• The dangers of plastic

      DePaola, Nicole (2019-12)
      Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make plastics and has been found to be a xenoestrogen. Planaria (Girardia tigrina), regenerating flatworms, were exposed to BPA and deuterated BPA (D8-BPA). Phenotypic effects of BPA on the planaria were recorded during exposure and BPA was then extracted to quantify the amount absorbed by the flatworms. Deuterated BPA (D8-BPA) was used to distinguish added BPA from BPA already present in the organism from supply-chain contamination. A control experiment tested whether the multiple washes performed after incubation removed physisorbed BPA from planaria. Additional analysis was performed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC, reverse phase). Improvements in HPLC method to analyze BPA and D8-BPA resulted in better separation between BPA and D8-BPA peaks. Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GCMS) was used to quantify BPA/D8 BPA. It is concluded that planarian regeneration is negatively affected by exposure to 20 M concentrations of BPA/D8-BPA, planaria absorbed BPA and D8-BPA from solution, the washing method removed most physisorbed BPA, and decreasing the HPLC pump flow rate improved peak separation. This section describes studies done by other researchers to explore detrimental effects of BPA on humans, including miscarriage, infertility, obesity, and sexual dysfunction. The detrimental environmental effects of excessive plastic use, plastic alternatives, and solutions to reducing the damage of plastic are also described.