Health Risks of Plastic Food Containers

Many people are either not aware of, or just choose to ignore, the impact that the choice of food containers has on their overall health. Even a casual look shows there is widespread use of plastic food containers in many homes, restaurants and even health facilities.

The Controversy over Plastic

Of late a debate has been raging on whether these containers are safe options for the consumers or they are a ticking time bomb as far as the health and well-being of their users is concerned. Some medical experts are of the opinion that these containers should not be used for food storage. Additionally, most environmentalists, too, are up in arms against these containers. On the other hand, the manufacturers of plastic containers and the average users like you and me who feel that these are the excellent containers to store our food are not very eager to believe in their harmfulness.

This latter group points at the numerous advantages that these containers have to give credence to their view. For instance, they argue, plastic is light, strong, easily shaped and quite inexpensive. Plastic kitchenware preserves freshness and flavor, plus it is leak-proof and child-resistant when used to store beverages and food. Listening to this argument one would think the benefits of plastic food containers are boundless. But what about possible harm?

Dangers of Plastic Food Containers

Medical research demonstrates that plastic bottles and other plastic containers contain the potentially harmful compound Bisphenol A (BPA). Food stored in plastic containers is left with traces of this hazardous compound. Some scientists claim, BPA disrupts endocrine system which plays essential roles in the production, transportation, secretion, action, functioning, and elimination of natural hormones. Medical experts have linked higher doses of BPA to infertility and other health complications. To make matters worse, BPA is not the only potentially harmful compound food in plastics; there are also others that together make plastic food containers not the healthiest option for everyone.

Environmental Hazards

Other than possibly posing a risk to human health, plastics are a major environmental hazard. When you use plastic containers you contribute to environmental degradation, and we know the role that a healthy physical environment has on our physical health as well. But sadly, every year billions of plastic containers are discarded around the globe. With this large disposal, the same toxic chemicals are unleashed into the environment.

Here they cause further harm by endangering marine life, ending up in landfills or worse still on our dinner plates through the food chain. The marine products that find their way into our cooking pots are the major culprits of the last outcome.

Healthier Alternatives

While research is still inconclusive and scientists can’t be absolutely sure that plastic containers are necessarily harmful, health experts nevertheless recommend not to use them, just to be on the safe side. There are other containers made from health-friendly materials that can help you safeguard your health and that of the planet. Such materials might still have their cons, but at least they do not pose any significant risk to human and environmental health. Silicone food containers are a good example of such storage containers. Of course, the most harmless containers are glass ones, but they have become much less popular in the last decade due to the fact that they are liable to breakage.