Have you ever thought about the dangers of the plastics you have in your home?! Did you know that the numerous containers you have lying around and that you regularly use to reheat or to pack food or leftovers pose a threat to your health?
Of course, they are convenient, inexpensive, and practical; however, they may be leaching chemicals into your foods; and what’s more, plastic is also bad for the environment. Namely, chlorinated plastic releases chemicals into the soil which can further go into the groundwater or other sources of water and the ecosystem. This is harmful for the species drinking the water.
Say No to Plastic
As Money Crashers explain, studies point out that the chemicals from plastics, including BPA, can increase the risk of breast cancer in humans and lower sperm counts. The risk of plastic is much higher for children and infants. The CDC point out that we already have a lot of BPA in our bodies and in a study from 2004, they found BPA traces in 93 percent of the urine samples they took.
The more plastic goes through a cycle of heating and cooling, the higher the amount of chemicals released into the foods or drinks.
To help you be more informed about plastic, in this article, the focus will be on explaining the meaning of the symbols we see on plastic containers and their safety.
6 Types of Plastics
- PET plastic
It can also be labelled as #1 and PET is short for polyethylene terephthalate and it is known to leach a chemical known as antimony trioxide. This chemical also enters drinks bottled in PET plastic and the longer their shelf life, the higher the toxicity of the drink. This plastic is made with benzene and hydrogen fluoride and they are highly toxic during the process of manufacturing that even a tiny amount of it can be fatal in case it comes into contact with the skin.
- HDPE plastic
This plastic is identified by #2 and it is known as high density polyethylene or a thermoplastic made from petroleum. Since this is a very non-reactive plastic, it is considered to be the safest type of plastic currently available.
- PVC plastic
This plastic is labeled as #3 and it is known to be the most dangerous one. Throughout its life cycle, it releases seriously-damaging chemicals like dioxins, phthalates, and mercury. When this plastic is burned, it releases dioxins associated with respiratory and reproductive issues, as well as cancer! Its fumes can cause immunity-related issues for a long period of time. Factory workers who work with this type of plastic have a significant risk of cancer of the lungs, brain, blood, and liver. This plastic is not recyclable because of its toxic characteristics.
- LDPE plastic
This type of plastic is known as low density polyethylene and it is a very safe type of plastic.
Known as #5, this may be a safer type of plastic. However, it is not completely safe because it is made with petroleum and benzene. And, styrene is known to be a carcinogen.
- Plastic #7 or other
Other goes for uncategorized types of plastic which could be made from literally anything. It needs to be avoided because usually they contain BPA!
Before heading out, do not forget to watch the video below to increase your awareness about the dangers of plastic: