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
14 thoughts on “The Dangers of Using Plastic for Our Food and Water”
thanks for the info…we should really be concerned about plastic stuff. But I noticed, not all of the plastic containers I have have these grade marks. Is it required by law?
Glass is still a miracle and a safe receptacle for everything that needs to be stored or transported. In Central NJ we have one spring water company that bottles 5 gallons of water in glass but wow, are those bottles heavy!!!!! The most difficult issue is the plastic we use for babies and toddlers…life without plastic for them is difficult.
Who knew when in Mrs. Robinson the word was ‘plastics’…
You may want to look at this as it states that there is no problem reusing plastic water bottles
That article denied the release of dioxins if the #1 PETE bottle were to be reused. There are no dioxins in these plastic bottles. BUT…these #1 PETE bottles are SINGLE USE ONLY!!!
Another idea for replacing plastic drinking water bottles is using good old glass. Remember the old Coca Cola bottles? You can still get glass bottles: I get mine from a local herbal supply shop, and they are also available online.
I also store my leftovers in the fridge in glass bowls — I picked up a set of varying sizes of glass bowls from Walgreen’s, and they come with plastic tops. Often when I know I will be finishing off the leftovers by the next day, I just put the food on a plate and invert a bowl on top.
Taking lunch to work is a bit trickier, but I put it into a square glass dish and then carry it in a regular grocery bag (washable reusable cloth bags are best) and a few hours after arriving at work my food is still deliciously fresh! AND I know it’s safe from the dreaded plastic poisons.
It would behoove us all to compile as many facts as possible regarding this issue, and to verify our sources. When speaking to medical experts they tend to agree that “Bisphenol A”, in any quantity, is not recommended. While chemists say this is much ado about nothing.
If you visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A, there is more evidence to support caution than there is to ignore “Bisphenol A.” If alternatives did NOT exist, this would be a different story, but they do.
Within the FDA, there is no government-operated process of inspection of plastics produced for food contact use. Rather, the FDA in their regulations provides certain specifications regarding composition, additives, and properties. A material which meets these standards can then be stated as FDA COMPLIANT. End users should note that it is their responsibility to use the product in a manner compatible with FDA guidelines.
Is it alright to use a plastic pitcher? I have reverse osmosis and I want to fill up a
plastic pitcher of this water to keep in the fridge. Are plastic pitchers low grade?
Not all platic water containers use recycled plastic. Your pitchers may fall under that description. Some of our Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers are examples of that. Try as we may, we will likely not be able to completely avoid using plastics like above, but minimizing them could be a good start. Truly, only time will reveal ultimately what impact plastics of any sort have on our health and environment. I wish you luck.
Bottom line, plastic is dangerous for us and the environment. In my opinion, and with some of the research I have done, so are some of the metals that we drink out of. While I understand some of the concern with drinking out of glass, namely their fragile nature, I can attest that this should not be as much of a concern as many people think. I ride my bike all over, to the beach, to the store, and beyond and I bring my glass water bottles everywhere and have had no trouble. Furthermore, while we do not sell them yet, you can put these glass bottles in any number of carrying cases. I do not want this to seem like a ploy, but we are proud of our glass bottles, want to help change the world and honestly there is nothing like drinking clean water out of a clear, thick glass bottle. If you like what I say, check them out at http://www.livinglavidaverde.net. However, whatever you do, stop drinking out of non-reusable plastic bottles. We have several articles, among the thousands of others online, on the risks of plastic to you and the environment.
What a night mare!!!!!!
My nieghbor drinks strong wine from single use plastic containers such as pint peanut jurs(plastic).
I hope he stops poisoning himself akin to the ancient roman lead gobblet rage.
Lead tasted sweet.
In ’87 circa i tasted plastic in a 5 gal. Alhamba bottle, complained by call long distance and was promised reimbursal after providingmy name ,which i never recieved.
Thank for helping .