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Toxic Plastic

post #1 of 134
Thread Starter 
There was a thread a few days (weeks?) ago that was titled funky fridges, or at least that was the point of the thread. I had mentioned that I recycle my cottage cheese dishes to hold leftovers so I can just throw the whole thing out if I am too scared to open it.

Someone posted something about the # on the plastic, and the level of toxicness. I remember #1 was bad, but wasn't there another one too?

And I had a customer tell me that if you freeze a water bottle, then drink the water as it melts, that it is toxic water. She said that it didn't matter what # plastic it was. :

I always do this! I freeze water, then drink it at the park, work, everywhere. I wouldn't drink much water if couldn't have frozen water so handy.

Someone! Please tell me it aint so!!! Please post any links so that I might educate myself on this horrible revelation!
post #2 of 134
wow hadn't heard that aboutt he water before...I too love to do that when I am going to be out, so I will be watching this with interest
post #3 of 134
I can't find the thread, but I have read that #7 is the worst...and what do you know, that's the type of bottle my water cooler at home has. :
post #4 of 134
It is true. I have read many an article on this. When you freeze the water in plastic the plastic leeches into the water and is toxic to the body. Also microwaving in plastic of any kind is toxic. Even covering a dish with plastic wrap...toxic. It was suggested to microwave with only glassware and to use paper towels to cover if necessary. Frozen TV type dinners should be removed from plastic containers and placed in a casserole dish to bake. Apparently, plastic is a carcagen (sp?). I have been real careful since reading about this. I went out and bought a wide mouth water bottle so I could fit larger size ice cubes and I fill my bottle with ice and a little water so it can melt slowly and stay cold. Tina
post #5 of 134
do a search in Natural Home..... Weve had several threads on the dangers of plastic with links to info about different #s. I just packed up all my tupperware and put it in the garage to see if I could really do without it. I bought some pyrex and have never looked back!
post #6 of 134
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for pointing me in that direction. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I guess it's better than poisoning myself.

And what's Pyrex?
post #7 of 134
Quote:
And what's Pyrex?

Glass food storage containers.
post #8 of 134
Here's one of the longer threads:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=156392

And here's another:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=171671

The basics are:
#1 is considered one of the safer plastics but should not be re-used.

#2 & #5 are also considered among the safer ones. They should never be microwaved (well, none of them should).

#3, #4, #6 & #7 are the ones that are worse. #3 is PVC and comes in the form of that white plastic piping stuff & also as soft, clear plastic-wrap. Very tricky. #4 is often used for plastic bags. #6 is essentially styrofoam. #7 is that clear, hard plastic that can sometimes be mistaken for glass from a distance. People often use these for water bottles (like Nalgene bottles).

The main problem with most plastic is that it leaches carcinogens into food & drinks, especially when they are heated or when the contents are higher in fat (like meat & cheese). #7 is also a hormone disrupter. I think #3 is a hormone disrupter, too, but don't quote me on that. All of this info can be found in the links in the threads above. I just really care about this stuff & I thought I'd give the basics for those of you who don't have time to read through the threads.
post #9 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainsmom
do a search in Natural Home..... Weve had several threads on the dangers of plastic with links to info about different #s. I just packed up all my tupperware and put it in the garage to see if I could really do without it. I bought some pyrex and have never looked back!
How do you freeze food? I asked about this at the beginning of the summer, and it seemed like it was real hard to get away from plastic.
post #10 of 134
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightCafe
I thought I'd give the basics for those of you who don't have time to read through the threads.
Thanks. That's what I needed, the basics, for starters anyway.

So I've been reusing the water bottles from the store. But as they are a #1, I can't reuse them. What about the rubbermaid sippers? I would assume those can be reused. Does anyone know what # they are? And can they be frozen.

And what about ice cube trays? They are plastic. What's up with that. And those plastic pop sickle trays....

Gosh... this is so hard. Everything is going to kill me.
post #11 of 134
#1 is one use only so definitely don't reuse it.

I agree w/the above post, but I have read that #s 2 & 4 are okay and 5 is somewhat okay.

BUT...freezing water? : I always freeze water, milk, juice in #2 Nalgene bottles for the cooler while camping. I haven't seen that printed anywhere.

Check out
www.thegreenguide.com
post #12 of 134
:
post #13 of 134
another idea for the microwave is to transfer food into a ceramic bowl and use paper plates as a cover. instead of nalgene bottles, a lot of mamas were recommending the alum sigg bottles, also in several posts on natural home and body.

when related threads about plastic were hopping on that boardi was pretty shocked that avent bottles are also a no-go, considering that so many moms freeze breastmilk in those bottles. argh!! we switched over to gerber tinted and medela bottles only, but are breastmilk storage bags ok? i'm assuming the enlightened folks at medela know better. please tell me this is so.
post #14 of 134
Thread Starter 
Ok, I found this:
http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc.mht...ferbabybottles

That implies that freezing breastmilk in #5 bottles are "safer". So the Rubbermaid #5 should be an ok halfway point.

