteurs". The Commission mediates the meetings,
which attempt to reach consensus on the conclusions of the risk assessments.
rubber, as opposed to natural rubber (obtained from the exudations
of certain tropical trees), is derived from petroleum and natural
gas. Because of its elasticity, resilience, and toughness, rubber
is the basic constituent of the tires used in automotive vehicles,
aircraft, and bicycles. The same properties make it useful for machine
belting and hoses of all kinds. Rubber is also used in electrical
insulation, and because it is waterproof, it is a favoured material
for shoe soles.
SAN is a transparent, rigid styrenic plastic
offering high chemical resistance, used mainly in the automotive,
electrical and electronics industry, as well as in household applications
and building products. Uses
Styrene-butadiene latex (SBL) is a water-based
polymer produced by emulsion polymerisation from styrene and butadiene.
Major uses of Styrene-butadiene latex include carpet backing and paper
Styrene-butadiene rubber is a high molecular weight
polymer. Because of its excellent abrasion resistance, Styrene-butadiene
rubber is widely used in automobile and lorry (truck) tyres (tires),
belting, flooring, wire and cable insulation, footwear, and as a paper
The word "substance" is used to mean chemical
elements and their compounds
in the natural state or obtained by any production process, including
any additive necessary
to preserve the stability of the product.
Humanity's ability "to make development sustainable,
i.e. to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The European
chemical industry supports this position, as defined by the World
Commission on Environment and Development established by the United
The production of a substance
by the union of chemical elements, groups, or simpler compounds,
or by the degradation of a complex compound.
Synthetic latex is a water emulsion of a synthetic
rubber or plastic obtained by polymerisation and used especially in
coatings (as paint) and adhesives. Synthetic latex does not contain
the proteins found in natural latex and therefore is not associated
with allergic reactions.
There are various synthetic latex products produced from styrene;
these compounds serve as non-allergenic alternatives to the natural
A common synthetic is Styrene-butadiene latex, which is used in the
backing of the majority of carpets produced today.
Thermosets are a type of plastic
that is the reaction product of two or more chemical compounds.
While reacting and while still in a liquid shape thermoset plastics
are moulded to form a wide variety of parts. Once the reaction is
complete, thermoset plastics form durable solid articles. Unsaturated
polyester resins that are used to make glass reinforced plastics
are an example of a thermoset plastic.
which is solid when cold, but which may flow and be re-formed multiple
times with the application of heat. Some plastics are dissolved in
solvents such as water (a latex) to aid their application.
resins (UPR, USPE or PES)
Unsaturated polyester resins are durable, resinous
polymers used over a broad
spread of industries, mainly the construction, boat building, automotive
and electrical industries. In most applications they are reinforced
with small glass fibres - hence these plastics
are commonly referred to as GRP or Glass Reinforced Plastics.
See Unsaturated polyester resins
See Unsaturated polyester resins