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Table 2 Potential contaminants in products and their origins

From: How should we deal with the interfaces between chemicals, product and waste legislation?

Origins of potential contaminants in products Types Examples
Case I: contaminant is regularly present in one or more (primary) raw materials Toxic metals in commodity metals Traces of Cd in Zn metals and alloys
Actinoids in minerals Uranium salts in phosphate rock (phosphorites)
Pesticide residues Food
Plastic particles (“microplastics”) Textiles
Case II: contaminant has been used as additive to the final product Plasticisers DEHP in soft PVC
Flame retardants PBDEs in hard plastics, HBCD in polystyrene
Stabilisers for plastics Cd stearate in PVC
Pigments Lead pigments in pottery
Case III: “in situ” formed contaminants Thermodynamically stable molecules formed during manufacturing at high temperature Polychlorinated dioxins and dibenzofurans, PAHs (see also Additional file 1: S4)
Case IV: contaminant originating from the application/use phase Decomposition products Ageing phenomena of soft PVC
Degradation products Mycotoxins from rotten food (residues …)
Adhesive contaminants Lubricants on metals
Chemicals added during use Inks in printed paper