Are toxic compounds used to make plastics and if so, would not the plastics be toxic?

Some of the raw materials used to make plastics are rather non-reactive at room temperature and others are highly reactive.  For example, one reactive compound, ethylene, is used to make polyethylene.  It can also be used to make waxes, such as paraffin wax used for candles and food additives.  While not particularly toxic, gaseous ethylene is an asphyxiant, chemically active, and highly flammable.  When converted to a plastic, those characteristics are changed.  The plastics made from transformed raw materials do not have the same properties as the raw materials.  EPA has concluded "there is an exceedingly low probability that potential exposure to high molecular weight water-insoluble polymers, as a class, will result in unreasonable risk or injury to human health or the environment"3.  Plastics molecules are very large and do not have the same biological properties as the raw materials used to make them.

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