While picking a lunch box for a child, we usually think of picking shiny and bright tiffin boxes with the child’s favourite cartoon character on the lid. As children, most of us had plastic tiffin boxes -- they were cheap, cool and colourful. These boxes are also common in our kitchen and are most often used to store leftovers.
Plastic lunch boxes appear to be the solution in any circumstance, whether it's to simply pack a lunch or to preserve leftovers. But are these plastic boxes safe?
India Today spoke to Dr Sanjay Wazir, Neonatologist and Pediatrician, Motherhood Hospitals, Gurgaon to find out more.
"Chemicals from plastics seep into food, drinks, and anything else they come into contact with. The poisonous substances that are leached have a variety of negative consequences on both people and the environment. The concept of safe plastic does not exist," said Dr Sanjay Wazir.
According to recent studies and research, residues of endocrine, disrupting chemicals have been detected in numerous types of plastics, making them potentially cancerous.
Dr Sanjay Wazir also mentioned that another chemical that is frequently added to food plastics is BPA, which has come under increased scrutiny as a result of research showing that it can impair an unborn child's brain development and the reproductive system.
"Studies also suggest that BPS and BPF, two common substitutes used in items promoted as ‘BPA-free’, may have effects similar to those of their predecessors," said Dr Sanjay Wazir.
Plastic products are dangerous and should be avoided, especially around children.
Listed below are some of the reasons you should avoid plastic boxes for food and beverages:
1. THEY ARE TOXIC AND BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
We are all somewhat aware of this reality, but we simply choose to ignore it. However, the fact that plastic is hazardous remains.
Your plastic lunch boxes leach harmful substances into the food they contain, including phthalates, PVS, and BPA.
When consumed, such chemicals lead to major health problems like cancer, high blood pressure, hormone imbalances, or even heart attacks.
Safe lunchboxes made of plastic are a hoax. No plastic, regardless of how safe it may seem, produces toxic chemicals and is bad for your health.
2. NOT ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
We have always been aware of this as well. Plastic is environmentally harmful and not biodegradable.
We've all heard the advice to recycle and avoid using plastic. It's high time we began putting it into practice.
Eliminating such plastic lunch boxes is a very tiny and easy action that may be taken to make this change.
3. CAN MAKE YOU OBESE
We are surrounded by plastic everywhere. A large percentage of the food we consume contains microplastic. Hence, it constantly penetrates our bodies.
Numerous studies also suggest that it may contribute to serious health issues, including obesity.
4. CAN ADD TOXINS
When your food is hot and kept in your plastic lunch box, it releases chemical substances into it, removing both its freshness and delectability.
HOW TO REDUCE MICROPLASTIC INGESTION
Here are some suggestions for lessening your dependence on plastic and keeping it out of your meals:
1. When feasible, use glass or metal containers instead of plastic tiffins.
2. Avoid heating the food in the microwave in takeaway containers and other types of plastic not intended for reuse
3. Avoid storing greasy or oily foods in plastic since many of the chemicals used in plastic are fat-soluble and more prone to leak into greasy food.
5. Reduce the use of plastic water bottles, which are an important factor in the widespread consumption of microplastics.