The Dangers of Using Plastic Containers

Contributed by: Carol Kline

What’s wrong with using plastic containers? They’re inexpensive, convenient, and virtually unbreakable. However, plastic containers, plastic wrap, etc. are made using different chemicals. The chemicals are transferred into your stored food, making it dangerous to your health, especially when heated. As this plastic is exposed to heat, stress, or as it ages, it can release trace amounts of ingredients, such as bisphenol-a, or BPA. BPA is used to strengthen some plastics, and phthalates, used to soften others. In addition, heating plastic has been found to increase the rate of chemical transfer into food by up to 55-fold.

One of the ways plastic has been linked to health concerns is that some contain phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals causing males to become more female. These chemicals have disrupted the endocrine systems of many animals, causing cancer, deformations, and infertility.

In humans, phthalates have been linked to preterm birth and neurobehavioral problems in infants after in-utero exposure. They have also been found to increase blood pressure levels and high urinary levels and are associated with insulin resistance, leading to diabetes.

The message here? Choose glass versions of storage and cooking, such as Pyrex or Corning ware, and avoid using the microwave whenever possible!


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