Avoid Using Plastic In The Microwave As It May Harm Children's Heath

By August 09, 2018
Avoid Using Plastic In The Microwave As It May Harm Children's Heath GenPak.com

The American Academy of Pediatrics are warning families and those who are microwaving and dishwashing plastic containers of food for children may contain harmful chemicals.

A recent report, paediatricians found evidence against chemicals in preservatives, colouring agents and packaging material. According to the AAP, heating plastics inside the microwave oven (including bottles) and running them through a dishwasher may increase the chance of leaking dangerous chemicals.  The report states that plastics with recycling codes 3 for phthalates, 6 for styrene, and 7 for bisphenols should be avoided. Some of the more than 10,000 additives considered and recognized as safe after they were found dangerous in the 1950s and indirect additives are such as glues, dyes and plastic in packages to be linked to serious illness and problems.

Leonardo Trasande, the lead author on the policy statement and AAP Council on Environmental Health, said some of the serious side effects of such chemicals are:

  • Brain development
  • Obesity
  • Autism
  • Attention-deficit
  • Hyperactivity disorder
  • A decrease in bone strength and muscle mass

The two substance which is used for stabilizes the plastic called Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Phthalates. When food is wrapped in plastic paper or placed in a plastic container and is microwaved, the BPA and Phthalates may be released into food.

Bisphenol A Plastic (BPA) - This is a sturdy material for making containers and other consumer products. BPA can leach endocrine disruptors into your food. These are chemicals that mimic estrogen, which may have negative effects on your body. As a result, they may do harm to your reproductive and hormonal systems. They may even have a link to cancer. Health hazards include:

  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Sexual and reproductive problems
  • Possible ADHD and other developmental disorders
  • Endocrine disruption

Bisphenol S Plastic (BPS) - Replaces BPA plastics, however, it also releases estrogen-mimicking chemicals. Health hazards include:

  • Endocrine disruption


Phthalates - Containers made with phthalates, chemicals from this can leak into your food, and you will ingest the plasticizers. Oily and fatty foods are the most likely to absorb phthalates, and heating the containers can also increase the leaching of phthalates. Heath hazards include:

  • Early puberty
  • Autism
  • Obesity
  • Birth defects
  • Hormone disruptor

Alternative to Plastic Microwave Containers

Glass - This is an inert material that won’t leak anything to or from your food and washes easily over and over again in the dishwasher. Though it is breakable, with proper care your reusable glass food containers should last a long time. Choose ones with lids to make sealing and stacking really simple, and look for products that can go from fridge to freezer to oven to dishwasher without any trouble to further enhance their convenience.

Ceramic - Another alternative to plastic containers is using ones made of ceramic, a category of material that includes earthenware and stoneware. Although fragile, ceramic dishes are versatile since they can often be used in the microwave, oven, dishwasher and freezer.

For those instances, you need to know what the best Tupperware type containers are. A "BPA-free" label can be a good sign, but keep in mind that the BPA may have been replaced with another unsafe type of plastic. It can also help to pay attention to the recycling code on the bottom of a container. Items marked with a 1, 2, 4 and 5 are the best for food storage. Those marked with 3 or 6 are definitely unsafe. 7 is the label given to plastics that don't fit in the other 6 categories. While some are safe, many are not. Do your research before using items marked with a 7.

References:
Ashley "The Best Food Storage Containers That Are Safe and Non Toxic", NonToxic Reboot
May Ashley, "Don't Microwave Children's Food In Plastic Containers, Avoid Dishwasher, Doctors Warn", USA Today 3 August 2018