Heating food in plastic containers linked to dioxin and cancer

Received this in an Email from a relative who is a breast cancer survivor. Don’t have a link for it yet. In the meantime, if you are fixing something to eat right now, don’t use that plastic refrigerator container in the microwave.

Subject: FW: Cancer News from Johns Hopkins

Cancer News from Johns Hopkins:
1. No plastic containers in microwave ovens. This means NONE, not even the ones that claim to be microwave safe.

2. No water bottles in freezer.

3. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals causes cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic.

Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked 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 especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen 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 the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life!

Update: this piece was migrated from a different site. Comments and links have been retained.

5 Responses to “Heating food in plastic containers linked to dioxin and cancer”

  1. Christopher Says:
    September 3rd, 2006 at 12:19 pm Well, not quite.Snopes has already debunked this particular urban myth in its entry called “Plastic-tac-toe”, but if you want to see what Johns Hopkins actually says about it (as opposed to the paragraph ascribed to Johns Hopkins but in reality added by some unknown Internet user back in early 2004), visit the interview with Rolf Halden, Ph.D. (Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).Here is a relevant excerpt:

    What about cooking with plastics?

    RH: In general, whenever you heat something you increase the likelihood of pulling chemicals out. Chemicals can be released from plastic packaging materials like the kinds used in some microwave meals. Some drinking straws say on the label “not for hot beverages.” Most people think the warning is because someone might be burned. If you put that straw into a boiling cup of hot coffee, you basically have a hot water extraction going on, where the chemicals in the straw are being extracted into your nice cup of coffee. We use the same process in the lab to extract chemicals from materials we want to analyze.

    If you are cooking with plastics or using plastic utensils, the best thing to do is to follow the directions and only use plastics that are specifically meant for cooking. Inert containers are best, for example heat-resistant glass, ceramics and good old stainless steel.

    Even the Mayo clinic has entered the debate with the following statement:

    Other claims have suggested that plastics contain dioxins, a group of contaminants labeled as a “likely human carcinogen” by the Environmental Protection Agency. But according to the FDA, there is no evidence that plastic containers or wraps contain dioxins.

    Again, however, there is the admonition to only use plastics that have been approved for microwaves.

    As for the e-mail warning, it is among those that BreakTheChain.org recommends not sending on. Their very complete analysis of the issue can be found in their article, “Microwaves, Plastics, and Dioxins — Oh My!”

  2. Christopher Says:
    September 3rd, 2006 at 12:58 pm Damn. I wrote out a whole snark on this perennial e-mail “warning,” which, when I submitted it, “softly and suddenly vanished away.”Apparently my Snark was a Boojum.Okay, so I’ll try my snark again, this time without quotations and summaries (but I’ll ask you to check out the links.)To begin with, this e-mail warning has nothing to do with Johns Hopkins — an attribution that was added early in 2004.

    This particular urban legend has been very roundly debunked by snopes (“Plastic-tac-toe”, Break the Chain (“Microwaves, Plastics, and Dioxins…Oh My!”, the Mayo clinic (“Plastic containers in the microwave: A cause of cancer?”), and even Johns Hopkins itself (“Researcher Dispels Myth of Dioxins and Plastic Water Bottles”).

    The upshot of all these replies is that you should only use plastics that have been deemed microwave-safe, but otherwise not to worry.

    BreakTheChain.org is requesting that this particular e-mail no longer be passed on because: “As we can see, the perceived reliability of the message’s source can be deceiving.”

    Every e-mail warning should be checked out before passing along. It is generally quite easy to do so, often involving nothing more than a quick Google search using a few of the key words. Nine out of ten times they are either hoaxes or such a mish-mash of partial facts with wild speculation as to be useless.

