Investigation of the neurotoxic effects of antioxidant by-products from plastics

The aim of this project is to investigate the neurotoxic effects of 10 different phenolic by-products originating from antioxidants used in plastic production.


8 of the 10 by-products of interest are commercially available for purchase. The remaining 2 by-products will be synthesized by LyondellBasell. These 10 substances will be screened for acute and chronic neurotoxicity in primary cortical rat cultured using multi-well Micro Electrode Arrays(mw MEA). Metabolism will be assessed using a liver model(containing S9 fraction) coupled with chemical analysis to identify potential breakdown products. A blood brain barrier model (iPSC)will also be utilized to investigate the ability of passage through the protective barrier of the brain.


A variety of different additives are today in the production of plastics. The purpose of additives is many, but generally additives are added to protect plastics from physical, chemicals and oxidative degradation. The specific interest of this project is on antioxidants, which protect plastics by donation of a hydrogen to a free radical to prevent oxidative degradation. By-products from antioxidants have been found in various sources(i.e., drinking water, food & drug packaging…ect) including in humans. We have a partial toxicological understanding, but a limited understanding of the neurotoxic effects of these substances. The goal of this project is to improve the neurotoxicological understanding, in combination with assessing the exposures to various human populations.

This project is sponsored by LyondellBasell.