Polyethylene is a common liner used in many products including toilet paper, but a new study finds it can be a major source of toxic carbon dioxide.
Researchers from the University of Bristol and the University College London examined the impact of a chemical called polyethylenesulfonate (PES) on the atmosphere and found it can have a toxic effect on the carbon dioxide that plants need to survive.
“In terms of the climate impact, we found that PES in the environment is a major contributor to climate change,” lead researcher Dr. David Fisk told Business Insider.
“It can actually lead to carbon dioxide emissions.”
The researchers found that if PES was used in combination with soil in soil banks, the CO2 produced was higher than if the soil was in the absence of PES.
“Soil is basically a ‘ditch’ that gets used for organic matter.
Soil is a natural buffer for CO2 that comes out when CO2 comes out of the soil.
But the soil is also a buffer against the impact that PEPAs can have on CO2,” Dr. Fisk said.
Dr. Fink said that PEAs could be used in soil and in a range of other products, including cosmetics, carpet, paper and insulation.
“The idea is to take the soil and mix it with PEAs and you’ve got an organic compound,” he said.
“And you’ve then mixed that up with soil nutrients and you’re using soil as a carbon buffer for the atmosphere.”PEs have been widely used in products including plastic bags, shower curtains, paper towels, and paint.
The researchers said that the chemical is often referred to as a “ditch liner” or “dove liner,” but they have never before examined its effects on the environment.
“We’ve never seen a study that looked at the effects of PEs on the CO 2 emissions of the atmosphere,” Dr Fisk added.
“We found it was a very important contributor to CO2 emissions.”
While PEs are used in toilet paper and other products to reduce odors, the study found that they can have harmful effects on plants.PEs are known to be a pollutant, and scientists have called on the manufacturers to remove them from products.
The Bristol team also found that the level of carbon dioxide in PEs in the atmosphere is also higher than it would be in soil without PEs.
“There are other chemicals that are used by people in the kitchen, for example, in dish soap, in detergent and so on.
And we found PES to be quite significant,” Dr Margo O’Sullivan, a professor of environmental engineering at Bristol University, told Business Ink.”
That means that PEs and its compounds in the soil can also be very significant contributors to CO 2 [in the atmosphere],” Dr. O’ Sullivan added.”
This study highlights the importance of taking the time to identify these chemicals and the risks they pose,” she said.