You’ve heard the old “don’t microwave food in plastics” rap—but that may not be the worst of it.
Public health officials recently sounded the alarm in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, saying that the 6,000-plus chemicals in plastic wraps, cap and carton linings, synthetic containers—virtually any packaging—are likely leaking into food and posing long-term health risks. Even scarier: Science is only beginning to expose the extent of those risks.
To make matters worse, those “safe” BPA-free plastics (BPA is linked to both cancer and diabetes) may not be safe at all: A new Center for Environmental Health study of BPA-free sippy cups found in them other chemicals as hazardous as BPA itself.
What to do? “Try to eat fresh, organic, unpackaged foods, and avoid heating in plastic, non-stick, or silicone [ware],” says Jane Muncke, Ph.D., of the Food Packaging Forum Foundation. Don’t store food in plastic, either, says the CEH’s Charles Margulis. “Glass or foil are preferable.”