Zveza društev gradbenih inženirjev in tehnikov slovenije
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Objavljeno v: Gradbeni vestnik - oktober 2017

Avtorji

Blaž Hribar, dipl. inž. grad.
Mirjam Britovšek, univ. dipl. inž. kem. inž.
doc. dr. Mateja Dovjak, dipl. san. inž.

PROIZVODI IZ POLISTIRENA IN MOŽNI VPLIVI NA ŽIVLJENJSKO OKOLJE

UDK: 502/504:678.746.2

Povzetek

Polistiren je ena najbolj vsestransko uporabljanih plastik. Uporablja se v gradbeni, živilski avtomobilski, računalniški industriji in v drugih vejah. Zaradi tako pestre uporabe je odpadni polistiren velik onesnaževalec okolja in lahko vpliva na zdravje ljudi tako v grajenem kot širšem življenjskem okolju. Namen raziskave je s sistematičnim pregledom literature preučiti problematiko polistirena v naravnem in grajenem okolju ter raziskati možen negativen vpliv izpostavljenosti polistirenu oziroma osnovnemu gradniku stirenu. Zahtevane in/ali priporočene mejne vrednosti smo primerjali z izmerjenimi koncentracijami iz pregledanih raziskav. Na osnovi ugotovitev smo predlagali ukrepe, s katerimi lahko zmanjšamo možen vpliv polistirena v življenjskem okolju. Sistematičen pregled literature je pokazal, da je lahko polistiren problematičen tako v naravnem kot v grajenem okolju. Po navedbah International Agency for Research on Cancer spada stiren, ki je osnovni gradnik polistirena, v skupino 2B, kar pomeni, da je potencialno rakotvoren za človeka. Raziskave v delovnem okolju so pokazale, da se pri zaposlenih v tovarnah s proizvodnjo polistirena pogosto pojavijo povišane koncentracije stirena, ki lahko povzročijo negativen vpliv na zdravje delavcev. Polistiren je problematičen v celotnem življenjskem ciklu, tudi v ekstremnih razmerah, kot je požar. Je lahko vnetljiv material, ki pri gorenju pri nizkih temperaturah sprošča ogljikove saje in številne nevarne hlapne spojine, katerih tvorba je odvisna od temperature gorenja. Kot najpogosteje uporabljeni zaviralec gorenja v izolacijskem polistirenu se je v preteklosti uporabljal HBCD (heksabromociklododekan), ki je zelo strupena, obstojna in bioakumulativna kemikalija. Z njegovo prepovedjo v letu 2015 uporabljajo proizvajalci druge zaviralce gorenja, ki so lahko prav tako problematični za zdravje in okolje. Številne raziskave so se ukvarjale z vplivom stirena, ki migrira iz embalaže za živila v hrano in s tem na ljudi. Izsledki študij niso enotni o možnem vplivu na zdravje, predlagajo pa preprečevanje izpostavljenosti izdelkom iz stirena, ki so v stiku s hrano. Pregled raziskav je pokazal, da odpadni polistiren pomeni velik problem za okolje, saj se odpadna plastika kopiči v naravnem okolju, predvsem na obalah. Ti odpadki so nevarni za človeka in živali, ker predstavljajo leglo patogenih mikroorganizmov. Za ustrezno reševanje problemov, ki jih prinaša vsestranska uporaba polistirena, je treba poznati celoten življenjski cikel proizvoda in ustrezno ukrepati na vseh nivojih. V fazi proizvodnje je treba izvajati ukrepe za zaščito, varnost in zdravje zaposlenih ter zamenjati škodljive snovi z manj nevarnimi. Za izdelke, ki so v stiku s hrano, je treba najti primerne alternative. Potrebna sta skrb za odpadke in povečana stopnja recikliranja. Vse skupaj pa bi moralo biti postavljeno v dobro pripravljen zakonodajni okvir.

Ključne besede: polistiren, stiren, proizvodi, zdravje, okolje, mejne vrednosti

Brezplačen elektronski izvod revije:
Celoten članek si preberite v elektronski različici revije Gradbeni vestnik v PDF obliki.

POLYSTYRENE PRODUCTS AND POSSIBLE IMPACTS ON LIVING ENVIRONMENT

Summary

Polystyrene is one of the most widely utilized plastics. It is used in construction, food industry, car industry, IT and other fields. Polystyrene is a big pollutant due to its wide use. It can represent a health hazard for people both in built and natural environment. The purpose of this research is to study the problems caused by polystyrene in built and natural environment and to determine the possible negative effects of exposure to polystyrene and its building block styrene. This is done by thoroughly reviewing existing literature on the matter. We compared the maximum allowed concentrations and recommended exposure limits with the concentrations, measured in the reviewed studies. We propose a set of measures to reduce the possible effect of polystyrene in living areas. The literature shows that polystyrene can indeed be the source of problems in built and natural environment. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, styrene, the building block of polystyrene, falls into the 2B group, which is classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Research carried out in work environment shows that workers in polystyrene production plants experience elevated styrene concentrations, which can have negative health effects. Polystyrene is problematic throughout its life cycle, including in the extreme circumstances such as fire. The material is highly flammable. The side products of its incineration at low temperatures are carbon soot and a complex mixture of volatile compounds, many of them hazardous to health. In the past, the most commonly used flame retardant in polystyrene was HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane), which is a substance with persistent bioaccumulative and toxic characteristics. Since the ban on its use in 2015, other flame retardants are utilized, many of which are also a hazard to health and environment. A lot of research has been done on polystyrene migrating from food containers to food and consequently to people. The results show that the concentrations present are small and do not present a health risk for humans. The overview of the research shows that the polystyrene waste represents a huge environmental problem because the plastics accumulate in the natural environment, especially on the shores. Plastic debris are reservoirs of pathogens, harmful to humans. To successfully solve the problems with polystyrene and its wide use cause, it is essential to take into account the whole polystyrene lifecycle and take action during all of the stages. During the production phase, the suitable protective measures must be taken to protect the health of the workers. The toxic substances should be replaced by less hazardous ones. The polystyrene food containers should be substituted by suitable alternatives. It is crucial to improve the ways the waste is handled and to increase the level of recycling. A better legislation on the matter would also be of great importance.

Key words: polystyrene, styrene, products, health, environment, exposure limits

 

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