Is HDPE Safe? Everything You Need to Know About High-Density Polyethylene

High-density polyethylene, or HDPE, is a type of plastic that’s tougher and stronger and can endure higher temperatures than most other polymers. This durable plastic is used in a wide variety of applications, from transporting water to storing school books while students are in class. But those who aren’t familiar with this versatile material or who have had negative experiences with other materials in the past might be concerned about the product’s safety.

Is it safe for people to come in contact with HDPE? Are there any negative health implications? We’ll answer these questions and more as we explore everything you need to know about HDPE.

[READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers eBook]


Is HDPE Dangerous?

In a word, no. HDPE isn’t necessarily dangerous in its final form, once it’s been molded or manufactured into the container or product that it will continue to be used for until eventually being recycled. In fact, HDPE is frequently used for packing food thanks to its compliance with regulations set out by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, it should be noted that while all food-safe containers are made from HDPE, not all HDPE is food-safe.

HDPE can be dangerous during the manufacturing process if proper care and precautions aren’t taken. The dust or resin of polyethylene, for example, can cause eye irritation as can the vapors from the resin when it’s being heated. Individuals who are likely to be around HDPE while it’s being manufactured should wear adequate safety gear to avoid unintentional injury.

Using HDPE Safely

Given its high durability and resistance to most damage, HDPE has become a popular material for use in commercial buildings. At Scranton Products, our HDPE products even come with a GREENGuard Gold Certification, making them suitable for use in areas where occupants are considered especially sensitive, like hospitals and schools.

And since our HDPE products are colored throughout during the manufacturing process, there’s no need to repaint, which helps to limit the amount of volatile organic compounds affecting indoor air quality. Not only that, but since HDPE is extremely easy to clean, there’s no need for cleaning staff to use heavy-duty and often harmful chemicals.

Commercial Applications for HDPE

Although HDPE can be used in a variety of applications, some of the most exciting uses are in commercial building design. For instance, HDPE is perfect for lockers since the highly durable plastic is resistant to dents and scratches. It’s also guaranteed never to rust.

In commercial bathrooms, architects are using HDPE bathroom partitions because they’re resistant to graffiti and bacteria, unlike traditional metal partitions. Other applications include shower stalls and dressing compartments, which provide safety and privacy inside dressing rooms and locker rooms.

Interested in learning more about HDPE? Check these common HDPE questions!