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What we do know though is that neither polypropylene nor melamine contain two of the toxins that have raised concern in recent years: bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.

BPA, primarily found in a type of plastic called polycarbonate or PC (recycle code 7), is toxic to the body in large doses and can increase your risk of breast and prostate cancer and heart disease, among other diseases. When containers made with BPA are heated, BPA levels in food have been found to increase.

Phthalates (such as the plasticiser diethylhexyl phthalate or DEHP) are primarily found in polyvinyl carbonate or PVC (recycle code 3) and have been found to cause problems with hormones and the reproductive system.

In general, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 1, 2, 4 and 5 are unlikely to contain either BPA or phthalates.

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