Does safe plastics mean safe for people, or safe for containers?
The word “plastic” can mean a wide variety of substances and contain many chemicals, some of which have been identified as potentially harmful. Manufacturers often add different chemicals to plastics to give them the exact characteristics they’re looking for, like flexibility, strength, and reduced production cost. These chemicals include dioxins, cadmium, parabens, bisphenol A, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), agricultural chemicals, polybrominated flame retardants, and some of the active ingredients in sunscreens. These are called endocrine disruptors, substances which when taken into our bodies, alter normal hormonal function.
Latest research has given us a lot of good reasons to think carefully about how we use plastics. Although some of these plastics are considered safe, there is still risk, no matter how small.
You can identify the type of plastic in a container by looking at the recycling code number.