Bisphenol-a or BPA is a monomer for polycarbonate plastic. It chemically reacts with other liquid chemicals (monomers) to produce molecules of polycarbonate or epoxies (solid polymers). This has been revised from my previous post after receiving Kevin’s kind update below. Unfortunately recent studies have shown that when plastic containers with BPA are heated or chilled, a significant amount of the chemical can leak into the contents of the container. Furthermore, studies have linked BPA to health problems ranging from from cancer to infertility and obesity.
So knowing all these things about BPA’s, what’s the best course of action? Throw away (um, recycle) all your plastic containers? As it turns out, manufacturers are already marking plastics containing BPA with specific recycling symbols. The chart below shows which of these recyclable plastic types are likely to contain BPA:
|Symbol||Plastics type||Common use||Contains BPA?|
|Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)||Water bottles including most of those 16-20oz water bottles you can buy in bulk.Most 16-20oz & 2 liter plastic soda bottles||No|
|High-Density Polyethylene||Milk, detergent & oil bottles. toys and plastic bags||No|
|Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)||Some food wrap, vegetable oil bottles, blister packages, some water pipes, linings of some cans (sometimes pet food cans).||Yes|
|Low-Density Polyethylene||Shrink wrap, dry-cleaning bags||No|
|Polypropylene||Refrigerated containers, some bags, most bottle tops||No|
|Polystyrene||Throwaway utensils, Styrofoam cups, meat packaging, protective packing||No|
|Layered mixed plastics||Acrylics, polycarbonates (drinking bottles), polylactic acid (bio degradeable plastic containers), nylon and fiberglass||Yes|
So there you have it. All the information to let you make an informed decision on what to chuck into the recycling bin.