Do plastic bottles contain a toxic substance?

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some types of plastic bottles do, but not all.  The typical single use pop and water bottles have not been shown to release toxins into the liquids they contain, or to release them in quantity or type that does damage.  There is an urban legend that freezing a plastic water bottle releases carcinogens, but there is no truth to this.

Rigid plastic bottles like those used for baby bottles are made with a substance called bisphenol A or BPA, which some testing has linked to cancer causing toxins when used and reheated repeatedly.  Some states have banned BPA's in products intended for children, and even if the danger proves nonexistent, many parents are already buying non-BPA alternatives for their kids.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical similar to hormones, present in plastic made to last.

Products include baby bottles, cups, reusable containers for food and drink, CDs and DVDs, lenses for glasses and safety helmets. Recyclable plastic used in bottles is no containing BPA, which is used also in paints and adhesives.

French Agency for sanitary safety of food, conducts currently a new study on the toxicity of the substance BPA , whose results will be made public in early of 2010.

Toxicology experts say that to reduce exposure to bisphenol A people should avoid non-recyclable plastic containers that have No. 7 on the bottom. It Should be avoided their use in the microwaves and their washing with harsh detergents in washing machines.
Several French cities, among them Paris, have already banned bottles containing this substance, without waiting for research to rekindle how harmful is bisphenol A.