Is There A Safe Plastic?

Whether any plastics are safe to use in baby and toddler products is a concern shared by many parents. After all, you really can't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that any particular chemical is safe and the same holds for plastics. There's just no way to account for all eventualities.

You can, however, demonstrate that something is dangerous or potentially dangerous, and certain plastics fall comfortably within this zone.

Unsafe Plastics
Recycle # Name Leach? Found In Reasons to avoid
#3 PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Yes

shower curtians, plumbing materials, commercial grade plastic wraps (i.e., the kind you might find in grocery store deli's), plastic toys (Congress recently banned the use in plastic toys)

PVC is a know human carcinogen

PVC can also cause reproductive and developmental damage

#6 PS (Polystyrene) Unknown foam and some clear takeout containers PS is classified by the EPA as a possible human carinogen
#7 PC (Polycarbonate) Yes-leaches BPA hard plastics such as: water bottles, sippy cups, baby bottles, lining in some metal cans and sometimes in 5 gallon water jugs PC is made with BPA which is known to leach estrogen into food or drink. BPA is a hormone disrupter and can also effect the prostate and mammary gland which may cause cancer in humans.


"Safe" Plastics
Recycle # Name Leach? Found In Reasons to Avoid
#1 PET or PETE (Polyethlene) not known to leach clear softer plastics such as: water bottles, soda bottles and ketchup bottles PET or PETE should only be used once and then recycled
#2 HDPE (High Density Polyethelene) not known to leach cloudy colored plastics, milkjugs, shampoo bottles HDPE - as with all plastics, avoid microwaving
#4 LDPE (Low Density Polyethelene) not known to leach re-usable food and drink containers, storage bags, and garbage bags LDPE - as with all plastics, avoid microwaving
#5 PP (Polypropylene) not known to leach tuperware (certain types), rigid containers, some takeout containers PP - as with all plastics, avoid microwaving