Did flu kill pop superstar Prince?

As news reports swirled Thursday about the death of pop icon Prince, fans and media personalities alike took to social media to question the cause, which hasn’t been confirmed.

Not much is known about Prince’s underlying health conditions, but in April 2009 the 57-year-old, born Prince Rogers Nelson, talked to People magazine about his struggle with epilepsy as a child. More recently, reports suggested Prince had been suffering from influenza for several weeks and was hospitalized in Illinois for the respiratory condition last week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s flu season has been milder than previous years’, but the flu vaccine is also thought to be more effective. It’s unclear whether Prince received this year’s flu vaccine.

Young people and the elderly, as well as individuals who are immunosuppressed, are likelier to experience severe effects from the flu, including death, according to the CDC. Antiviral drugs or prescription drugs can be used to treat the flu, and failure to do so in severe cases can lead to complications such as pneumonia, which also can be life-threatening.

According to the CDC, antivirals are most effective when begun within 48 hours of getting sick. For the best chance at recovering from the flu, the CDC recommends lots of rest and drinking sufficient fluids.

TMZ reported Friday that Prince had to cancel two shows on April 7 due to the illness, but he wanted to do a show the night of April 14, despite still not feeling well. He got on a plane afterward and his symptoms worsened, after which the plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Ill., and was rushed to the hospital. Three hours later, he was released.

On April 21, the singer was found dead at Paisley Park Complex in Chanhassen, Minn., and the Carver County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Twitter that it was investigating the death at the complex.

4 QUICK EXERCISES TO GET RID OF UNDERARM FLAB AND BACK BULGE IN 3 WEEKS

Underarm flab and back bulge can make every woman very uncomfortable because of the looks. It is a problem for wearing a bra also and dieting is not very effective for reducing, but here are some exercises that can help you to get rid of it in a short period of time.

These should be for sure possible to be done at the comfort of your home, either utilizing a band with handles, elastic banding, tubing, hand weights or simply moving your hands just.

On the off chance that is done reliably every day, you are ensured to lose that fat in a matter of three weeks chance.

Entirely mind-blowing, yet genuine and possible.

These activities include:

Elbow kiss

Spread your arms on both sides to the height of your shoulders, palms confronting up. At that point overlay every arm at the elbow to make a ninety degrees edge upwards.

Swing the hands while collapsed to the front so they shut in at the elbow with lower arms touching on the sides. In conclusion, give back the arms to their starting position. Make sure to do sets of three, 10 repetitions.
Push and touch

Lift your extended arms overhead from the laying position on the sides of your body and it would be better to use hand weights or even a band. Remaining with your extended arms on the sides, palms confronting forward, lift them to the shoulder level at the same time than over your head. Finally, then get the arms back into position and make sure to do a set of 3 times with around 6 rehashes each.

Crisscross reverse fly

Place your legs separated near the width of your shoulders, marginally twist at the knees for solidness and afterward twist forward at the waist, close to 90 degrees, so that your head looks down. Hold the hand weight or dumbbell on every hand bowed at the elbow keeping in mind palms face towards one another. At that point raise your hands to the level of or somewhat lower than your shoulders. Do a set of 3 every 10 times.

Bent-over circular row

With legs separated to the level of your shoulder, curve forward for ninety degrees by using every hand at once and move the dumbbell towards the other hand and take it with it then move it towards the mid-section and the back to the broadened position in a roundabout movement. Do three arrangements of 10 reiterations each.

These exercises are a complete winner against underarm flab and back bulge. Don’t wait and sit there start now and see the results for yourself.

It may take some time but it will be worth it. A little bit of discipline and continuity are crucial to achieving such a goal. Make a plan and organize your time to complete these exercises.

And finally, trust in these exercises and be persistent for three weeks and get rid of underarm flab and back bulge for sure.

