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Is Your Plastic Poisoning You?

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

Staying hydrated during the summer should be our number one priority, but empowhered women must do so in a smart and informed fashion! Although reaching for a bottle of water is often the most convenient, is it the most healthy? Is it safe?

In the last few years, there seems to be more and more controversy about plastic. Other than the environmental concerns, there are a variety of health concerns and simply knowing the facts about plastics can help you make an informed decision about what is safe and healthy.

PET, HDPE, LDPE, PS, PP. This alphabet of abbreviations make up some of the chemicals that are found in the mysterious plastic products we so often eat and drink out of. To simplify things a bit (and simultaneously complicate them) let’s organize plastics by their designated numbers and learn a bit about each:

#1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE): Clear, sturdy & shatterproof. Used for bottles of water, juice, etc. Generally regarded as safe.

#2: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): Used for bottles of water, juice, milk, and hygienic supplies. Generally regarded as safe.

#3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC, vinyl): Can be rigid or soft plastic. Used in shrink wrap, medical bags, shower curtains. Poses a threat to environmental and individual health safety. NOT SAFE.

#4: Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE): Used for extra flexible plastic like plastic bags, garbage bags, some toys, and packaging. Generally regarded as safe.

#5: Polypropylene (PP): Known for its high melting point and used for many food bottles like catsup, yogurt, take-out meals. Generally safe.

#6: Polystyrene (PS): Rigid or foam form. Used for foam in furniture, food packaging and containers. NOT SAFE.

#7: This category of plastic is the “other” category, which is generally regarded as UNSAFE.


1) Numbers 3,6 and 7 are not regarded as safe and should not be used as food containers. Check the bottom of your plastics to find out what kind it is.

2) Although FDA standards state that many of these plastics are safe, numerous studies have found that most of the plastics that have been declared as “safe,” often leach Bisphenol A (BPA)!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.