I sometimes buy food and drinks in plastic containers, I've been known to chop on a plastic cutting board, and I carry water around in a plastic bottle. Cold plastic does not leech chemicals at a rapid rate like heated plastic does. Wax paper, plastic wrap, paper (not foam) plates and white, unprinted paper towels are suitable options, as well. Why these? However, the opposite is true of sandwich bags when it comes to heating food in the microwave. (Our federal health agencies, like the FDA, allow the use of food simulants in testing.) These chemicals - if present in the container can leech into cold water. I’m not behind Ernest Kumi’s defeat in Akwatia – Ama Sey deb... 11 Surprising Facts and Myths About Microwave Ovens. Quickly, as the media coverage intensified, manufacturers and retailers took up the charge: Last spring, just when I was packing my kids' lunches with Nalgene water bottles, the company announced it was phasing out bottles made with BPA. We all touch it and breathe it in; crawling babies, who put everything in their mouths, may absorb even more. The key is to store food in a shallow container that can be sealed when the food has cooled. BPA, too, causes precancerous growths in lab animals, both prostate and breast abnormalities. Even if it says “microwave safe” on it, it's still going to leach chemicals. (A fourth item, Glad Storage Gallon Zipper Bags, was found to contain low levels of BPA, but was eliminated from food testing since it's unlikely that anyone would use the bags for heating liquid foods like pasta sauce or gravy.). But even if we're not being directly poisoned, there still may be chronic health effects, say experts whose studies point to a different way of assessing harm. For one thing, we know we have these chemicals in our bodies, and they're getting there somehow. Here are other steps you can take to protect your family: Cool food or liquids before putting them in a plastic container. Be extra cautious with infants: If you use commercial formula, buy it in powdered form, which comes in a foil-lined cardboard container and shouldn't have any BPA, says the FDA. And when it comes time to reheating leftovers, plastic containers may not be safe in microwaves since the plastic can migrate into the food. Whether it’s reusable melamine or the one-time-use plastic plates and cups, they’re potentially worse for you when heated. In the meantime, the National Toxicology Program has stepped in, conducting its own revised review of BPA. Dr. Andre Kwasi-Kumah, a general practitioner at the Eden Family Hospital, has advised that the harmful agents are not only released at high temperatures; they can also seep into fatty, salty, or acidic foods at room temperature. Choose soups and broths that come in aseptic boxes or dried soup mixes in nonplastic bags. If you want clues to the components of plastics, check the recycling codes on the bottoms of containers. And when the agency finally — last year — proposed a draft list of 73 chemicals for the first round of testing, neither BPA nor phthalates were on it. 4. But our highest exposure comes from our daily diet, reports the National Toxicology Program. The American Chemistry Council says there are no phthalates in plastic food containers or wraps. 1 hour ago, Overweight: High-risk Factor for Oral Health, Why you should sweat it out: Insights from Herbalife Nutriti, Delaying vaccination due to COVID can increase the risk of v, Study finds obesity contributes to 40% mortality gap between, How to get rid of Malware from your Android Smartphone, Ghanaian Visual Artist Receives 2020 Principal Prince Claus, The Aguyiba story: from Gardener to Chief Office Assistant. Be careful not to let water in the sink mix with food … But u can actually use plastic cont. These damages can cause chemicals in the resin to leach. Her center is involved in a large study that is tracking 1,200 girls, currently ages 6 to 8, for five years. There is no set rule on how many times a person can eat food that has touched hot plastic without getting sick. However, the fact that so many of us have the compound in our bodies means that we're exposed to it daily, says Dr. Jacob. Like BPA, phthalates have been "added" to most of us as well. While plastic containers have been vilified for potential health risks, some are OK to use. While the FDA has issued reassuring statements about the risk, other experts aren't so convinced. For hot food if its packed in 'cloth' / pauna ( … According to Woman's Day Magazine, "Even if you’re using BPA-free plastic, those cooking tools and food containers can still leach nasty chemicals into your food. Used in the plastic-like coating that lines food and beverage cans, BPA helps buffer the contents from cans' corrosive metals and extends the products' shelf lives. In contrast, the European Commission has already begun screening chemicals for possible endocrine effects, and has identified 320 that will be subject to additional, rigorous testing. But there are already clues. However, the final report, released in September, downgraded the concern for the mammary glands and earlier puberty from "some" to "minimal. Plastic, in a lots of unseen ways, 'react' with heat. The results: When food was heated in these containers in the microwave (or, in the case of Press 'n Seal, in