Environmental Effects of Polyacrylamide

Aug 22, 2023

Environmental effects

Considering the volume of polyacrylamide produced, these materials have been heavily scrutinized with regards to environmental and health impacts.

Polyacrylamide is of low toxicity but its precursor acrylamide is a neurotoxin and carcinogen.Thus, concerns naturally center on the possibility that polyacrylamide is contaminated with acrylamide.

Considerable effort is made to scavenge traces of acrylamide from the polymer intended for use near food.

Additionally, there are concerns that polyacrylamide may de-polymerise to form acrylamide. Under conditions typical for cooking, polyacrylamide does not de-polymerise significantly.The single claim that polyacrylamide reverts to acrylamide has been widely challenged.

Polyacrylamide is most commonly partially biodegraded by the action of amidases, producing ammonia and polyacrylates. Polyacrylates are hard to biodegrade, but some soil microbe cultures have been shown to do so in aerobic condtions.

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