How To Get Rid of Ants In a Natural Way

When spring and summer come, there are more and more mosquitoes, insects, especially ants. Luckily, there are many ways to get rid of them and the best thing is that most of the preparations that we need to eliminate them are already in our homes. We are suggesting you several of the most efficient and simplest ways of how to get rid of ants.

Make your own natural preparation against the boring ants!

  • Lemon juice: Put some freshly squeezed lemon juice. Citric acid bothers ants and as soon as they sense it, they go further and further from it. Squeeze some lemon juice along the cracks. As we have previously said, ants don’t like citric acid.
  • Cinnamon: The ethereal cinnamon oil should be applied on all the corners where ants appear (you can do it with the help of cotton swabs). You can also prepare a liquid from half a liter of water and two tablespoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle the places where there are ants or just put some cinnamon on the critical spots (follow the ant trail). They will disappear quickly. This is a checked and efficient combination.
  • Sprinkle a solution made of vinegar and water (2:1) on the places where ants have appeared. The log percentage kills the ants without worrying that you will destroy your furniture. This is an excellent way to get rid of ants if you already know where they are.
    You can use vinegar in many ways. You can put it directly on the hot spot (if you find it). It is guaranteed that it will destroy all the ants and prevent them from reappearing. Then, you can sprinkle the corners and the small holes with a combination of vinegar and dishwashing detergent.
  • Water and dishwashing detergent: Boil half a liter of water and add 50 ml of dishwashing detergent. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the critical spots. You can also use this excellent trick for weeds.
  • Baking soda and powder sugar: Mix equal quantities of baking soda and powder sugar. Put the mixture on the places which are full of ants. In a couple of days, you will completely destroy them.
  • Put a red chili pepper (if you don’t have small children or pets) on the ant trail. It will make them disappear quickly.
  • Feed the ants with cornflour. They will take it to their nests, but because they can’t digest it, it will kill them. Corn flour isn’t dangerous for children or pets.
  • Chalk: You can buy cheap chalk in all of the farming chemicals shops. You just draw a line and don’t worry, ants won’t try to cross it. Draw the cracks too (if you have them). It will stick into them and ants don’t like it (they don’t like the calcium carbonate from the chalk). It will keep them away from the places where you’ve applied the chalk.

Beets Flush Toxins Out Of Your Body And REVERSE Cancer Risk

For some kids, eating a beet could be considered a form of torture. Maybe if they knew just how good beets are for you—or that astronauts on Apollo 18 served them to their Russian comrades in a traditional borscht meal—they would be more willing to let beets into their lives.

Beets Also referred to as beetroot or table beet, are part of the chenopod family. Sound familiar? That’s because previous superfood articles—like those we wrote on quinoa and spinach—featured vegetables from the exact same family. It must be something in the genes that gives these plants health benefits not found in other food families. The chenopod family contains red and yellow betalain pigments and carotenoids, and there is a specific connection between these phytonutrients and nervous system health. All these things help make this family great for the human body.

Betalains are a rare source of phytonutrients found within beets. Betanin and violaxanthin are two forms of betalains—both provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. A few other foods containing betalains are rhubarb, chard, amaranth, and nopal (Mexican prickly pear) cactus.

To beet or not to beet

The history of the beet is a long one. Its ancestor, the wild beet, is thought to have originated in North Africa. Beets were chosen to be featured in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the ancient Romans used it as an aphrodisiac. It seems weird, but they were onto something: Beets contain a high amount of boron, and boron is directly related to the production of sex hormones, helping menopausal women regain their sex drive.

During the Middle Ages, beetroot was used for medicinal purposes. Any issue that involved digestion or illnesses of the blood would use this special ingredient. We don’t know whether people were actually cured of their illnesses, but they were certainly getting some important vitamins and minerals in their diet!

Napoleon also played a role in the popularity of beets. When access to sugar cane was restricted by British powers, Napoleon sent out a decree saying beets would become the main source of sugar.

