My husband and I recently made a decision that was not as easy as it might sound: We decided to stop using plastic food storage containers! The ridiculous jumble of various shapes and sizes of containers and lids has been cleared out of the cabinet! This has been a time-consuming (and somewhat costly) shift, but one that we hope will have a positive impact on our family's (especially William's) future health.
Since 1946, when Tupperware brand plastic food storage containers were introduced, American families have been using such containers almost exclusively (and microwaving in them, putting them throught the dishwasher, etc.). It is now known that plastic containers can contain harmful chemical compounds like Bisphenol A (BPA) and pthalates. When exposed to heat (by putting hot food into the container, microwaving or running it through the dishwasher), these chemical compounds are released from the plastic. Both have been linked to various health issues (such as asthsma and autism) , and babies and children are most succeptible to their effects. A lifetime of exposure to such compounds could very well be a contributor to the overall increased rates of asthma, cancer, autism and other health issues in the US.
Since several countries recognized the dangers of these chemical compounds in 2008, plastic products that are BPA and pthalate free have become more widely available. Just this year the FDA raised concerns about fetal, infant and childhood exposure to these compounds. What concerns me is that these compounds have just been identified as harmful in the past few years! What else could be in plastics that our babies are being exposed to? 10 years from now, there may be several more identified, and I don't want to take that chance. The cumulative effects of small exposures to toxins could affect William's health 20, 40 or 50 years from now, and I feel it's my responsibility to help protect his future health as well as his current health.
We replaced our plastic storage containers with glass, silicone and stainless steel containers (many of which do have plastic lids, but at least those won't be touching the food!). We will no longer wash any plastic items in the dishwasher (lids are washed by hand), and we stopped microwaving in plastic years ago. I hope that these small steps make a difference........
Here are some of the products we invested in to replace our plastic containers:
Pyrex Storage Plus 20 Piece Container Set
LunchBots Pico Stainless Steel Lunch Container
Oggi 3-Inch Diameter Stainless Steel Pinch Bowls with Airtight Lids, Set of 3
Kinderville Little Bites Stackable Bowls Set of 4
Crate & Barrel Glass Bowls with Lids