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Plastics play an important part in food production, preparation and packaging. Most people use plastic cooking equipment, packaging, and also reheat the leftovers in plastic containers which give it that strange plastic taste, so much for convenience.

There are potentially harmful chemicals in plastics which are linked to prevalence of chronic illnesses in men according to an Australian research study. We are aware that plastic bits are getting into our food from containers. This process is called “leaching” or “migration.” In fact, the plastic chemical industry acknowledges that you cannot avoid this transfer and that all food packaging materials contain substances that can migrate into the food they contact.

In a study, the Scientists from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute conducted a research among 1,500 men to check for the presence of harmful chemicals known as phthalates, linked to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. Phthalates were detected in the urine samples of 99.6 per cent of the participants aged 35 years and older, which was because of consuming food in plastic containers, according to associate professor Zumin Shi from the University of Adelaide.

Adding that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure increased among those men with higher total phthalate levels. Shi also said that higher levels of phthalates was found in Westerners food because most of their food is packaged in plastic. Previous studies also indicated that those who drank carbonated beverages and soft drinks and ate packaged foods had much higher phthalate levels in their urine compared to those who ate healthier.

Laura Vandenberg, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in biology at Tufts University in Boston said that although the amounts are small but every plastic container will leach small amounts of plastics into food. She also said that while heating food in plastic containers also increase the amount that’s transferred to food especially fatty, salty, or acidic foods.

We at foodnetindia urge our followers to avoid using plastic containers to store and heat food, instead switch to glass, stainless steel, silicon, cloth bags, etc. We also want to use this platform to request FSSAI and Government of India to ban the use of plastic containers for storage of food in India.

Sources:

http://www.unisa.edu.au/Research/South-Australian-Health-and-Medical-Research-Institute/

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/chemicals-in-plastic-linked-to-chronic-diseases-in-men-117071300189_1.html

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