Which plastics leach toxins?

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Polycarbonate is the main one you want to stay away from. That leaches Bisphenol-A. Here's how to tell if your plastic is polycarbonate. Look on the bottom of your plastic container. If it's got a 7 inside the little triangular recycle symbol, that's either polycarbonate or "other" (indicating an unknown mix of different plastics). This plastic leaches toxins much faster if it's exposed to hot liquids, by the way.

PVC, denoted by the 3, uses BPA somewhat.
Also, so do epoxy resins. Look at epoxy resins like the popular JB Weld epoxy next time you're at home depot. The epoxy tube is Bisphenol-A-polyglycidyl ether. So, probably not a great idea to use this product around plumbing where it might leech into your drinking water supply. The same may also hold true for some types of pvc.

Plastics that don't have BPA are polyethylene, a very common plastic, which is used in 2-liter soda bottles, and has a 1 inside the triangular recycle symbol,
HDPE (High-density polyethylene), a somewhat less common plastic that's used in gallon milk jugs, and is denoted by the number 2,
LDPE (4) - Low density polyethylene (plastic bags)

More information on BPA can be found here

Another toxin to be aware of is phthalates, which can cause cancer, and hormonal imbalances, allergies, and mutation of the genitals in children. They're used in a lot of plastics and vinyl to make it flexible, and they not only leach through usage in food-type usages, it has also been shown that phthalate levels increase even when they're used externally, so it may be possible that this toxin can be absorbed through the skin. They're used in cars, children's toys, PVC as denoted by the "3" on the plastic recycling stamp, sex toys, and medical devices like IV tubes.
There is another dangerous toxin known as antimony. It is found in PET plastics (denoted by the number 1, also called Polyethylene), and is released in much higher concentrations with heat. So if you leave your plastic water bottles inside of a hot car during the summer, this poison is getting into the water. Here's an ASU study done by us Arizona folks that found that the PET water jugs that people use in Phoenix can leach dangerous levels of this when folk store polyethylene water jugs in their garages.
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Would a plastic item that melted in your dishwasher spread harmful toxins throughout the dishwasher making everything in the dishwasher unsafe to use again?

Melting plastic No harmful toxins, but probably a bad taste. It wouldn't hurt to run the load again.. Well I do not agree entirely, depending how bad the plastic was melted

What are toxins?

Answer . \nToxins are poisons. They may be natural or manmade..

What is leaching?

Answer Leaching means to dissolve and remove. Answer Leaching is the loss of soluble nutrients (of plants) from the soil as a result of rain and irrigation.

What is a toxin?

A toxin is a poison that is produced by bacterial pathogens anddamages cells.

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When you stir hot coffee with a plastic spoon does any of the plastic or any of the chemicals in the plastic leach into the liquid?

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