Today plastics are part of our everyday lives. They are present in our home – the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, in our yards…….Because we can find them everywhere, doesn’t mean that they are safe.
There are different kinds of plastic – polystyrene, polycarbonate, PVC, nylon – but all of them can be grouped in synthetic or semi-synthetic solids. As we mentioned, not all of them are safe. So how do we know which ones to use and which to avoid? Simply – this can be determined by the way they’re manufactured. Most of them are made of natural gas and crude oil, and quite often modified with chemical additives to add texture, flexibility or color. These additives can leach over time and this leach can be speed up with microwaving, washings, scratching and heating – things that you do repeatedly in your kitchen.
So how do you protect yourself? Well the first thing would be to pay close attention to the recycling codes which can be found at the bottom of plastic bottles. Below is an explanation which codes are relatively safe and which can be dangerous:
- Bottles with codes of 1, 2 and 4 are generally safe, but have a limited shelf life.
- Recycling code 5 (polypropylene) is considered the safest plastic.
- Bottles with recycling code 7 have Bisphenol A or BPA, which is considered one of the most dangerous toxins and can be found in hard plastic products. BPA has been linked with neural and behavioral problems in infants and can increase the risk of heart disease. Other negative impacts from this toxin are increased insulin resistance and chronic inflammation. In many cases aluminum bottles have BPA, so your best option would be stainless steel water bottle.
- You should also avoid plastics with recycling code 3 (PCV) and 6 (polystyrene).
Today many alternatives to plastic bottles and containers can be found. Best options are resistant glass containers and ceramics. If you are still planning to use plastic bottles, try to keep them away from high heat or decrease the usage of harsh detergents.