Limit Your Plastics Exposure
Consumers anxious to reduce their exposure to suspect plastics components won’t find the going easy. Labeling of plastics ingredients is not required in all cases, making it hard for consumers to confidently identify all products containing phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA). But there are some steps people can take to lower possible risk, toxicology experts say.
Containers. Avoid placing hot food or liquids in plastic containers. Use glass, ceramic or stainless-steel containers instead. Heating plastics to high temperatures promotes the leaching of chemicals out of containers and into the food or liquid they hold. Freezing liquids in plastic bottles, incidentally, poses no such risk. Contrary to recent online reports that claimed freezing water releases carcinogenic materials into water, freezing actually retards the release of chemicals.
The Plastics Revolution
It Changed Our World. But Are We Trading Safety for Convenience?
When people say plastics are everywhere, they really mean everywhere: in the containers that hold your food; in the pipes that carry your water; in the bottles you use to feed your infant; in windows frames, shower curtains and raincoats; on your head in the form of safety helmets; on your face in the form of eyeglasses; in your hands when you talk on a phone or type on a keyboard. They’re in clothing; they’re in toys; they’re in bandages, lipstick and nail polish.
So ubiquitous. So useful. And, some say, so dangerous.
Many scientists and environmental advocates believe man-made components in plastics — particularly a group of compounds called phthalates and another hormonally active chemical known as bisphenol A, or BPA — can leach harmful chemicals that get absorbed into our bodies. Some blame plastics for increased rates of cancer, asthma, neurological disorders and infertility.