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Plastic or Not?


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Our homes are full of plastic, and the kitchen is no exception. The problem: Chemicals in plastic containers and other kitchenware may leach into the foods or drinks that they're holding. Scientific evidence suggests that some of these chemicals may be harmful to people, especially infants and children.


The two best-studied offenders are bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. BPA mimics estrogen and has been shown to disrupt hormone and reproductive system function in animals. Research by the National Toxicology Program found a moderate level of concern about its "effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children." Phthalates have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system and have led to malformations in the male reproductive system in animals. Studies in humans have found associations between high phthalate exposure and a variety of health concerns including low sperm quality, high waist circumference and insulin resistance.


Look on the bottom of your plastic to find the recycling symbol (a number between 1 and 7 enclosed in a triangle of arrows). The code indicates the type of plastic you are using and can give you important clues about safety. 1, 2, 4 and 5 are considered to be the safest.


Reconsider the microwave. Heat can increase the rate at which chemicals like BPA leach from plastic. Even better, do not use plastic at all in the microwave. Put it on a plate or in a ceramic bowl before heating.


Of course this may seem like common sense to many of us, but then we have not always lived with the types and kinds of plastic that are widely in use today.

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Interesting and worrying stuff Mary especially as most soft drinks and microwave foods all come in plastic.... infact most things do, even meats, yoghurts and day to day fridge foods :shock:


I just looked on our plastic drinks bottles and other plastic items etc to check them but can't find any code like the one you mention.... all mine have is a standard recycle sign :?


You've got me paranoid now :shock::lol:

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What worries is me is that most plastic never degrades, Indy James types 2,000 years from now will be digging up our plastic bottles and containers. A year ago I bought some drinking water in a 'plastic' bottle made from corn that promised to degrade -- or what is the word -- turn into compost. But haven't seen it since.


Some years ago people were worried about vinyl recordings - what will happen when we run out of petroleum. That question has been resolved nicely. My grandson has 2,000 popular (?) recordings on a little piece of electronics and plastic the size of my thumb.

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