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Which Plastic Containers Can I Safely Use? | LIVESTRONG.COM
Plastic containers contain many chemicals, some of which have been identified as potentially harmful. You should avoid two chemicals in particular: bisphenol A and phthalates. Both of these chemicals interfere with animal and human hormones.
Researchers have better identified the harmful effects of bisphenol A; pthalates are generally considered safe by comparison. Still, better safe than sorry. Whether a plastic container has bisphenol A or phthalates in it depends on its type. You can identify the type of plastic in a container by looking at the recycling code number.
Type 1: Polyethylene Teraphthalate – Do Not Reuse
You commonly find Type 1 plastic in bottles for juices, salad dressing, water, vegetable oil and mouthwash. Peanut butter and pickle jars often contain type 1 plastic as well. Polyethylene teraphthalate is light-weight, clear and smooth; its manufacturers intend it for a single use only.
While it does not contain bisphenol A or phthalates, it does contain antimony, a possible human carcinogen. Also, harmful bacteria can build up in it as you reuse it. Polyethylene teraphthalate containers may have the symbol “PET” on them.