Is there any substance that is released when the sun or some other heat source heats a plastic bottle (e.g. PET)? Are these substances dangerous to human health?

A note about materials: I don't know the differences between PET and other kinds of plastic like polycarbonate, so if there are any differences regarding exposure of different kinds of materials (used for food and beverages) to sunlight, please feel free to add as much information as you feel is useful to advice about human health.

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    Do you have a reference for who recommends this? – Patrick Hoefler Apr 19 '15 at 16:04
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    Patrick, it's usually written on bottles. – Attilio Apr 19 '15 at 16:22
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    Could you please clarify if you're only interested in PET bottles or also in polycarbonate bottles? – Patrick Hoefler Apr 19 '15 at 22:27

If talking about the container itself and the chemicals it might leave on the product being consumed then these fears are mostly related to the fact that BPA (bisphenol A) is present in poly-carbonate bottles and on the adverse effects this has on the brains and development on reproductive organs of mice.

However, when compared and related to humans, the effects don't seem to be that devastating to human health, see: http://www.bisphenol-a.org/whatsNew/20080205.html

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    Well, the linked reference is from the American Chemistry Council, which is an industry trade association for chemical companies. – Shlublu Apr 19 '15 at 21:30
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    True, but it also includes references to TNO, an independent research organization. They also performed research to find out if any dangerous chemicals where left behind due to exposure to sunlight or heating. They also concluded that this was not the case. Dangers could be related to refilling of canisters and bacteria which might grow after time. – Ropstah Apr 19 '15 at 22:32
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    It might bolster your answer if you found some references other than the Chemistry Council, published on a BPA promotional website. – JohnP Apr 29 '15 at 4:29

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