Friday, November 14, 2008

#5 Plastic (polypropylene) Not Safe Anymore?

I was away from the news for a while but thanks to some readers, I found out about a new study saying that #5 plastic (polypropylene) was discovered (almost accidentally) to leach two types of chemicals. The study is described in a little depth on the EWG website. It is not clear under which conditions the chemical leached -- was it the enzyme used in the experiment, was it under normal conditions?? -- and whether it is dangerous or not

This is very sad news especially because that are many foods wrapped into #5 plastic (considered safe) and most of these foods cannot be avoided. Even the medication is packed in #5 plastic containers. It is not easy to get rid of it; yes you can eliminate from your house everything that is made from plastic but you cannot stop buying certain foods whose nutritional value is very important for a healthy diet.

This type of plastic was considered safe until now; however even now nobody is arguing that it is bad, the study found that the plastic is leaching chemicals. But what chemical is safe? I do not believe in chemical safety. I would not be surprised at all if one day they will find that the other two types of plastic (#2 and #4) considered safe now will be found to leach chemicals.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is really bad, there are a lot of products maid from PP among baby bottles and food storage container that people use to warm food in microwave because we though that #5 was safe. Definitively we need to use biodegradable materials made from 100% natural resources like corn. I know that there is a new company that is developing new food storage containers for household use made from corn plastic.
Does somebody know about it

Anonymous said...

The Organic Girl pre-washed salads that they are now selling at Walmart are packaged in plastic made from corn.

Lucia said...

Thank you for visiting and for your comments! The news is not surely true; this was an experiment made by some researchers using some substances - it is not sure if the substances interacted with the plastic. But of course, it raises lots of questions! I am not suggesting not to worry about it but given that many products are packed in PP plastic there is not much way out of it and the nutritional value of many of these products is far more important. I think no plastic should be used to warm food in the microwave. I got rid of the plastic containers and I use glass containers like ones found at Target, but I cannot stop buying yogurt, cheese or other so many products that I need and are packed in PP plastic. I am not aware of the corn plastic made for household use but I still think that for microwave use glass would be the best so far. I hope you will find your ways for staying healthy.

Anonymous said...

There is a water bottle made from corn resin. Here's the link
http://www.slate.com/id/2172541/pagenum/all/#p2

Anonymous said...

"The Organic Girl pre-washed salads that they are now selling at Walmart are packaged in plastic made from corn."

Don't shop at Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

Who are you to tell someone where to shop

Just because you don't agree with the ethics and business practices of Wal-Mart doesn't make it right for you to spout off against someones good intentioned comment.

Anonymous said...

Anni Chung soups are in corn bowls

Anonymous said...

Not so sure why these corn plastics are viewed as such a viable alternative. Virtually all corn today is raised with synthetic chemicals and is also genetically modified. How can we be sure these chemicals and modified DNA are not susceptible to leeching into our food products as well?

Lucia said...

Anonymous, thanks for visiting!
And...yes, I agree with you regarding the corn; I have mentioned many times that what seems to be "green" and good for the planet is not necessarily healthy for us. We cannot eliminate all chemicals from our lives (they are everywhere) but I think that certainly we can reduce the amount of exposure.

Anonymous said...

You are made of chemicals.

Dennis said...

This isn't really a big deal. Oleamide is an endogenous cannabinoid. You would have to ingest a LOT of it to feel 'stoned', and it isn't a harmful substance at any dosage. There's no way there's enough oleamide in a plastic container to get anyone high.

As far as quaternary ammonium biocides... well those are otherwise known as food-safe commercial kitchen disinfectants. Restaurants dilute them in water and wipe cutting boards, surfaces, dishes, etc. with them. If you are worried about ingesting quarternary ammonium biocides, don't eat at restaurants. All they do is kill some bacteria at the doses you'll find used in plastic.

Lucia said...

Hi Dennis,

Thank you for visiting and thank you for comment!

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