Plastic fantastic

Helmut Reinecke and colleagues have developed a new approach to the manufacture of plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Their method would prevent phthalates from leaching out of packaging, medical tubing, toys, and other products made from the next-generation PVC. The researchers at the Institute of Polymer Science and Technology in Madrid, Spain, have used "internal plasticization" of PVC for the first time in which they displace chlorine with phthalate-based thiol additives that are covalently bonded to the polymer chain.