10 June 2016, 09:38
It’s not yet clear if the small amounts of Bisphenol A and other plastics we’re exposed to from food containers pose a significant health risk, but there is ongoing concern - especially when it comes to exposures in babies and small kids, who are more vulnerable to the effects of toxins.
Until we know more it’s a sensible precaution to cut back on using plastics with food where possible and practical. Less plastic production and waste is better for the environment too.
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* Don’t heat food or drinks in plastic containers - this accelerates the leaching of chemicals out of the plastic.
* Avoid re-using plastic cold drink bottles. As plastic gets older, it starts to break down, especially if it undergoes a lot of rough wear, and is taken in and out of the fridge or freezer repeatedly. There’s also a risk of bacterial contamination with re-using bottles.
* Discard plastic food containers that are scratched – these can harbour germs and are more likely to leach chemicals.
* Limit canned food in the diet: cans are lined with a thin layer of plastic.
* Make more use of glass, ceramic and stainless steel food and drink containers.
* Avoid plastic food containers stamped with the number 3, 6 or 7, or 'PC' (polycarbonate), as these contain BPA or other chemicals of concern.
- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor.