When a hot, fatty, acidic or salty food or drink is placed in a plastic container, it eventually allows the transfer of chemicals from the plastic packaging into the food or drink. Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are two chemicals from plastics that are often associated with the risk of health problems.
The food and drinks we consume are almost always in contact with plastic, since they are sold in markets or supermarkets, we take them home, until we process and store them. In this process, there is a transfer of chemicals from plastic packaging to foodstuffs. BPA and phthalates are said to transfer these hazardous materials.
Dangers of BPA and Phthalates
BPA is a material that has long been used to harden plastic, including drink bottles and reusable food boxes. This material is also commonly found in cans of formula to prevent rust, baby bottles, and some toddler equipment. BPA is thought to have an impact on increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, liver disorders, diabetes, brain disorders and behavior in young children.
Whereas phthalates is a chemical used to make plastics tough and flexible. In addition to plastic, this material can also be found in shampoo, soap, detergent, nail polish, and hair spray. But be careful, phthalatesIt is suspected that it can cause endocrine disorders, increase insulin resistance, and trigger obesity in children.
Phthalates It is also thought to be at risk of inhibiting the work of testosterone so that it affects fertility and the health of the male reproductive tract and other organs of the body. In high levels, the substance is thought to be related to the low number and quality of adult male sperm. This substance is also thought to increase the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. Other studies have found that fetuses exposed to these chemicals are at greater risk of developing asthma and lung disorders.
In addition to BPA and phthalates, melamine chemicals in plastics are also considered not good for health.
Avoid BPA and Phthalates
One of the easiest solutions to avoiding these chemicals is to check the number in the recycling triangle at the bottom of the plastic container. Issued code Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) is applicable internationally to identify types of plastic containers. Containers with different numbers will be recycled separately. In general, the numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are safe to use.
In addition, here are simple ways that you can do to protect yourself and your family from harmful materials from plastic.
- Avoid storing or heating food in plastic containers.
- Avoid foods and drinks that often contain BPA, such as packaged foods and canned milk.
- Stop using plastic containers that have been scratched and damaged.
- Always wash newly purchased plastic containers before use.
- Choose plastic containers labeled 'BPA-free' or BPA free.
- Choose a glass container or when heating foodstuffs.
- As much as possible avoid giving formula milk (which is generally packaged in cans) to babies. If you want to give milk using a baby bottle, you should choose a BPA-free milk bottle to make it safer to sterilize.
- If you want to store hot food and drinks, cool them before placing them in plastic containers.
- It is safer to use glass baby bottles than plastic. If using a plastic bottle, avoid heating it.
- Discard unused plastic bags or packaging.
After understanding the safety level of plastic packaging and the risks behind it, it never hurts to be wiser in making choices when using plastic as a food or beverage container.