Here's a likn to a page talking about the plastic storage bags for breastmilk.
http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/...sp?Main_ID=338

Here's a PDF file that has a lot of the popular name brands. But get out your spectacles, it's tiny print.
http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/...asticchart.pdf
post #15 of 134
Some posts say #4 is a bad one, some say it's ok? what's the deal... curious?

I apply this to toys, I was just reading in Mothering's book NFL about toys leaching lead if they are chlorinated plastic (or something like that), and I thought #2 and #4 were ok? I figure for young babies toys and food containers are pretty much the same!
post #16 of 134
Although we are not a totally plastic free home (by a long shot), I never microwave or put hot food in plastic containers. Or use plastic serving spoons. Always pyrex or ceramic. I'm curious how everyone freezes food though. Are freezer bags ok? I'm having a hard time getting away from freezer bags and of course ice trays. Its so hard to get totally away from plastic but I figure every little bit helps! And heating food and freezing foods seem to be the most dangerous.
post #17 of 134
Here's a link from the thread about plastics in Home & Body Care. It gives a pretty good summary of what the numbers mean:

http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/...sp?Main_ID=353

This one says to avoid #3, #6, & #7. I misspoke about #4. Sorry about that. I thought I read on that link that #4 should be avoided, too. My mistake.

I DO store food in plastic freezer bags, but I try not to let things thaw in the bag. I buy frozen veggies from a co-op & they come in plastic bags. I take them out when frozen & steam them on the stove. When freezing food yourself you can use pyrex (glass containers with plastic lids). I try to make sure the food doesn't contact the lid. There's also a brand called Luminarc that sells glass containers with plastic lids. They are freezer, microwave & dishwasher safe.
post #18 of 134
does anyone know about Brita water filters? It just occurred to me that it might be one of the bad plastics???
post #19 of 134
I don't know if this is on topic or not, but here is some info I found. on Urbanledgends.com

Microwave Ovens, Plastic Wrap and Dioxin


Analysis

While some of the claims made in these emails are questionable at best, food safety experts do agree that consumers should take the following precautions when using plastic wrap or plastic containers in a microwave oven:

Only plastic containers or packaging labeled "Microwave Safe" should be used in microwave ovens.

If plastic wrap is used when microwaving, it should not be allowed to come into direct contact with food. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, chemical components can indeed "migrate" from plastics into food at microwaving temperatures. However, there is scant evidence to date, says the agency, that such contaminants pose a serious threat to human health.

Dioxins in plastic wrap?

Dioxins and dioxin-related compounds are pollutants that mainly enter the environment (and food supply) as industrial by-products. Particular dioxin compounds are considered to be highly toxic, with known health hazards ranging from birth defects to cancer.

Studies have shown that dioxins may be released into the atmosphere when chlorinated plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - which is a component of some plastic wraps and food packaging - are incinerated at high temperatures, but there is no research demonstrating that dioxins are produced when the same plastics are heated in a microwave oven.

DEHA [Di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate]

DEHA is a "plasticizer" - a softening compound added to plastic products to make them more pliable. It is an ingredient in some plastic wraps. Studies - including the one initiated by high school student Claire Nelson (mentioned in one of the email texts above) - have shown that DEHA can migrate into food.

At issue is whether or not it is toxic to human beings. The current scientific consensus is that it is not - at least not in the minute amounts resulting from migration from plastics into foods.

Even though DEHA has long been regarded as a possible human carcinogen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed it from its list of toxic chemicals in the late 1990s after concluding, based on a review of the scientific evidence, that "it cannot reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer, teratogenic effects, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, gene mutations, liver, kidney, reproductive or developmental toxicity or other serious or irreversible chronic health effects."

Controversy

It must be noted that while the plastics industry and government health agencies in both the U.S. and Europe currently maintain that chemicals migrating into food from plastic wraps and containers pose no human health threat, consumer and environmental groups say otherwise. Both sides support their case by citing a lack of concrete evidence. The FDA argues that no studies have yet demonstrated toxic effects on humans; consumer advocates argue that not enough studies have been done.

Virtually all sources do agree on one important point: Consumers can and should protect themselves when using plastic products in the microwave by following the basic precautions stated above.
post #20 of 134
aww man! I just stopped microwaving plastic a few months ago, and kick myself when I look back. When we started dd on solids, we reused thos little applesauce containers for bowls and reheated the ice cubes of baby foods in them. I just looked and they're #7. Until today, we used them still for cold foods. Poor thing! They are going now!
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