35,000 Toxic Ducks Arrive at Los Angeles Harbor–Are These Plastic Ducks Really That Bad–Don’t Eat One
Posted Dec 09 2012 2:10am
This is an interesting take on the seizure of the plastic ducks and this was a scientist that wrote the article here and he brings a lot of background into the question of how toxic are these ducks? I added a couple highlights of his article but basically there’s a question on the real danger of being exposed to one of these plastic critters with the ducks in violation containing more than l01 of a chemical used to soften plastics.
This chemical has been associated with hormonal disruption to those exposed to it before adulthood. He further goes on to say that to receive a threatening level of exposure of any kind one would have to “eat the duck”, so I guess even sucking on the duck would give a little exposure? The basis of his story here is to show that when comparing toxic levels in a rat or mouse, the levels of potential exposure to humans could be a little overstated as it took huge doses of DEHP to do anything to a rat. These ducks sound like they might just be on their way back out of the US and no holiday for these guys. BD
Yesterday, the US Customs and Border Patrol announced the seizure of over 35,000 holiday-themed rubber ducks at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.
Their offense? Containing more than 0.1 percent of plasticizer-softening chemicals called phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates). Present in many PVC-based plastics (#3), this class of chemicals has been associated with hormone disruption.
With a declared value of $18,522 — and a street value many times that — the duck seizure was made possible by a concerted government agency effort.
Several of these compounds were studied in the 1980s for their propensity to cause liver cancer in rodents. DEHP is now known to work through a receptor involved in fatty acid metabolism that rodents have in much higher amounts than humans, non-human primates, and dogs — species where DEHP is not a carcinogen.