Claim: Lemon juice dissolves plastic in plastic bottles Watch

DJkG.1
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#1
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#1
Hi,

Today one of my chemistry teachers (a PhD so adequately educated but a bit crazy!) mentioned to a mate as we were leaving not to squeeze lemon juice into his plastic water bottle as it will dissolve some of the 'plastic' into the water/juice solution.

This puzzled me and I don't know if there is any truth in it - if it is true, what does the highly diluted lemon juice dissolve, units from the polymer chains which make up the plastic? Surely it cannot be breaking apart C-H bonds to move hydrocarbons into the drink... can it? :confused:

Thanks.
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Revd. Mike
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Well acids can cause plasticizing agents to leach out of the plastic. For example at work, if we store formic acid or TFA solutions for use in HPLC in plastic bottles, the chromatogram is often poor quality due to the interfering effect of these unwanted organic chemicals.

However, I doubt that a squeeze of lemon juice will be sufficient to cause that.
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Preasure
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Plastic bottles do leach chemicals into the solutions they hold - google Bisphenol A if you want to have a read about the associated consequences/controversy. However this will happen at very low levels - HPLC and the like will pick it up but lemon juice in a plastic bottle will probably have negligible effect. And as analytical techniques get more powerful some researchers are starting to pick up chemical leaching from glassware in their results too. You'll ingest more chemicals walking beside the road to school and the amounts of material are incredibly small - it's not worth worrying about.
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guarionex
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After distilling cooked orange peels I recover about 5 ml of what I thought was an oil (clear, oily, less dense than water). I put it in the freezer to separate it from its water content. This went well. After taking it out of the fridge, as my oil warmed up, it disolved the small plastic cup to my amazement.:confused:
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Bshing
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Just try using doterra's lemon essential oil in a styrofoam cup and see what happens
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LaShea
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I have been drinking water with lemon slices for some time now usually in my metal water bottle. However, there have been moments where I added the slices to plastic cups (store bought red cups) or recently an insulated drinking cup with removable straw. I noticed that there were little red dots in the red cups and realized the lemon slices were eating away my cup. With the insulated cup, which was completely clear prior to leaving my water with lemon in the fridge overnight, it now has a hazy line where the water level was and abrasions inside the cup at and below the water line.
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60sixty
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I recently decided to add orange peels to the water inside my famous-brand, plastic water filter pitcher. After drinking two pitcherfuls of this, when I was adding my third group of peels, I noticed the sides of the pitcher were odd and assumed residue from the orange had mucked up the sides. After finishing my third pitcherful of orange flavored water, I decided to clean the residue off the sides. To my astonishment, the citric acid had ruined the integrity of the plastic. The plastic was rough and slightly gooey. I scraped my fingernail along the damaged plastic and was able to peel off some of the gooey plastic. I decided to continue drinking the orange water, however, I'm now making it in a glass pitcher.
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