The hidden numbers that could be damaging your health.
Ok so I was pumping iron in the gym this morning when all of a sudden I hear two blokes to the right of me start talking. Honestly I wasn’t trying to listen in or anything…well maybe a little, but they were talking loudly and I was resting after completing my third and final set. I can’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but it was something like this…
Dave: John lemme have a look at your water bottle
John: Why? You’ve got your own mate
Dave: Just something I read on the tinterweb (I am guessing he meant the internet) last night. Wanna check to see if your bottle is poisonous
I don’t actually know if these were their real names or not as I wasn’t ear wigging that much. They just looked like a John and a Dave to me, actually come to think of it the tall one probably looked more like a Paul? Anyway that doesnt matter, this was the part where my little ears pricked up. Water bottle…poisonous? Yup that sure got my attention.
John: What are you talking about…poisonous?
Dave: Well apparently if the little triangle on the bottom of ya bottle has a number 1 in it then you should not use it more than once due to the chemicals leakin into the water.
This conversation continued whilst I pretended to do some other exercise still listening in until they both got up and left the area I was in. Now obviously it’s one thing listening in to someone else’s conversation from the same room but it’s another to then follow and stalk these people around the gym to continue to listen to their conversation. I would have to research this myself…was it really possible that the bottle I use every day in the gym could be damaging to my health?
The Little Hidden Number In A Triangle
I have been drinking from these bottles for years but have never once noticed the secretive little number that resides in the triangle that can usually be found hiding at the bottom of the bottle. So what do these numbers mean? Which are safe and which are not? Well with a little research I found the following.
Plastics that are safe include the numbers 2, 4 and 5.
#2: HPDE (high-density polyethylene):
This is a high density plastic which is very resilient to chemical leaching. This plastic is usually found in milk jugs and shampoo bottles.
#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene):
This plastic like above is also resilient to chemical leaching. You will mostly likely find this plastic in sandwich bags and shopping bags.
#5 PP (polypropylene):
PP is another plastic that is resistant to chemical leaching. It is semi transparent or white in appearance and is used for yogurt containers and syrup bottles.
Now for the bad numbers…1, 3, 6 and 7
#1 PET/PETE (polyethylene terephthalate):
These bottles should only be used a single time and then thrown away immediately after. You should try and avoid these whenever possible due to the leaching of the heavy metal antimony and the hormone disrupting chemical BPA.
#3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride):
This is the most common plastic found in water bottles. PVC plastic is known to leach 2 dangerous chemicals DEHP (di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate) and bispehonal-A.
#6 PS (polystyrene):
PS leach’s styrene which is a known carcinogen. Side effects of this chemical include headaches, dizziness, fatigue and drowsiness. PS is usually found in disposable cups and containers.
#7 PC/PLA: Polycarbonate:
This is most definitely the worst plastic to use as it’s made with BPA. The worrying thing here is that it can be found in baby bottles, water coolers, re-usable water bottles and storage containers that are used for food.
Drink in Safety
In addition to looking out for the above there are a few other tips that can make sure that the water you are drinking is safe.
• Don’t drink any bottled water that has been sat around for months.
• Have a little smell of your water before you have a drink. If it has a plasticy smell then throw it away.
• Keep your bottled water in the shade and away from direct sunlight. When plastic becomes hot it leaches chemicals into the water at a quicker rate. Who wants warm water anyway?
• If possible drink tap water and buy a suitable container to contain it. The best containers are made of either the safe plastics mentioned above, stainless steel or glass.
Next time I go to the gym I am going to make sure I have a bottle made from HDPE (high density polyethylene) that is manufactured without BPA. When I think of the amount of times I have used my water bottle in the past it is quite frightening to think of the hazardous chemicals I have been in taking with every mouthful of water.
Please Share or like this article to raise awareness of this not well known danger. While a lot of people feel they are being healthy they are unaware of the chemicals they are swallowing in their water due to old and un-suitable bottles.