Plastic bottles release toxic material into the water. In fact, it is likely that the very water you are drinking may contain harmful chemicals closely related to congenital defects, growth and development problems and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Branded drinking water bottles label the content of the bottle to differentiate the toxic water bottles from the non-hazardous ones. These labels, marked at the bottom of the packaged water bottle, indicate the type of plastic used.
#1 PET or PETE [Polyethylene Terephthalate]
PET is used for soft drinks, water, juice, sports drinks, beer, peanut butter, jelly, jam, and pickles. It is intended for single-use; repeated and extended use increases the risk of leaching of unhealthy amounts antimony, as well as bacterial growth. According to the US Center for Disease Control, antimony can cause acute and chronic health issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach ulcers.
#2 HDP or HDPE [High Density Polyethylene]
HDP is the most widely used resin for plastic bottles. It is economical, impact resistant, provides a good moisture barrier, and releases no chemicals. It is supplied in FDA-approved food grade. Water packaged in these bottles is probably the healthiest.
#3 PVC or 3V [Polyvinyl Chloride]
Phthalates are used in the United States to make PVC more flexible. Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, including reduced sperm counts, testicular atrophy or structural abnormality and liver cancer.
#4 LDPE [Low Density Polyethylene]
LDPE is used to make plastic bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, bread, frozen foods, fresh produce, and household garbage. It is also used to make container lids, toys, and squeezable bottles (like honey and mustard).Though considered a low hazard plastic, LDPE should not be used in the production of bottles, especially water bottles.
#5 PP [Polypropylene]
PP is known for its high melting point making it ideal for holding hot liquids that cool in the bottles. PP is also commonly used for disposable diapers, pails, plastic bottle tops, margarine and yogurt containers, potato chip bags, straws, packing tape and rope. One of the safer plastics, it should be recycled and not thrown away.
#6 PS [Polystyrene]
PS can leach styrene, a known neurotoxin, linked to cancer – leukaemia and lymphoma – among other negative effects on red-blood cells, the liver, kidney, and stomach organs. Considering the toxic characteristic of styrene and leaching in water, PS plastic bottles should be avoided.
#7 PC [Polycarbonate]
PC, often used in sports water bottles, baby bottles and food containers, is a polymer made with hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA). Just one week of PC plastic use can increase urinary BPA concentration by two-thirds. Other health risks associated with BPA include reproductive abnormalities like lower sperm counts, hormonal changes, enlarged prostate glands, asthma, abnormalities in the number of chromosomes in eggs, and pre-cancerous changes in the breast and prostate.
Bottom line – Remember this rhyme
“With your food, use 4, 5, 1 and 2. All the rest aren’t good for you”
As of today, check the bottom of the bottle twice!