Thursday, January 10, 2008

How Safe is Your Food Container?

Bisphenol-A (BPA), a material used in household products such as baby bottles, food-storage containers and the lining of soda cans, imitates the sex hormone estradiol. It has been discovered that even the smallest amount of BPA can trigger detrimental changes in the body, including an increased risk of breast cancer.

However, BPA is not the only packaging material to be wary of, for reports have found all the plastics commonly used for food packaging can leach suspected hormone disruptors. That's why, according to a source from the International Plastics Task Force, the wisest heath choice is to store foods in glass or ceramic containers when possible and to avoid heating or microwaving foods in plastic.

Specific Plastics to Avoid


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or vinyl): used to make Reynolds Wrap and Polyvinyl Films cling wraps, the cling wrap most popularly used in grocery stores.

Polystyrene (PS): found in its non-inflated form in some disposable plastic cups and bowls and in most opaque plastic cutlery.

Polycarbonate (or "other" resins): used to make plastic baby bottles, 5-gallon water bottles, clear plastic "sippy" cups for children and some brands of plastic cutlery.

Further, since most grocery stores use PVC for their cling-wrapped cheeses and meats, it would also be wise to trim off the outer layer of such pre-packaged foods to reduce ingestion of DEHA--which has been found to cause reproductive effects and liver tumors in test animals. Canned foods, which can contain traces of bisphenol-A from the plastic inner lining of the can, may also be a source of concern.

International Plastics Task Force June, 2005