Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Which Plastics Should Stay Away From Your Food?

What type of plastic containers should stay away from your food pantry, refrigerator or freezer? Here is a great guide from Yahoo Green:

Flip over the container and check the recycling code number. If you spy a number 3 or 7, they are no good for food. If there is no number listed, contact the manufacturer.

Number 3 is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), also known as vinyl. PVC has garnered the moniker "the toxic plastic" for the presence of DEHA -- one of several plasticizers (softeners) used in its production. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, long-term DEHA exposure has the potential to cause: Reduced body weight and bone mass, damage to liver and testes, and cancer. The manufacture and incineration of PVC also releases carcinogenic dioxins into the environment and food chain. Although PVC is not the most common plastic used for food storage containers, some are made from it and it is often used in plastic wrap to improve performance.

Number 7 includes several plastic types but it is predominantly polycarbonate. The problem with polycarbonate is that it harbors bisphenol A (BPA). Studies have shown that BPA damages the reproductive systems of lab animals by interfering with the effects of reproductive hormones and has other serious health effects. BPA's capacity to cause these stems from its ability to mimic the human hormone estrogen -- it has been linked to prostate and mammary gland cancers, early onset of puberty and reproductive-organ defects.

Source: Yahoo

1 comment:

  1. From what I understand, #6 is PVC, as well, and #1 (PETE) & #4 contain BpA ~ best bet is to avoid all but #2 (HDPE) & #5. I watch for these even in toys. Several years ago, Green Peace published a report card for toy-manufacturers, addressing who was using safe plastics & who wasn't.