Plastic touches almost everything in modern life from television to transportation to baby bottles and other products for children. But which plastics are safe? And which plastics are the ones we need to be the most cautious of as parents? Stick around and we will answer all those questions.
The Skinny on Plastics
Most plastics will have a resin identification number that will alert you to what type they are. If they don’t have a number, throw them away.
After you find the number compare it to the image above.
- Safe, but don’t reuse or heat. Plastic #1 is called PET and PETE.
- Safest. Plastic #2 is HDPE and one of the safest plastics that you will find. They are okay to reuse.
- NOT SAFE. Plastic #3 is Vinyl or PVC and are normally containing lead or phthalates and releasing dioxin.
- Safe, but not recycled often. Plastic #4 is LDPE and is safe to reuse.
- Safe, but do not microwave. Plastic #5 is Polyprpylene, known as PP and is safe to reuse, but not to microwave.
- NOT SAFE. Plastic #6 is Polystyrene and can leach a neurotoxin known as styrene.
- Sometimes safe. Plastic #7 is the catch-all for various types of plastic that don’t fit in the other classifications. Some are made with BPA.
Being a Mom Means Providing Your Children With a Safe Environment
Moms are faced with many difficult decisions every day, and one of our biggest responsibilities is the health and safety of our children. It is amazing how many new and unique inventions people have created to help cut time and costs out of our daily tasks, but unfortunately some of those inventions – like the unsafe plastics discussed above – can have devastating effects on the health and safety of our children. When we choose to use unsafe plastics, we are choosing to introduce chemicals like neurotoxins and synthetic hormones into our children’s bodies, which can in turn affect their future health and wellness. As moms, we have to take responsibility for knowing what levels of safety we are comfortable with for our kids – we may not all make the same decisions, but we are responsible for the ones we do. Mamavation encourages mothers to choose safer options and reduce the amount of toxins to which our children are exposed.
Look for Plastic in Foods
Plastic is not just found as a food container – it can also be found lining the inside of canned goods, as interior packaging, and also in utensils.
Try to avoid using plastic utensils and certain food containers as shown in the graphic above. Canned foods are also dangerous because the vast majority of the cans are lined with BPA, which is unsafe. Also, use caution when choosing cookware for food prep and cooking, as some of these products also contain unsafe plastics. Don’t forget to check your food storage containers as well – you may want to find safer plastic options for those as well.
One important fact to note is one form of plastic has scientifically been linked to weight gain, and that is BPA. BPA is a classified Obesogen, which means exposure this type of plastic leads to weight gain. In addition, BPA is a hormone disrupter that has been shown to simulate estrogen in studies and can leach into food the longer the product is in contact with BPA.
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