Beets for your health

Like other superfoods, beets are packed with many needed vitamins and minerals. Beets are high in potassium; magnesium; fiber; phosphorus; iron; vitamins A, B, and C; beta-carotene; beta-cyanine; and folic acid. The high levels of vitamin B and iron help pregnant women form new growth cells during their pregnancy. All these nutrients work together to make the beet a great food to help prevent colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate, and testicular cancers.

With the help of pectin polysaccharides, beet fiber provides benefits to the digestive tract and cardiovascular system that other fiber does not. Health research has recently focused on this special fiber to see why it affects the body in such beneficial ways.

Beets are also helpful when detoxifying your body. In “phase 2 detoxification,” our cells hookup activated and unwanted toxic substances with smaller nutrient groups. This step helps neutralize the toxins and also makes them water-soluble so they can be excreted through the urine.

Beet lovers might notice one small issue with eating a lot of beets. Beeturia is when your urine turns a reddish/pinkish color from the betalain pigments. This only happens when the body is having problems metabolizing iron. If your urine is turning colors after eating beets, consult your physician!

Give it up for beet juice

A more recent finding is the relationship between beet juice and athleticism. Beet juice is naturally high in nitrates which the body uses to make nitrite and nitric oxide. These two chemicals expand blood vessels and protect them from injury, increasing muscle power, and endurance.

One recent study showed drinking beet juice caused the need for oxygen to drop by 19 percent, while the time of exercise endurance increased by 17 percent. And another study, published in the 2011 Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise journal, showed that cyclists could cut 11 seconds off of their four-kilometer times, and 45 seconds off of their 16.1-kilometer times, just by drinking beet juice. More research needs to be completed, but beet juice could be the next big thing for athletes.

Beautifully red, beautifully sweet

The look of beets is a bit confusing. The beet has green leaves connected to a round/oblong part, which is the beet. Beets commonly have a reddish-purple hue, but they actually come in a variety of colors, anywhere from golden yellows to white—sometimes they will have rainbow-colored roots. The betalain mentioned earlier is what gives beets their reddish pigment, which is quite rare. Other red foods, like red cabbage, typically get their color from anthocyanin.

Because of the beet’s high sugar content, they are actually quite sweet. (Beet sugar accounts for 54 percent of domestic sugar production.) Raw beetroots have a crunchy texture, but once they have been cooked, they are softer and buttery. The leaves, which are also edible, are bitter and similar to chard.

Preparing your beets

Beets are in season June through October. When choosing your beet, look for those that are small or medium-sized with firm roots, smooth skin, and deep color. The smaller and younger the beet, the less chance you will need to peel them after cooking.

Because of the sensitivity of the betalain chemical, studies suggest that beets should be steamed for 15 minutes or less and roasted for under an hour. Beets are sensitive and can easily bleed from the smallest bruise or puncture, so treat them as delicate vegetables even though they look tough.

Refrain from washing beets before storing them. Beets should be kept in a plastic bag with most of the air out because they are very sensitive to oxidation. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. If you want to freeze them, make sure to cook them first. Raw beets will become soft and less desirable after thawing.

In centuries past, people ate beet greens instead of the root, but now it is well known that both are edible and great for a variety of recipes. The greens work best when prepared the same way as spinach or Swiss chard. Eastern Europeans use beets as the main ingredient in borscht, but you can also eat beets raw, cooked, or pickled. Beets have even been used in making wine, and as a dietary aid for horses training for competition.

Try grating your beets and adding them to soups or salads. Or you could boil, roast, grill, pickle, or marinate them with fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and herbs.

While beets may not be your typical vegetable on the dinner table, start finding ways to get your family eating it. The pairing of high sugar and energy content with low calories will help it become a new household favorite.

24 Incredible Facts Why Hydrogen Peroxide Should Be In Every Home

If you ask chemists, they will probably tell you that hydrogen peroxide is a type of inorganic chemical compound made of 2 hydrogens and 2 oxygen atoms. It has strong oxidative properties which are why people prefer using it as a disinfecting agent.

