You probably wouldn’t consider wrapping your child’s lunch sandwich with a piece of PVC pipe, would you? Yet polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, is present in many of the baggies and food storage containers currently marketed for packing lunches and snacks.
PVC – A Known Hormone Disrupter
Although there is a current ban on usingthat will be used by children, PVC continues to show up in items such as sandwich baggies that often end up in children’s lunch boxes. Exposure to PVC disrupts natural hormone levels and is known to increase the risk for some serious health issues, including respiratory illnesses like asthma and an increased risk of some types of allergies.
To be fair, it is important to note that some plastic bag manufacturers do not use PVC in the bags they produce. However, consumers often find it difficult to determine this based on product information found on the packaging.
More Than Just a Health Risk
Although the health risk factor should never be downplayed, the truth is that plastic lunch baggies are harmful in many other ways, as well.
- Because they are cheap and disposable, the average family uses hundreds of them each year, many of which will end up in the landfill where PVC and other chemicals used to manufacture them will be able to leach into the soil for years to come.
- Disposable lunch baggies that don’t make it to the landfill are likely to become part of the growing accumulation of plastic that is clogging our land, rivers and even our oceans.
- Disposable lunch baggies are just one of many types of chemical-laden plastic that are finding their way into the stomachs of marine animals and then ultimately into the human food chain when these animals are harvested for food.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Family
suggests that the best way to protect your family and the planet from exposure to any of the dangerous chemicals found in plastic bags and food storage containers is to banish plastic from your life in as many ways as possible.
- Choose durable, washable glass, ceramic or stainless steel food storage containers to safely store leftovers in the fridge or when packing lunch for the day.
- Opt to use machine washable, sandwich pouches that can be used for years, such as that are durable and manufactured using safe materials.
As research continues, even more chemicals are likely to be found to affect human health, so take time to do your research on not only the products you purchase, but the packaging, as well. Your family’s health may depend on it!