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Safety of Plastic Not Addressed in Recent Court Decision

A federal jury ruled against two Austin-based plastic manufacturers in a suit brought by Eastman Chemical Co. The ruling on July 24, upheld Eastman’s claims that the firms, PlastiPure Inc. and CertiChem Inc., published misleading information regarding the health effects of the plastics produced by Eastman. While this ruling favored Eastman against defective product statements, the ruling did not address the actual safety of the products produced or product liability.

Eastman Chemical Co. produces a line of plastic, Tritan, used in many consumer products. According to the company, this product does not contain BPA (bisphenol A) or EA. BPA in food storage containers has been found to leach into food. Adverse health problems including cancer, obesity and reproductive issues have been linked to the chemical. EA, or estrogenic activity, is caused by synthetic chemicals that behave like estrogen in the human body. This action can disrupt the endocrine system and adversely affect hormones.

There are many other chemicals similar to BPA that can cause adverse health issues. Many of these chemicals are not thoroughly tested before they reach consumers. Regulation and awareness of EA is limited. While Eastman states the plastic produced is EA-free, the standards for testing for EA are limited. Much more needs to be done to standardize and improve testing of all products to protect the health and safety of the consumer.

A dangerous product can lead to consumer injury and illness. Victims of defective products can seek compensation for medical bills and related damages. Product liability laws are complex, but lawyers experienced in the area of product liability are adept at considering complex situations such as this.

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