Sort of unnerving that a high schooler had to discover this problem.
As a seventh grade student, Claire Nelson learned that
(DEHA), considered a carcinogen, is found in plastic wrap. She also learned
that the FDA had never studied the effect of microwave cooking on plastic-
wrapped food. Claire began to wonder: "Can cancer-causing particles seep into
food covered with household plastic wrap while it is being microwaved?"
Three years later, with encouragement from her high school
Claire set out to test what the FDA had not. Although she had an idea for
studying the effect of microwave radiation on mplastic-wrapped food, she did
not have the equipment. Eventually, Jon Wilkes at the National Center for
Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas, agreed to help her. The research
center, which is affiliated with the FDA, let her use its facilities to
perform her experiments, which involved microwaving plastic wrap in virgin olive
Claire tested four different plastic wraps and "found not
just the carcinogens
but also xenoestrogen was migrating into the oil...." Xenoestrogens are linked
to low sperm counts in men and to breast cancer in women.
Throughout her junior and senior years, Claire made a couple
of trips each week
to the research center, which was 25 miles from her home, to work on her
experiment. An article in Options reported that "her analysis found that DEHA
was migrating into the oil at between 200 parts and 500 parts per million. The
FDA standard is 0.05 parts per billion."
Her summarized results have been published in science journals.
received the American Chemical Society's top science prize for students during
her junior year and fourth place at the International Science and Engineering
Fair (Fort Worth, Texas) as a senior.
"Carcinogens-At 10,000,000 Times FDA Limits" Options May
Published by People Against Cancer, 5-972-4444.
On Channel 2 (Huntsville, AL) this morning they had a Dr.
Edward Fujimoto from
Castle Hospital on the program. He is the manager of the Wellness Program at
the hospital. He was talking about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He
said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic
containers. This applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the
combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases dioxins into the food and
ultimately into the cells of the body. Dioxins are carcinogens and highly toxic
to the cells of our bodies.
Instead, he recommends using glass, Corning Ware, or ceramic
heating food. You get the same results without the dioxins. So such things as
TV dinners, instantsaimin and soups, etc. should be removed from the container
and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in
paper. Just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He said we might
remember when some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam
containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.
To add to this: Saran wrap placed over foods as they are
nuked, with the high
heat, actually drips poisonous toxins into the food. Use paper towel instead.