According to a new paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics, many people overlook seemingly minor mistakes that pose serious food safety risks, such as microwaving or dishwashing plastic containers that contain harmful chemicals. In a new study published online, paediatricians highlighted a growing number of evidence against food packaging materials, in addition to food colourings and preservatives. The AAP is advising parents to avoid microwaving food or liquids in plastic containers or putting them in the dishwasher, since doing so would increase the chance of leaking dangerous chemicals. The best food containers, experts and officials say, are those made of glass or stainless steel.
Some types of plastics contain bisphenols, for example BPA, which are used to harden the material and can act similar to “estrogen in the body” — potentially affecting immune systems, impacting fertility, and increasing body fat if consumed, says the AAP. Needless to say that these are potentially life-threatening consequences, especially among children whose bodies are still developing. “This report outlines not only safe and essential steps that the healthcare community can communicate to parents and families but also some steps that the FDA can take, and frankly manufacturers can take, to limit the exposures of greatest concern,” according to Leonardo Trasande, lead author and member of the AAP Council on Environmental Health.