Plastics for Water Storage
"Use only food-grade containers" for storing water. (All is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, © 2007)
Understanding Plastics & Their Codes:
Codes used on various plastic products
The codes (numbers and letters shown with the chasing-arrows "recycling" symbol) which are found on the bottom of plastic bottles, other containers, and shopping bags, mean the following:
#1 PETE or PET (polyethylene terephthalate): used for most clear beverage bottles. (This is the safest plastic to use for water storage.)
#2 HDPE (high density polyethylene): used for "cloudy" milk and water jugs, opaque food bottles. (The Church counsels against using milk jugs for water storage: "Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.")
#3 PVC or V (polyvinyl chloride): used in some cling wraps (especially commercial brands), some "soft" bottles.
#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene): used in food storage bags and some "soft" bottles.
#5 PP (polypropylene): used in rigid containers, including some baby bottles, and some cups and bowls.
#6 PS (polystyrene): used in foam "clam-shell"-type containers, meat and bakery trays, and in its rigid form, clear take-out containers, some plastic cutlery and cups.
There have been some studies which indicate that polystyrene may leach styrene into food it comes into contact with. A recent study in Environmental Health Perspectives (http://ehpnet1.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2001/109p699-703ohyama/abstract.html) concluded that some styrene compounds leaching from food containers are estrogenic (meaning they can disrupt normal hormonal functioning). Styrene is also considered a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organizationís International Agency for Research on Cancer (http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/education/quicklist-detail.asp?Main_ID=353).
#7 Other (usually polycarbonate): used in 5-gallon water bottles, some baby bottles, some metal can linings.
Some studies have indicated that Polycarbonate may release its primary building block, bisphenol A, another suspected hormone disruptor, into liquids and foods. In 1998, the Japanese government ordered manufacturers there to recall and destroy polycarbonate tableware meant for use by children because it contained excessive amounts of bisphenol A. Other sources of potential bisphenol A exposure include food can linings and dental sealants.
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