a glass bowl covered with the wrap prior to microwaving), all three suspect products passed: "No detectable amounts" (to use the scientific phrase) of BPA or phthalates wound up in either the tomato sauce or the gravy. Swan and other experts believe, though, that phthalates might come from household dust and food. Warm food, whether steaming or not, will cause some condensation in a plastic container, but unless we compare many samples of the same food, and measure the bacteria growth on food left out for 30 minutes and then sealed, versus the bacteria growth on foods sealed right away and refrigerated right away, we have no way of knowing whether this is true. Also, not all phthalates have been linked to health problems. But while legislators have been scurrying to pass protective laws, the federal agencies entrusted with overseeing our health have been slow to respond — and maddeningly vague when they do. They are added to many plastic products — automobile dashboards, vinyl shower curtains, raincoats, even your toddler's rubber ducky — to make them soft or pliable. WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For many, a microwave is indispensable, but questions remain about the safety of containers used to cook and reheat food in it. Were there pesticides coming in?" Use safer dishware made from materials like glass or stainless steel. Whether it is rice, porridge, stew, or banku, roadside food joints and chop bars serve it up hot in this cheap, convenient packaging for thousands of customers every day. "There are critical windows of vulnerability," says Maida Galvez, M.D., a pediatrician with the Mount Sinai Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit in New York City. Cover leftovers in tinfoil versus plastic wrap. Most of the controversy surrounds the chemicals used to make plastic containers soft or clear, like BPA and phthalates. We all do it: Pop a plate of leftovers covered with plastic wrap in the microwave or warm up extra tomato sauce in a plastic container. In the fridge, there's usually a collection of leftovers — last night's lasagna, some barbecued chicken the kids didn't finish — in dishes covered with plastic wrap, ready to eat after a zap in the microwave. Keep the levels below a certain threshold and you'll be OK. That's why the FDA issued its reassuring statement and why the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group, also believes the amounts of BPA we ingest are safe. Today, very few communities recycle paper hot cups of any type. "There was nothing in our report that should cause alarm...but at the same time, people should make their own decision about which precautions they want to take," says Michael Shelby, Ph.D., director of the NTP's Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction. (Ironically, it turned out that DES didn't prevent the miscarriages for which it had been prescribed in the first place.) In a lengthy review article, published in 2007, researchers reported that low doses of BPA during development affect brain structure, function, and behavior in rats and mice. Realistically, eating hot food from a plastic bag one time will probably have no effect on a person's health, but those who make a habit out of it may be putting themselves at risk. Nor should hot food be stored in a plastic container without first allowing time for the hot food to cool down. BPA and phthalates are what are known as endocrine disruptors — chemicals that can interfere with our hormone systems, mimicking, shutting down, or modifying the chemical signals that regulate everything from metabolism and reproduction to our bodies' response to stress. The unknown author of the foreboding email hints that a component of plastic, called dioxin, can be some pretty scary stuff. "Was it the air in the facility? Lawmakers have jumped into action, too. Don't microwave food in plastic containers (put food on a plate instead). But food storage, reheating, and serving are not among them. Don't use plastic containers with abrasions, cracks or other damage. When plastic is heated, says Scientific American, it leaches chemicals 55 times faster than normal. If the chemicals are getting into food, we need to understand what that means for our health. Heated plastic leaches chemicals 55 times faster, so whether you’re reheating a plastic plate in the microwave, putting hot food in a storage container, or using a plate that’s been run through a hot dishwasher, you’re upping your chance of chemical leaching. The research is still in its early days, and much of what we know comes from work with animals. Certain medical researchers have also identified a range of hormone-related developmental issues that can arise in children exposed to these chemicals. Its draft report, released last April, was stronger than its earlier version, adding "some concern" for BPA exposure in fetuses, infants, and children, based on effects in the prostate and mammary glands, and on an earlier age for puberty in females. Clean the sink in the kitchen and fill it with clean cold water and ice. 677 views Many retailers have decided to stop selling toys and other kids' products with BPA and phthalates, and a growing list of companies, including P&G and Nike, have been taking phthalates out of everything from beauty products to sneakers. