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Which Plastics Are Safe?

Which Plastics Are Safe?

The news about plastics has been pretty alarming lately, causing some of us to go dashing for the water bottles to see what kind of plastic they are—and find out if we’ve been unwittingly poisoning our children and ourselves with chemicals leaching into the water from them.

If you’ve been concerned, here is a handy chart that identifies the good, bad, and OK plastics and where they are found. Find out here:

1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
Used to make soft drink, water, sports drink, ketchup, and salad dressing bottles, and peanut butter, pickle, jelly and jam jars.
GOOD: Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.

2 High density polyethylene (HDPE)
Milk, water, and juice bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners, and grocery, trash, and retail bags.
GOOD: Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.

3 Polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC)
Most cling-wrapped meats, cheeses, and other foods sold in delicatessens and groceries are wrapped in PVC.
BAD: To soften into its flexible form, manufacturers add “plasticizers” during production. Traces of these chemicals can leach out of PVC when in contact with foods. According to the National Institutes of Health, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), commonly found in PVC, is a suspected human carcinogen.

4 Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
Some bread and frozen food bags and squeezable bottles.
OK: Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones, but not as widely recycled as #1 or #2.

5 Polypropylene (PP)
Some ketchup bottles and yogurt and margarine tubs.
OK: Hazardous during production, but not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. Not as widely recycled as #1 and #2.

6 Polystyrene (PS)
Foam insulation and also for hard applications (e.g. cups, some toys)
BAD: Benzene (material used in production) is a known human carcinogen. Butadiene and styrene (the basic building block of the plastic) are suspected carcinogens. Energy intensive and poor recycling.

7 Other (usually polycarbonate)
Baby bottles, microwave ovenware, eating utensils, plastic coating for metal cans
BAD: Made with biphenyl-A, a chemical invented in the 1930s in search for synthetic estrogens. A hormone disruptor. Simulates the action of estrogen when tested in human breast cancer studies. Can leach into food as product ages.

Read more: Home, Health & Safety,

Adapted from Green Remodeling, by David Johnston and Kim Master (New Society Publishers, 2004).Copyright (c) 2004 by David Johnston and Kim Master. Reprinted by permission of New Society Publishers.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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171 comments

+ add your own
9:27AM PDT on May 3, 2015

NIce

11:55AM PDT on May 1, 2015

love this article

3:32AM PDT on Apr 30, 2015

Your blogs and every other content are thus interesting and helpful it makes me return back again. http://www.protectingmywater.com

6:26AM PDT on Apr 29, 2015

Now I am an educated professional & healthcare provider & I say ~WHAT? Stats please....

5:27AM PDT on Mar 25, 2015

hmmmmm. Information in conflict.

3:01PM PDT on Mar 23, 2015

Are you out of your mind?! PET is GOOD and listed #1?! That's one of the worst plastics out there and is made using petroleum! With your "advises" you are literally killing people!

2:58AM PDT on Mar 12, 2015

Love this article

3:25AM PST on Dec 12, 2014

Choose well

4:44AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

We anteaters use our tongues.

9:31AM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

This other article site says differently about the numbers. http://mightynest.com/blog/guide-to-plastics. So confusing!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I know about this. However, I wish you would publish a list of organic farmers who sell non-pasteur…

Interesting , thanks

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