The Health Risks Posed By Plastic
The good news is that most plastics are safe when used properly. For example, most plastic bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is a lightweight plastic that the Food and Drug Administration has deemed to be perfectly safe and free of risk when used as intended. (You can be sure you have a PET bottle in your hands if you see the number "1" within the recycling triangle that adorns most food containers.)
Unfortunately, however, some plastic bottles contain a compound known as bisphenol A (BPA), which some believe may increase the risk of diabetes, liver problems, heart disease and other problems. Food and drink container products that are most likely to contain BPA are baby bottles, plastic cutlery, microwaveable dishware, plastic bottle caps, and even the very thin, inner liners of some cans.
It is important to note that the risk posed by BPA remains controversial as some do not believe that is poses significant risk. For example, the FDA has stated that BPA amounts commonly found in food and drink containers are typically too low to pose any serious threat. Other groups, however, feel otherwise. Most notably, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is overseen by the National Institutes of Health, has tested human BPA-containing food containers on animals and found that some animals were adversely affected by BPA. While these adverse effects were not severe, they were substantial enough for the NTP to conclude that containers that have BPA do pose "some threat" to fetuses, infants and small children. On the other hand, the NTP has concluded that containers that have BPA pose "minimal threat" to adults and older children.