Saturday, January 9, 2010

Behind on green month, but I'm back! Plastics....

I'm not even sure anyone reads this blog, but if one person stumbles here and changes to one green habit, it's worth it.

As promised, here are the types of plastics and dangers therein.

Plastic types:
#1 PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) - Used in most clear beverage/water bottles - use in moderation and recycle after ONE use

#2 HDPE (high-density polyethylene) - Opaque food bottles, milk and water jugs - This is the safest choice if you have to use plastic

#3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride, aka vinyl) - Used in food containers, some plastic or cling wraps, some soft bottles, nail polish, photo album pages, pipes, vinyl siding, bean bag chairs, car seats, etc. - AVOID THIS PLASTIC. Do NOT let it touch your food. Toss that plastic wrap and use reusable containers instead. There are some eco friendly ones (crate & barrel has nice glass ones, has some stainless steel ones). PVC is a known human carcinogen that can lead to a number of cancers, endocrine disruption, endometriosis, neurological damage, birth defects, impaired child developement, and reproductive and immune system damage. PVC releases dioxins during its manufacture and disposal and cannot be easilty recycled because of its chlorine and additive content."* PVC also lowers sperm counts in men.

(low-density polyethylene) - Used in food storage baags and some soft bottles - this is a fairly safe plastic. It's one of the better choices if you have to use plastic

#5 PP (polypropylene) - Used in rigid containers, including some baby bottles, cups & bowls - Another safe plastic, if you need to use it

#6 PS (polystyrene) - Used in styrofoam, take-out containers, meat and bakery trays, clear take out containers, plastic silverware & plastic cups - AVOID THIS PLASTIC! It leaches chemicals into food, some of which are disruptive to normal hormone functions within our bodies. You ever get take-out in a styrofoam container, and the restaurant put too hot of food in the container and melted it? Throw it out! Do not eat it as this chemical will be IN your food and therefore, in your body

#7 polycarbonate
- Used in 5 gallon water bottles, baby bottles, and some metal can linings - AVOID THIS PLASTIC! Polycarbonate can release bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone disrupter that causes chromosomal disruption, miscarriages & birth defects and is now known to cause cancer. If your water bottle has a #7 on the bottom, throw it in the recycling bin! It's not worth it. This type of plastic is deadly to the human body

* "The Complete Organic Pregnancy" by Deirdre Dolan & Alexandra Zissu, HarperCollinsPublishers, C 2006


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