WARNING PARENTS: Plastic containers are having a major effect on your child's health, say experts
We all find it easier to store our food in plastic containers but it might be doing more harm for us than we had imagined
Plastic containers prove to be an easier option for us to store food items but a recent study has revealed that it might be harming your children more than our naked eyes can see. One of the everyday use of plastic containers for many people is for the purpose of microwaving food items.
While it sounds less time consuming to heat a food item and eat from the same container, we must keep in mind that the plastic which is used to make the container has a high risk of affecting our health. For instance, a chemical known as bisphenols is often used to harden plastic but when they come in contact with the human body, they can cause many bodily changes.
A recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that these chemicals “can act like estrogen in the body and potentially change the timing of puberty, decrease fertility, increase body fat, and affect the nervous and immune systems."
Additionally, phthalates, which are used to make the plastic more flexible, may affect male genital development, increase childhood obesity, and contribute to cardiovascular disease, the report says.
Perfluoroalkyl is another chemical which is often used in grease-proof paper and cardboard food-packaging that can affect our body. It is believed that this chemical may reduce immunity, birth weight, and fertility. Research also shows that they have the ability to affect the thyroid system, key to metabolism, digestion, muscle control, brain development, and bone strength.
Meanwhile, some dry food packages consist of a chemical named perchlorate and this are often related to health problems such as disrupting thyroid function, early life brain development, and growth. As per the report, children are at a higher risk than adults because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing. "Chemicals that affect the endocrine system, for example, can have lasting effects on a child since hormones coordinate complex functions throughout the body,” said Dr Leonardo Trasande, the lead author of the statement and chief of the division of environmental pediatrics at New York University’s School of Medicine.
He further added: "Even small disruptions at key moments during development can have lifelong consequences." Physicians have also warned people against washing plastic containers or cups in the dishwasher. Even though there are many containers that are often marked as "microwave-safe", it is important to note that they can pose a health problem when they have been scratched or have changed in color.
Speaking to Time Magazine in 2016, Rolf Halden, director of the Center for Environmental Security at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, stated that when these color changes occur in microwave-safe containers, it means that a certain area "designed not to come in contact with food is coming in contact with food and potentially more chemicals present in that container will migrate into food."