How to determine which plastics are safe for storing foods or beverages

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by: Paul Fassa
Tags: food containers, plastics, health news

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(NaturalNews) By now, most Natural News readers are familiar with the potential health hazards of plastic containers for foods and beverages. Harmful chemicals can leech into the foods or liquids in these containers and bottles. Of course, one remedy is to avoid plastic food containers and bags completely. But this is not possible for most.

Thanks to a resin ID code numbering system, created for recycling purposes, anyone can judiciously determine which plastic containers and bottles have minimal health issues. There are seven types of petrochemical resins used for containers. Each single digit number, usually at the bottom of the bottle or container, represents one type. Of those seven types, three must be avoided.

Number 3

The number 3 on a plastic item tells you it contains PVC or polyvinyl chloride. Plastics containing PVC are toxic, mostly due to the plastic softener DEHA used in processing them. Reports of small children having negative health reactions from chewing on soft plastic toys containing PVC drew attention to this.

Even incinerating PVC plastics results in toxic dioxides released into the air. Long term DEHA exposure is carcinogenic. If cancer doesn`t occur, liver problems and loss of bone mass are consequences linked to DEHA. A lot of flexible plastic containers and plastic bags or wraps use PVC/DEHA as a softener

Number 6

Styrofoam cups are numbered 6 for the toxic polystyrene. Polystyrene is bad for the environment and your health, especially with hot liquids. The heat breaks the polystyrene into toxic styrene. This material is often used in cups containing soup concentrates that are brought to life with hot water, as well as in Styrofoam coffee and tea cups.

Number 7

The number 7 on the bottom of plastic containers or bottles indicates polycarbonates that often include BPA, or Bisphenol-A. There are rare occasions when BPA is not involved with number 7, but you'd have to check with the manufacturer and trust its claim. It may not be worth the effort unless you`re buying a plastic five gallon jug for water.

BPA mimics estrogen, one of the sex hormones. Too much estrogen disrupts hormonal balances. Women usually experience menopause while men tend to lose vigor. With men, low testosterone is usually the result of too much estrogen. Many breast cancer victims can attribute their cancers to hormonal imbalances.

Men who show high estrogen counts often age more quickly. Accumulating stomach fat is an indication of estrogen displacing testosterone. Prostate problems, including prostate cancer, are associated with sex hormone imbalances. Feminine characteristics in men can become more prevalent with too much estrogen.

For both men and women, the health hazards of estrogen dominance include loss of bone mass and decreased nerve health, possibly leading to dementia. The immune system is depressed, and emotional depression becomes more common. Hormone testing for bio-identical (natural) hormone replacement is the solution for any hormonal imbalance.

Plastic Baggies and Wraps

Going by the numbers is prudent for containers and bottles. The plastic containers and bottles with recycle code numbers 3 and 7 should be avoided or regulated for storing bolts and buttons. Styrofoam cups numbered 6 should be shunned completely.

But what about plastic wraps and baggies? There are no numbers on those items. Yet there are times when some of us need to use wraps and baggies for storing food items. According to health journalist Melissa Breyer in her Care 2 article, there are three wrap and baggie brands that claim to be free from PVC or BPA. (Care 2, source below)

Sources for More Information Include:

Care 2 article by Melissa Breyer: Which Plastics to Never Use with Food

Skip the Styrofoam Cups

PVC Soft Plastic Toys, Wraps, and Medical Devices

Hormonal Imbalances in Women

Hormonal Imbalances in Men

About the author

Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at

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