When dissolved in water, hydrogen peroxide kills off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other germs.

In this article, we have covered some of the most useful practical uses of hydrogen peroxide.

1. Wound disinfectant

In medicine, hydrogen peroxide is commonly used in the disinfection of open wounds on the skin surface, including cuts and lacerations before putting on stitches. For this particular use, practicals prepare a 3% solution of the compound. When getting into contact with catalase, an enzyme, the antiseptic tends to create a foam.

Damaged cells, especially blood cells, release this enzyme. If an almost healed wound creates foam when coated with hydrogen peroxide, it means that there is a certain bacterial infection in there.

2. Bath

By adding hydrogen peroxide to your hot body soak you can remove dangerous toxins and chemicals from your skin and body. Pour about a liter of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your bathtub and soak in for at least 30 minutes.

3. Fungal infections on feet

Fungal infections commonly attack the narrow area between your toes, as this part of your body tends to be moist almost all the time. However, fungi appear not only between your toes but on your feet in general. Skin peeling and bad odor are some of the symptoms that indicate a fungal infection. Make a hydrogen peroxide solution, and stick close to the ratio of 50:50. Soak your feet in the solution every night before you go to bet. Remember, you should keep your feet dry, because if not, the infection may come back sooner than you think.

4. Ear wax removal

Ear wax, or cerumen, tends to accumulate in the external auditory canal. Eventually, this may seal the pathway of sound to the tympanic membrane. In such cases, some 3% hydrogen solution will do the trick. However, when it comes to severe cases, the treatment requires a water jet propulsion device that will take the clot out of the ear canal efficiently. Apply a few drops of the solution into your ear canal. You should feel a crackling sensation which means that the cerumen starts dissolving.

Hydrogen peroxide is used for a versatile range of purposes, including teeth whitening, enema, hair lightening and even cleaning their contact lenses.

Personal care

5. Mouthwash

Believe it or not, hydrogen peroxide is an amazingly effective and cheap mouthwash. For a single-use, you need a capful of the solution, and the little cap on the bottle will fit well for that purpose. Hold the solution in your mouth for 10 minutes and spit it out. This shall become your most beneficial daily routine. You will get rid of all the nasty canker sores, not to mention your Hollywood smile. Always use a 3% solution, and you can add a tiny bit of liquid chlorophyll to enhance its flavor.

6. Toothpaste

Combine some baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide to make yourself a super-cleaning and healthy toothpaste.

7. Toothbrush

If you do not like all the fuss about making your own toothpaste, you can just soak your brush into 3% hydrogen peroxide and brush your teeth as you normally do. Soaking your toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide will keep you safe from germs.

8. Toothache

Hydrogen peroxide has strong anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. This is a good thing to know, especially for those who are oftentimes bothered with a severe toothache. But, you have to come clean with a fact, hydrogen peroxide is not a painkiller. Thanks to its mighty properties, it destroys the pathogens that trigger the infection. For instance, if your dentist advises you to get a root canal because of an inflamed tooth that is likely to die, do not give up on your tooth that easily. Try rinsing your oral cavity with hydrogen peroxide several times a day, and you can also try coconut oil once a day, as an additional treating agent. Your discomfort shall disappear and you will save your tooth.

If you are struggling with a severe toothache and you are not able to go to your dentist’s, put a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your oral cavity and hold it in for about 10 minutes. Repeat this several times a day. Your pain will be gone for good.

9. Tooth whitening

Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide for a while and you will notice that your teeth have become whiter. You do not need fancy and expensive professional whitening. All you need is a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide.

10. Douche

Pour 2 cupfuls of 3% hydrogen peroxide into some warm distilled water once a week to treat yeast infections. If it works for you, you can do the treatment twice a week.

11. Colonic or enema

If you are using hydrogen peroxide as a colonic, add 8 oz of the solution to 5 gallons of warm water. If you are doing an enema, add a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a quart of warm distilled water.

