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Claim: Lemon juice dissolves plastic in plastic bottles Watch

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Just try using doterra's lemon essential oil in a styrofoam cup and see what happens
 
 
 
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