  3. David Clark Says:
    September 3rd, 2006 at 3:19 pm So far, this is an urban legend. Snopes.com has information about it here.
  4. Christopher Says:
    September 4th, 2006 at 11:22 am Oops. Obviously there is a delay feature involved in posting comments, so the comment I thought had disappeared was just caught up in a queue of some sort.Sorry about the double post (which are called “waffles” at snopes.com).
  5. Anonymous Says:
    September 4th, 2006 at 12:22 pm I was hoping some of these links would state unequivically that plastic is not harmful, but none of them do that. Instead they say the person presenting the information was a public health official and not a medical doctor, that the substance migrating into the food from the plastic was not dioxin but some other hormone-like compound, or that the information did not originate from an offical source within the hospital but was merely being passed to friends on hospital Email accounts by hospital employees. Nothing in the links that would alarm the plastic industry, is there.Instead we are told to be sure to use plastic that is clearly labeled as safe for microwave and not to let the plastic actually touch the food. The plastic has to stay one inch away from the food. Not very reassuring. I have also heard the stories about breast cancer and links to caffeine and BBQ charcoal. As someone who already has a family history of breast cancer, I don’t know what to think. Somehow I don’t expect there will be more research on the subject soon.

Bush Plan: more troops to Baghdad vs. Biden Plan: Dividing Iraq to hold it together

In a press conference Monday, Bush defended his Iraqi policy, saying over and over an immediate withdrawal would be both a ‘disaster’ and a ‘huge mistake’.

Leaving before the job would be done would send a message that America really is no longer engaged, nor cares about the form of governments in the Middle East,” he said. “Leaving before the job was done would send a signal to our troops that the sacrifices they made were not worth it. Leaving before the job is done would be a disaster, and that’s what we’re saying.

Leaving Iraq now would also “provide safe haven for terrorists and extremists”, “embolden those who are trying to thwart the ambitions of reformers”, and “give the terrorists and extremists …revenues from oil sales.”

Of course, the current deteriorating situation in Iraq keeps Iraqi oil off the world market and inflates the price of oil, but hey, oil guys like Bush have to make a living too.

And how does Bush propose to accomplish his objectives of, uh, letting the world know that America cares deeply about Middle Eastern government and letting our troops know it’s okay to die? By moving some troops from Mosul to Baghdad. Why didn’t I think of that?

This week another proposal surfaced in the Washington Post, this one co-authored by presidential hopeful, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is also senator from Delaware and the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. This plan, ironically titled “A Plan to Hold Iraq Together”, calls for an approach similar to that used to end sectarian violence in Bosnia–dividing Iraq along sectarian lines and letting each keep its own militia, while providing for protection of minority groups and the division of oil profits as an incentive to keep the different groups working together.

First, the plan calls for maintaining a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis their own regions. The central government would be left in charge of common interests, such as border security and the distribution of oil revenue.

Second, it would bind the Sunnis to the deal by guaranteeing them a proportionate share of oil revenue. Each group would have an incentive to maximize oil production, making oil the glue that binds the country together.

Third, the plan would create a massive jobs program while increasing reconstruction aid — especially from the oil-rich Gulf states — but tying it to the protection of minority rights.

Fourth, it would convene an international conference that would produce a regional nonaggression pact and create a Contact Group to enforce regional commitments.

Fifth, it would begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces this year and withdraw most of them by the end of 2007, while maintaining a small follow-on force to keep the neighbors honest and to strike any concentration of terrorists.

Like the guy on Hawaii-Five-O used to say, “Sounds crazy, but it just might work.”

Update: Piece was migrated from a different site, comments appeared there, links have been retained.

3 Responses to “Bush Plan: More Troops to Baghdad vs. Biden Plan: Dividing Iraq to Hold it Together”

  1. DTW 06 Says:
    August 27th, 2006 at 11:34 pm eInteresting, I just posted Crazy Extremists These Islamic extremists have some serious anti-social issues. It is unfortunate that too many people in this world are willing adherents to rigid dogma.It is disturbing how many willingly sacrifice their lives for someone else’s objectives, all in the name of religion. Or could it be something else?

    Could it be for the state and a sense of patriotism?

    Could it be over land and/or other resources?