12. Hair lightening

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective bleaching agent and it is great if you want to boost your hair volume with a few highlights. Make a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and spray it on your hair, preferably when it is wet. You can do this after taking a shower. Comb the solution through. This treatment will give you natural highlights if you have light brown or dirty blond hair. However, do not expect any drastic change, because hydrogen peroxide lightens your hair gradually.

13. Contact lenses

Hydrogen peroxide has the role of disinfectant in CIBA Vision’s Clear Care no-rub cleaning solution for contact lenses. The chemical compound breaks down protein build-ups on lenses that are actually a way in which eyes respond to the foreign body. This is great for sensitive eyes.

Sanitizing / Disinfection / Cleaning

14. Dishwasher

Add 2 oz of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the regular washing products to disinfect the dishwasher.

15. Kitchen / Household surfaces

Use hydrogen peroxide to clean kitchen countertops and tables. It will destroy bacteria and leave a fresh scent behind. Put a tiny bit of the solution on your dishrag and wipe or spray it on the surface. Make a 50/50 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and keep it in a shower bottle. Store a bottle in every bathroom and clean it without affecting the septic system as is the case with blench and other disinfectants. After you clean well your wooden cutting board, spray it with hydrogen peroxide to destroy salmonella or other microbes. In the final phase of the cleaning process, spray over some vinegar.

Always have a spray bottle of 3% (straight) hydrogen peroxide nearby and use it to clean the inside of your fridge and your kids’ lunchboxes. Hydrogen peroxide also aids in cleaning glass or mirrors. You can use it in your bathroom as well to clean and disinfect counters, toilets, floors, and other surfaces.

Extra tips: Always use 2 spray bottles and do not blend the solutions. Keep straight vinegar in one bottle and straight hydrogen peroxide in another spray bottle. When cleaning a surface, regardless of whether it is your cutting board, counter, sink, confines, toys, toilets, or floors, spray one mixture on the surface you are cleaning, then use the other. The mixture of both ingredients causes a chemical reaction in a short time and they create a potent sanitizer. Wash off the surface subsequently. The same applies to vegetable and food decontamination.

16. Humidifiers / steamers

Pour a pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water and pour the solution in your humidifier and steamer.

17. Washing and laundry

Add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your white clothes to get them even whiter. Use it instead of your regular bleach. If you need to clean blood stains, put hydrogen peroxide on the dirty spot directly. Leave it on for a minute, rub well and rinse off with cool water. You can always rehash if necessary.

Hydrogen peroxide will keep your garments white, and it is an amazing alternate solution. If you chlorinate clothes, they wear out much faster, but that is not the case with peroxide.

18. Laundry and removing of stains

When used in time, 3% hydrogen peroxide can remove stains. However, 2-day-old blood stains can be removed with hydrogen peroxide efficiently. Put a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the stain, and it will start bubbling up. This is actually a reaction with catalase. Wait for a couple of minutes and wipe up the excess liquid using a cloth or paper towel. The stain will have disappeared.

Apply 3% of hydrogen peroxide onto the bloodstain before you ‘seal’ it in with warm water. In the next phase use cold water and cleanser to remove peroxide treated stains.

Note: Hydrogen peroxide bleaches and discolors fabrics.

Food preparation

19. Food preparation / decontamination

Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are cheap, viable, and non-poisonous disinfectants. They destroy pathogens more effectively than bleach. Hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic, so you can use it to clean cooking and food prep surfaces. Experts at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University did some testing and matched vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mists. This combination worked well in eliminating Salmonella, Shigella, and E. Coli on excessively contaminated food products and surfaces.

20. Veggie soak

Veggie wash or soak destroys microorganisms and neutralizes harmful chemicals. Add a quarter container of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your sink that you have previously filled with cold water. Soak light skinned vegetables, like lettuce, for 20 minutes. For thicker skinned veggies, like cucumbers, you need about half an hour. Rinse, dry, and store in the fridge. This technique preserves the freshness of your veggies.