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Then place the pot of food or smaller containers in the ice water. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. But due to prolonged debate among scientists, agency officials, and industry about the best ways to set up the tests, the program has yet to evaluate a single chemical. Usually, a fraction of that level is what's allowed in our food and consumer products. We can't just ask if you've taken a drug. Breast Cancer In Taiwan May Be Linked To Taking Away Hot Food & Soup In Plastic Bags, Says Doctor. "We were surprised by how strong the link was. But news reports have suggested that this may not be perfectly safe, that if there are chemicals — phthalates and BPA — in the plastic, they might migrate into our food. In 2006, when Harvard researchers studied 463 men seeking treatment at a fertility clinic, the scientists reported that men with higher levels of certain phthalates in their urine had lower sperm counts and sperm motility, as well as damage to sperm DNA, all of which affect the ability to impregnate a partner.In one of the most important human studies so far, Swan measured phthalates in 85 pregnant women in three U.S. cities — Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Columbia, MO. Many of their and other studies of endocrine disruptors have found serious health effects at levels as low as 2 micrograms per one kilogram of body weight — that's 25 times lower than the EPA's safe level. In one study of adult men, those with higher-than-average phthalate levels tended to have a larger waist circumference and increased insulin resistance, precursors to diabetes. "An average adult would have to consume more than 500 pounds of canned foods and beverages every day" just to reach the safety standards set in the U.S. and Europe, says Steven Hentges, executive director of the ACC's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. And if they're not, we'd like to stop hyperventilating. Never put hot food, drinks, or soups in plastic containers or bottles. The biggest worry has been over BPA and phthalates getting into food and drinks (and into toys small children chew on). As long as the hot food isn't so hot that it melts the plastic, there should be little to worry about. If you must put hot food in the refrigerator, try not to put hot food in deep containers. That's why GHRI used those two food types for its tests — plus, these items are commonly heated in a microwave. I give them water in BPA-free bottles. In 2000, the EPA established the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. But after it was reported that a consulting group used by the panel had ties to the industry, NTP scientists revised these findings, raising the level of concern. The safest solution is to avoid eating this food whenever possible. "We're exposed to so many things, and our mothers ate and drank this or that and 50 years later we get breast cancer," she says. "The results were dramatic," Swan says. "The science is just not definitive.". Putting plastic containers in the dishwasher should also be avoided. Using glass jars is the recommended method for storing food in the pantry as chemical leaching can occur when food is stored in plastic containers. And when these containers and cans and bottles and CD cases end up in landfills, BPA can leach into rivers and streams, possibly reentering our homes — and bodies — through tap water. My list just got a little longer. 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Their 2000 study showed that these children had phthalate levels, on average, almost seven times higher than those in a control group of girls. The evidence is mounting that plastic food containers are bad for our health. These are "safer" plastics when it comes to transporting hot food, and they can be easily recycled in most communities. Glad SimplyCooking Microwave Steaming Bags, Ziploc Brand Zip 'n Steam Microwave Steam Cooking Bags, GladWare Containers with Interlocking Lids container, GladWare Containers with Interlocking Lids lid, Ziploc Brand Containers with Snap 'N Seal Lids container, Ziploc Brand Containers with Snap 'N Seal Lids lid, Webster Industries Good Sense storage container, Webster Industries Good Sense storage container lid, Ziploc Brand Storage Bags with Double Zipper, Ziploc Brand Freezer Bags with Double Zipper, Kid Cuisine All Star Chicken Breast Nuggets container, Kid Cuisine All Star Chicken Breast Nuggets film cover, Stouffer's frozen Homestyle Classics Lasagna with Meat & Sauce tray, Stouffer's frozen Homestyle Classics Lasagna with Meat & Sauce film covering, Glad Press'n Seal Multipurpose Sealing Wrap. In short, we gathered together a potpourri of the kind of plastic items most of us use for heating foods. Bisphenol A Chemicals in fast food packaging and microwaveable meal trays will leach at a greater rate when they become hot. "We just don't know, because the government isn't doing the proper testing to find out," says Dr. Jacob. "Hot food will cause the chemicals to leech out of even fairly stable plastics, and the cheaper the plastic… And, based on animal studies, we're concerned about possibly serious health consequences for these boys as they get older. Traditionally, government toxicologists have operated