    Or could the objective be to settle an old score? After all if it is always about and “eye for an eye” we will have constant war. Yes, there sure are lots of ways adherence to rigid dogma and unquestioning loyalty lead to bloodshed.

    Please check out OhioDem1’s How to Sell a War for more on this topic.

    QuestionItNow Blogs

  2. Anoymous Says:
    August 29th, 2006 at 6:47 pm eI have always thought there are some important economic forces at play here.If you ask Arabs how many brothers and sister they have they will say something like 5 brothers and 6 sisters. Until they get a job, their families will not arrange a marriage for them. With an economy only growing at a rate of something like 3% in a non-oil country, and maybe further depressed by war, they aren’t going to be able to get a job or get married. In the Arab world, no marriage, no sex. Now if someone comes along and offers them a short-term position, whether or not they know it involves their death, and they’re already without a future….The people with the bank accounts to finance these things seem to be well hidden and far away from the danger themselves.
Posted in Election 2008, Iraq, Middle East, peace. Comments Off on Bush Plan: more troops to Baghdad vs. Biden Plan: Dividing Iraq to hold it together

Blast their hopes, blight their lives

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, Pat Robertson has been in Israel to show the religious right’s solidarity with Israel:

“I am here to say I love Israel and that Christian
Evangelicals in America stand with Israel in its
struggle for freedom against Islamo-fascism, which is directed against Israel and all civilized nations of the world” Robertson said at a Jerusalem press conference during his 96-hour lightning solidarity trip.

During his 15-minute meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Robertson prayed for “victory”. In case anyone has a hard time trying to imagine what this prayer might have sounded like, here is an excerpt from Mark Twain’s War Prayer. I first saw this printed in a church bulletin back in 1968 or so, during the Vietnam War, and it doesn’t ever seem to go out of style.

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

This is also a little reminder for those who like to think war is fun and romantic.

Update: this piece was migrated from another site, the comment appeared there.

One Response to “Blast their hopes, blight their lives”

  1. Terry Says:
    September 2nd, 2006 at 11:18 am e thanks for reminding us of what a brilliant and erudite man was Samuel Clemens. We cannot of course expecte people like the money grubbing archduke of lies, pat Robertson to understand or appreciate the cynicism behind Clemens words.Robertson made it clear in his speach that he and American evangelicals love Isreal. We do note however that Robertson’s son and other well known evangelicals have not volunteered their services or the services of other children of upright christian leaders, to arm themselves and volunteer to fight against the Muslims.The Christian hordes were the first to attack the Muslems in their own country. And that Bastion of Right Christian thinking Richard Coer de Lion Massacred all the muslim occupants of Jeruselem in the name of Christ. Over 30,000 men women and children were put to the sword by the Holy Crusaders. Not a life was spared in the name of Jesus. Sal Al Adin who retook Jerusalem several years later, allowed all the Christians safe passage and threatened death to any who molested them on their jorney back to their homeland.

    Do not accept tha new mantra that the Muslims are fascists, their religion Is their life. modern day Christian leaders however are a direct descendant of Richard the Lion Heart, the Papal legacy, the Kings of England, France and Spain who built their Kingdoms by torture, rape and murder in Africa, America and the far east. Most Chistian converts did so at the end of the sword or while their feet were roasting on religeous pyres. An let us not forget those great monuments to Christian piety, The Tzars of Russia and Adolf Hitler who justified their pogroms and imprisonment of Jews in Russia and Germany. The leaders of Hungary and poland and Rumania who were glad to support Hitlers murder of jews because they were good and pious CHRISTIANS.

    Hilers Fascist armies went to war with the words ‘Got Mit Uns’ on their belt buckles (now collectors items of the neo fascist KKK).

    Let us understand. The only reason that Pat Robertson and his ilk go to Isreal is to put more money in their pockets. Money and only money is the driving force behind all the pronouncements of Robertson and his ilk.

Posted in Arabs, Middle East, Religion. Comments Off on Blast their hopes, blight their lives