We are told to have lots of water stored in our homes and vehicles for emergency situations and that this water should be in store-bought, factory-sealed containers. But what about the safety issue of using plastic containers?
All plastic bottles are marked with the recycling symbol. Look for the interlocking arrows forming a triangle with a number inside indicating the type of plastic it contains. Although I must say it is often so small you can hardly see it.
I have read in various places that studies have shown that the numbers 1, 3, 6 and 7 should be avoided for the following reasons:
No. 1 contains polyethylene teraphthalate (PET). The container may have "PET" written on the container as well. These containers should not be reused. This type of plastic contains antimony, which is a possible human carcinogen (cancer causing); and phthalates, which can imitate estrogen and may disrupt the endocrine system; it also may be linked to cancer, heart disease and infertility. Uses include juice, salad dressing, mouthwash and pickle containers.
No. 3 contains polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is considered harmful and also contains DEHA as a plastic softener, which is linked to cancer. Uses include peanut butter jars, squeeze bottles, teething rings and plastic wraps.
No. 6 contains polystyrene, which may cause adverse effects to the nervous system and brain and is a potential carcinogen that could cause harmful effects to the functions of hormones. Uses include plastic silverware, Styrofoam, carry out containers, meat trays, vending cups, aspirin bottles and dairy containers.
No. 7 contains polycarbonates BPA (bisphenol A). The container may also have the symbol "PC" or "other" on it. These containers are non recyclable, shatterproof and generally clear. Canada has legally declared this a toxic substance, and it has been banned from use. Uses include reusable sports bottles, 5 gallon containers and reusable glasses, mugs and cups and baby bottles. This also can mimic estrogen and may cause hormonal and endocrine disruption or may cause developmental conditions, pre-diabetic conditions, and precancerous cells.
Remember: the amount of toxic leaching increases with heat.
Plastics labeled 2, 4 and 5 are considered safe, but more research is needed to prove their safety.
It's better to switch to stainless steel, glass or bamboo.
No. 2 contains high density polyethylene (HDPE). Its uses include milk containers, detergent bottles, freezer and grocery bags.
No. 4 contains low density polyethylene (LDPE). Its uses include frozen food packaging and condiment squeeze bottles.
No. 5 contains polypropylene (PP). Its uses include yogurt, medicine, drink and ketchup containers.
Store emergency water in safe containers that do not produce a chemical leach.
Get a good water filter, and filter your water at home and use safe, reusable non-plastic containers. This is a great investment for your health and our environment.
We should still not use tap water for long-term storage unless you boil or use a good filter source.
The harmful effects carry over to plastic waste disposal, which is contaminating our Earth and making our environment toxic, so if you do use plastic please recycle.
Please remember to contribute toward your OFA nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable at current levels without the support of participant contributions. Be aware that food stamps can be used toward your contribution. I do not want to have to make any further cuts to nutrition services. Thank you for your support.
Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Senior Nutrition Program provides nutritious noon meals at several Congregate Dining Sites throughout the county along with a Restaurant Dining Out Program. Our Dietitian, Cheryl Walhstrom, RD, is available for nutrition counseling in your home at no cost to you. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Call the office for more details and information.
Call 753-4471, 661-7471 or 363-4471.