under the well-known theory that "the dose makes the poison" — the more chemical you ingest, the sicker you get. Nor does anyone know for sure whether BPA accumulates in humans over time, though most scientists believe adults process it quickly — in as little as a day. The FDA estimates that adult Americans consume, on average, a cumulative 11 micrograms of BPA per day through diet — mostly from the liners in canned foods, say several scientific groups. Indeed, nearly every American has BPA coursing through his or her veins, according to data gathered in 2003-04 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and children have the highest levels of all. Well, really not. As for BPA, its dark side began to emerge in the 1990s. Certain phthalates are also used in beauty products, to prevent chipping in nail polish, for example. This is a silent, hidden exposure." No hot food in plastic and DO NOT MICROWAVE food in plastic containers. The price of a ceramic plate may higher than that of a plastic plate, but compared to the long-term financial and emotional costs associated with conditions like diabetes and infertility, it's a small price to pay. In other words, these baby boys were somewhat de-masculinized, which could signal impaired semen quality and decreased fertility later on. Both the tests and the research point to the smartest ways to keep our families safe. "We've been using an oversimplified mode of measurement," says Scott Belcher, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics at the University of Cincinnati. Many of these businesses store the piping hot food in plastic ice chests or reheat it on plastic plates in microwaves to ensure that it is hot when customers buy it. "It's not like DES. The acidity of certain foods and beverages can draw chemicals from the plastic into the food. To limit your family's exposure: Despite BPA's pervasiveness in nearly all of us, the actual amount found in our blood and urine is very small — perhaps equivalent to mere drops of water in a swimming pool. In that 2005 study, women with the highest phthalate levels were most likely to give birth to sons with smaller penises, smaller testes, and "reduced ano-genital distance" (the space between the testes and the anus). Clearly good news: None of the samples of sauce or gravy had detectable levels of either BPA or phthalates. No one really knows yet, but "we're concerned about how much exposure there is to this chemical and possible health repercussions," says Anila Jacob, M.D., a physician and senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit watchdog scientific organization. Her control mice — the healthy ones — started developing the sorts of genetically abnormal eggs that can lead to miscarriages and birth defects. Some of this is, admittedly, driven more by emotion than science. When I buy cheese wrapped in plastic, I cut off the edges and toss them before eating or giving it to my children. Generally, plastics with the numbers 1, 2, and 4 are OK; many experts say that containers marked 5 are too, but one of the BPA-containing items in our tests was labeled 5. Plastic containers from packaged microwavable meals shouldn't be reused after their initial use; they're safely designed for one-time-use only. This is where you prioritize for glass dishes or at least wait until the food cools considerably. If this is something you're worried about, stick with brand name containers, and look for "BPA-free" . He suspects that further research will establish a causal link between the increased use of plastic packaging for food and the increasingly early onset of diseases like diabetes in many Ghanaians. Plastics are far more likely to leach chemicals when heated. First, reports quoted scientists and environmental groups saying that the same containers and wraps that have made life so convenient may contain chemicals that can pose dangers to health: bisphenol A (BPA), which, among its many roles, is used to make a type of hard plastic, and certain phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates), a wide range of chemicals that, among their many uses, soften plastic. Never microwave foods in plastic food containers, including margarine tubs and restaurant carryout containers. And fetuses and babies may not metabolize the chemical as well as adults, other experts point out, so it's possible that it builds up in their small bodies. That's not enough to harm us, according to the FDA, which first reviewed BPA in the 1980s, and in August issued a draft report stating that exposure to the small amounts of BPA that migrate from containers into the food they hold is not dangerous. There are many ways moms try to protect their families. ", Early puberty, in turn, has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service warns that such containers can melt or warp in the heat. It's enough to make a mom toss up her hands — and toss out all the plastic in the house. Don't use abrasive scrubbers when washing plastic containers. If You Do Use Plastic, Never Heat It. But a review of additional recent research yielded other unsettling questions, particularly about hormonally related ills. 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Like tomato sauce in plastic storage containers or bottles of both phthalates and BPA in and.