If you have no time to do the soak, spray your fruit and veggies with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Leave it on for a couple of minutes, rinse off and dry well.

21. Meat sanitizing

Rinse off meat with hydrogen peroxide before cooking it.

22. Leftover tossed salad

Make a solution of half a cup of water and a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Drain, cover well, and keep your salad in the fridge.

23. Marinades

Put your pork, beef, fish, or poultry in a casserole. You should never use an aluminum pan. Combine equal parts of water and 3% of hydrogen peroxide. Pour the solution over the meat, cover, and keep it in your fridge for half an hour. Rinse off well and proceed with the cooking.

24. Sprouting seeds

Add an ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a pint of water. Douse your seeds overnight. Later, add the same amount of hydrogen peroxide each time you rinse off the seeds.

How Much Walking You Need To Lose Weight: 5 Perfect Steps To Lose 10 Pounds

If you want to easily lose one pound per week or more you can start walking as it is the easiest form of exercising. Just imagine 10 pounds less and you don’t have to spend even an hour in a gym. What is more important –no diet required! At the same time as you lose weight and inches from the body, your health starts to improve and your muscles become stronger and toned. Once you start walking you will start enjoying this simple exercise routine.

Calories Burned From Walking

Once you decide to lose weight with walking you need to be aware of how many calories are burned with this activity. If you really want to try to lose weight, you need to walk fast because the quicker you walk the more pounds will be reduced. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you will burn:

2.0 MPH (slow pace) – 170 calories per hour

3.0 MPH (moderate pace) – 224 calories per hour

4.0 MPH (brisk pace) – 340 calories per hour

5.0 MPH (speed walking) – 544 per hour

From the chart above you can see that your pace while walking will show you how to lose 10 pounds. There is a big difference between normal walking and speed walking, and you can burn up to 3 times more calories with sped walking. If you choose to walk uphill you will burn even more calories.

Devising a Walking Plan

Step 1

First, you need to calculate how many calories you need to consume every day in order to maintain your current weight. This is very important so you can make a weight loss plan. According to Good Housekeeping magazine, you can use a basal metabolic rate calculator or the formula 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x your age) for women and 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x your age) for men. Then multiply your result by 1.2 if you are inactive, by 1.375 if you are lightly active, by 1.55 if you are very active and 1.9 if you are extremely active.

The number that you will get is actually the number of calories you need to consume every day in order to maintain your current weight.

Step 2

The second step is to calculate how many calories you will burn by walking. So, a person who weighs 200 pounds and walks 3.5 miles per hour will burn 346 calories in that hour. The easiest way is to use a fitness calculator which will help you with the number of calories burned by walking.

Step 3

You must calculate how many hours you need to walk in order to lose 1 pound. You need to lose 3500 more calories by walking than you eat to lose one pound. Then divide 3,500 by the number of calories you burn in an hour. So if you are 200-pound person than you burn 346 calories per hour by walking, you should divide 3,500 by 346 to get 10.11. This means that a person who weighs 200 pounds should walk 10.11 hours to lose 1 pound.

Step 4

If you have a goal to lose 10 pounds just multiply your number of hours needed for losing one pound with 10 – 10 x 10.11 = 101.1. This number shows how many hours you need to walk in a month so you could lose 10 pounds but only if you consume the required number of calories every day to maintain your current weight.

Step 5

If you want to reduce the number of hours for walking, you need to reduce calorie intake. So if you consume 500 calories less every day you will lose a pound per week without walking which can reduce the walking goal to 6lbs. or 1.5 pounds per week. Make a plan for how many calories you want to lose by reducing calorie intake and how many by walking in order to achieve your 10- pounds goal.

Here is What You Need To Check Next Time You Buy Bottled Water

Water bottles sure are convenient, but are they safe?

If you’ve ever turned your water bottle upside-down, you may have noticed letters and numbers near the recycling symbol that indicate what kind of plastic they’re made of.

