What you need to check when you buy bottled water

When buying bottled water, consumers are advised to check the bottom of the bottle, in order to protect their health.

Plastic bottles labeled with letters like HDP, HDPE, PP and a few others, do not release any toxic material in the water, and the remaining letters can represent the chemicals found in the water you are drinking.

Every brand must label the content of the bottle, they will either have the letters, numbers or number symbols shown in the graphic.

#1 PET or PETE

– stands for single-use bottles. These bottles can possibly release heavy metals and chemicals that affect the hormonal balance.

“PET is one of the most commonly used plastics in consumer products, and is found in most water and pop bottles, and some packaging. It is intended for single use applications; repeated use increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth. PET plastic is difficult to decontaminate, and proper cleaning requires harmful chemicals. Polyethylene terephthalates may leach carcinogens.”

#2 HDP or HDPE

This plastic is used to bottle milk, water, juice, cosmetics, shampoo, dish and laundry detergents and, household cleaners. Bags for groceries and cereal box liners are also made out of the stuff.

HDPE is considered a low hazard plastic.

But, as a 2011 study pointed out, most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals — including HDPE. Chemicals having estrogenic activity (EA) are suspected to cause health problems, especially at low doses in fetal and juvenile mammals. EA exposure has been shown to alter the structure of human cells, posing potential risks to infants and children. As the authors pointed out, “all commercially available plastic itemswould leach detectable amounts of chemicals having EA once such items are exposed to boiling water, sunlight (UV), and/or microwaving.” [emphasis added]

It’s worth noting that, as NPR pointed out, The “study doesn’t look at health risks. It simply asks whether common plastic products release estrogen-like chemicals other than BPA.”

“HDPE plastic is the stiff plastic used to make milk jugs, detergent and oil bottles, toys, and some plastic bags. HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and is considered one of the safest forms of plastic. It is a relatively simple and cost-effective process to recycle HDPE plastic for secondary use.”

#3 PVC or 3V

– releases 2 toxic chemicals that affect the hormones in your body.

“PVC is a soft, flexible plastic used to make clear plastic food wrapping, cooking oil bottles, teething rings, children’s and pets’ toys, and blister packaging for myriad consumer products. It is commonly used as the sheathing material for computer cables, and to make plastic pipes and parts for plumbing. Because PVC is relatively impervious to sunlight and weather, it is used to make window frames, garden hoses, arbors, raised beds and trellises.”


These plastics are found in bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, bread, frozen foods, fresh produce, and household garbage.

They’re used in shrink wrap, coatings for paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups.

LDPE is used to make container lids, toys, and squeezable bottles (like honey and mustard).

LDPE is considered a low hazard plastic.

#5 PP

– another white colored or semi transparent plastic, used as a packing for syrups and yoghurt cups.

“Polypropylene plastic is tough and lightweight, and has excellent heat-resistance qualities. It serves as a barrier against moisture, grease and chemicals. When you try to open the thin plastic liner in a cereal box, it is polypropylene. This keeps your cereal dry and fresh. PP is also commonly used for disposable diapers, pails, plastic bottle tops, margarine and yogurt containers, potato chip bags, straws, packing tape and rope.”

#6 PS

Sometimes called Styrofoam, this is a plastic that’s commonly found in food service items like cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, hinged take out containers (clamshells), meat and poultry trays, and rigid food containers (e.g. yogurt), and aspirin bottles. Polystyrene is also used to make protective foam packaging for furniture.

This is another plastic you’ll want to avoid.

A fundamental problem is that styrene can leach from polystyrene. Styrene has been linked to cancer, but the Environmental Protection Agency has not given it a formal carcinogen classification. That said, the EPA admits there’s an association to an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma (among other things). Other studies show that styrene can act as a neurotoxin in the long term. Studies on animals report harmful effects of styrene on red-blood cells, the liver, kidney, and stomach organs. That said, most styrene concerns don’t appear to come from polystyrene.

The NIHL lists styrene as a probable carcinogen, but says that the styrene leached from polystyrene food containers are at “very low” levels. It also notes that styrene is known to cause lung tumors in mice.

A 2007 study showed that, in Styrofoam and PS cups, “hot water was found to be contaminated with styrene and other aromatic compounds.” Temperature was shown to play a major role in the leaching of styrene. But whether or not styrene leaches into food and water from polystyrene at dangerous levels is a claim that’s still contested. But as the 2007 study concludes, “Considering the toxic characteristic of styrene and leaching in water and other products, PS material should be avoided for food packaging.”

#7 PC or non-labeled plastic

– the most dangerous plastic in the food production which releases BPA chemicals and it is often used in the production of sports water bottles and food containers.

This category was designed as a catch-all for polycarbonate (PC) and “other” plastics, so reuse and recycling protocols are not standardized within this category. Of primary concern with these plastics, however, is the potential for chemical leaching into food or drink products packaged in polycarbonate containers made using BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor.

From now on be sure to check your bottles.! Be sure to SHARE this with your friends!

Me personally i will be sticking to a glass bottle.

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