Avoid Packing Lunches in Plastics, Say Pediatricians

Old guidelines don’t go far enough in warning about the dangers of toxins in a child’s packed lunch. Recent studies reflect the dangers posed by even tiny amounts of chemicals in food more accurately than existing 60-year-old guidelines, according to a new policy statement.

The American Academy of Pediatrics panel is urging parents to avoid as much as possible cans and plastic containers to pack their children’s lunches. The warning comes after reports that have endocrinologists raising the alarm about exposure to chemicals in the womb.

The University of Illinois published a July study showing a stark difference in babies born to women who eat food from plastic containers during pregnancy. These mothers were more likely to give birth to children with slower reactions. At least 50 chemicals – such as BPA, triclosan and parabens – show up in high levels in the blood of most pregnant women, according to a different study by the University of California, San Francisco.

The new policy from top pediatricians points out that children of all ages, not just those in the womb, are going through a crucial phase of development. Toxins can get into the bloodstream and affect hormones that make an impact on development.

Use alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible, they recommend. Avoid placing plastics in the dishwasher. Avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic, if possible.

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