Unless you know what to look for, these numbers can be more confusing than helpful. Here’s what you need to know.

#1 PET or PETE

This kind of plastic is the most common variety used to make single-use water bottles. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most toxic plastics.

The plastic leaches carcinogenic chemicals and endocrine disruptors into the liquid it contains, which is made worse by repeated use and exposure to heat. That’s why plastic water bottles shouldn’t be stored in the sun or used to contain juices or other acidic drinks.

This plastic is also hard to decontaminate, making it prone to bacterial or fungal growth. Proper cleaning requires harmful chemicals that may further enhance leeching or directly contaminate water stored in the bottle.

Bottom line: Avoid if you can, recycle after use and keep away from heat.

#2 HDP or HDPE

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a plastic commonly used in the production of water and juice bottles as well as grocery bags. It is a very stable and hardy plastic and does not break down when exposed to extreme temperatures. It’s also easy to recycle and does not to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.

Bottom line: Relatively safe.

#3 PVC or 3V

Polyvinyl Chloride is a flexible plastic used to make anything from plastic food wrapping to children’s toys and plumbing pipes because of its durability. However, this plastic often contains phthalate which can contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, reproductive disorders, and fetal malformation. Some phthalates, like di-2-Ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), are suspected human carcinogens.

Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to these chemicals, but even phthalate-free PVC contains other harmful substances like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals as well as dioxin, a carcinogen.

Bottom line: Avoid at all costs and never give to children.

#4 LDPE

Low-density polyethylene doesn’t typically appear in plastic bottles, but it can appear in squeezable bottles and plastic bags. The substance doesn’t release any chemicals into the water, is much less toxic than other plastic, and is typically considered to be safe for food use.

Bottom line: Safe, but probably not the best bottle to use.

#5 PP

Polypropylene is durable, heat-resistant, and appropriate for reuse. It actually serves as an excellent barrier against moisture, grease, and chemicals. The substance is hazardous during production but studies have determined it to be safe from carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

Bottom line: Relatively safe.

#6 PS

Polystyrene is inexpensive and lightweight, so it’s used in a large variety of products, including styrofoam and plastic cutlery. The product is known to leech benzene, butadiene, and styrene, which are all known carcinogens. The plastic also leeches other unhealthy chemicals known for reproductive toxicity.

PS plastics are rarely recycled and mostly end in landfills or in the ocean. In fact, it’s not uncommon for fishermen to find the plastic in the bellies of their catch of the day.

Bottom line: Don’t buy and don’t use it. Recycle any existing bottles at home.

#7 PC or non-labeled plastic

This category is a catch-all for polycarbonate and other plastics. Polycarbonate is known to contain BPA, which “has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans. Polycarbonates also contain xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor. This plastic is mainly found in reusable water bottles and baby bottles.

Although BPA-free bottles are on the market, they aren’t much safer. BPS, the compound used to replace BPA can disrupt normal cell functions and contribute to metabolic disorders, birth defects, asthma, or even cancer.

“[Manufacturers] put ‘BPA-free’ on the label, which is true. The thing they neglected to tell you is that what they’ve substituted for BPA has not been tested for the same kinds of problems that BPA has been shown to cause. That’s a little bit sneaky,” says Cheryl Watson, a specialist in cancer research, cell biology, and endocrinology at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

The Scientific American also reports that Hong-Sheng Wang, an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, found that both BPA and BPS cause heart arrhythmia in rats. Needless to say, #7 plastic should be avoided at all costs.

That is unless they are compostable. That’s right, compostable bottles have also ended up in category #7. You can tell them apart from their toxic counterparts because they have initials “PLA” near their recycling symbol. This compostable plastics are much safer than nearly all the products on this list but should not be reused or recycled.

The bottom line: Don’t be fooled by BPA-free products. Compostable bottles are a great alternative but the best option to carry around a reusable glass bottle and fill it up throughout the day.