The dangers of plastic are not a light-hearted topic because plastic may not be as safe and dependable as originally thought. It has been discovered that many common plastics used in homes to store food and drinks seep cancer-producing toxins. Disruption of hormones, obesity, reproduction problems, and even cancer are some of the results of these toxins.
Some people claim that there hasn’t been sufficient research or evidence to prove that plastics are dangerous for humans to use. However, there are safer alternatives that aren’t difficult to adjust to, so why take the risk of using dangerous plastics? If you want to play it safe, you should avoid these plastics.
Because of the dioxins released when it’s manufactured, #3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is considered to be a harmful plastic. Not only can they cause cancer, it is difficult to pass dioxins from the body because they gather in fatty tissue. Believed to cause hormonal problems and cancer, flexible PVC is usually used to wrap foods such as meat in the United States. The construction industry also relies heavily on hard PVC for plumbing.
Most kind of disposable plates, cups, and carry-out containers are made out of #6 PS (polystyrene), more commonly known as Styrofoam. Another source of hormonal problems and cancer, Styrofoam has been shown to exude toxins into food as well.
Causing problems not unlike those caused by phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA) is found in #7 PC, considered to be another dangerous plastic. Ultimately, Type 2 Diabetes may develop because of BPA, since it can disrupt the proper function of the pancreas and insulin production. BPA is used to line the inside of canned foods, as well as to create baby bottles, microwave oven cookware, and disposable eating utensils.
Clearly, if your using these substances on a regular basis, you need to pay attention. The dangers of plastic bottles made from the substances above are not imaginary.
There are plastics available that aren’t harmful to use however, which is welcome news. These safe plastics have been found not to seep chemicals into edibles or the environment. The following plastics are considered to be not harmful to humans.
NOTE: This means that so far we have found no danger in these plastics. This is NOT the ‘final’ conclusion, however.
Having shown no signs of unfavorable health effects, #2 HDPE has the additional benefit of being recyclable.
Also showing no signs of seeping chemicals, #4 LDPE is becoming more and more popular among beverage bottling companies.
Another plastic that appears to cause no health problems is #5 PP, however there have been problems recycling it.
Beverage bottling companies, especially for sports drinks, have also been using #1 PET (polyethylene terephthalate) for a long period of time. These bottles are created only for single use, though they can be recycled. However, these bottles aren’t entirely safe; when kept for a long time, PET can seep into the beverage it holds, according to various studies. Luckily, PET seems to cause no long term problems, only a brief period of gastrointestinal distress.
Made out of starch-based plants (for example, corn), PLA (polylactide) is another safe plastic. These plastics are biodegradable, and usually do so in less than two weeks, so recycling is unnecessary.
If you want to be completely safe, the best course of action is to avoid plastics whenever you can. As an added bonus, there is a growing amount of non-biodegradable plastic all over the Earth and you won’t add to this stash if you avoid plastics. Besides which, you won’t be submitting your fragile body to the danger of plastic.