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Learn about and to Avoid
Toxic Plastic Numbers #3 #4 #5 #7

Toxic Plastic Numbers #3 #4 #5 #7

Toxic Plastic Numbers #3,4,5,6,7

“Resin ID Codes.” Each number (1 through 6) signifies a specific type of plastic and usually appears inside a small triangle (often formed by three adjoining arrows) imprinted on the bottom of a plastic item.  The number “7” is used to represent a group of other plastics or combinations of plastics.

Lax regulations

"The use of these chemicals is totally unregulated internationally," Cooper said. "So even if there is a voluntary agreement in domestic markets, the cheap stuff from developing countries or export processing zones makes it on to our shelves and into our homes."

Among the more worrying materials for contaminate leaching is PVC (polyvinyl chloride), commonly referred to as vinyl. The chemicals leached during the PVC lifecycle include mercury, dioxins and phthalates. PVC is used in numerous consumer products, including adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, solvents, automotive plastics, plastic clothing, personal-care products (such as soap, shampoo, deodorants, fragrances, hair spray, nail polish), as well as toys and building materials.

Organizations including the U.S.-based National Toxicology Program, the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health agree that vinyl is one of only 52 chemicals/compounds designated as a confirmed human carcinogen.

Often found on the bottom of plastic bottles, other containers, and shopping bags, the numbers and letters shown with the chasing-arrows "recycling" symbol mean the following:

#1 PETE or PET (polyethylene terephthalate): used for most clear beverage bottles.
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