In order to improve their properties, so-called additives are added to plastics. They include, for instance, plasticisers for an increased flexibility of brittle materials, flame retardants for a reduced combustibility, or UV filters for improved light resistance.
Furthermore, plastics can contain residuals from the manufacturing process such as monomeres or residual solvents. Another problem is contamination through the raw materials used, as the finished product is often contaminated by an uncontrolled utilisation of recycled material.
PiCA identifies plastics and tests them for the presence of additives, pollutants, monomeres, and residual solvents such as:
- plasticisers (e. g. phthalates, adipates, sebacates, citrates, PCB, PCT, chlorinated paraffins, ESBO)
- brominated flame retardants (e. g. PBDE, PBB, HBCD, TBBA)
- phosphorous flame retardants (e. g. TCEP, TCPP, TDCPP, TCP)
- poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
- organotin compounds (e. g. MBT, DBT, TBT)
- chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)
- residual solvents (e. g. cyclohexanone, isophorone, methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), aromatic, aliphatic and chlorinated fluorocarbons)
- phenolic compounds (e. g. nonylphenol, bisphenol A, nonylphenol ethoxylates, octylphenols)
- monomeres (e. g. styrene, bisphenol A, caprolactam, melamine, vinyl chloride)