Who knew? Arguably, one of the greatest advancements in the past 100 years, plastic is virtually everywhere you look. In fact, the keyboard and computer I am typing on right now, would be impossible without the advancement of plastic technology. But, now it appears some plastics (not all) contain chemicals that can leach into our food and water, and subsequently be ingested by the consumer. You owe it to yourself and your children to research this information for yourself and make an informed decision based on the studies presented in these resources. Startling information about the harmful effects, can be found at the links below.
Essentially, if the plastic you are using has #3, #6, or #7, based on the findings, you should discontinue use immediately. While the “one-time” use of some of the products may or may not be safe, re-using them has definitely proven to leach chemicals into our bodies. What’s troubling about this information, is that many of the water bottles that are sold for hikers and bikers, or to just transport water, for a healthier lifestyle are identified with a lethal #7. You will be sickened when you stop to think about the times you’ve heated up your baby’s bottle, or leftovers from a carry-out container, in the microwave. Plastic “sippy” cups are suspect as well. How many toddlers have you seen walking around with them? Incidentally, the bottled water you drink is a #1 which is only rated for “one-time” use. And how many of us have re-filled our water bottles thinking we were being environmentally conscious?
What is one to do? One expert recommends not “beating yourself up over it,” and moving on, as it were. Make good conscious decisions now, based on these findings. Limit the amount of plastic you use to store and heat food. Don’t re-use “one-time” use water bottles. And, use responsible alternatives when possible. The article links below will point you in the right direction for alternatives and what your risks are.
A Brief Breakdown in Numbers
#3 – PVC or V: Polyvinyl Chloride, used for cling wrap, some plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars, detergent and window cleaner.
#6 – PS: Polystyrene, used in Styrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery.
#7- Other: Usually polycarbonate, used in most plastic baby bottles, 5-gallon water bottles, “sport” water bottles, metal food can liners, clear plastic “sippy” cups and some clear plastic cutlery. NOTE: New bio-based plastics may also be labeled #7.
For more details click the following links:
Smart Plastics Guide Healthier Food Uses of Plastic- By Kathleen Schuler, MPH
Which Plastic Water Bottles Don’t Leach Chemicals- By Vreni Gurd
Plastic Water Bottles- By PW McCrandle
Bottled Water Safety - Author Unknown
Wikpedia – Multiple authors with many more links