Which plastics pose health hazards as containers for food or drink?
This information is from the Green Guide:
Look on the bottom of the plastic container for the recycling logo (a triangle of three arrows) with a number inside it. Sometimes, on very small containers, the number appears without a logo.
The plastics that pose no known health hazards:
1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)
2. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
4. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
5. Polypropylene (PP)
Plastics with potential health hazards:
3. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or vinyl)
Some research has shown that the phthalates in PVC food wraps and vinyl flooring are endocrine disruptors linked to various health problems. Water and vegetable oils sometimes are bottled in PVC, and many toys and baby teethers contain PVC.
6. Polystyrene (PS or Styrofoam)
Styrene is a possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. Avoid consuming hot liquids, fatty foods or alcoholic drinks from styrofoam containers, as these leach out styrene. Some opaque plastic cutlery is PS as well.
7. Other resins, including polycarbonate (PC):
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a main building block for PC products, is an endocrine disruptor. Most clear baby bottles and five gallon water bottles, as well as Lexan (Nalgene) water bottles and plastic-lined food cans, are made of PC.