Do plastic bottles or food containers cause cancer?

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Cancer and plastic containers

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There is no good evidence that using plastic bottles or plastic containers increases the risk of cancer. There have been claims that chemicals in plastics can leach into food or drink and cause cancer. Hoax emails have spread warnings about dioxins being released when plastic containers are reused heated or frozen. These are credited to Johns Hopkins University in America, but the university denies any involvement. Some studies have shown that small amounts of chemicals from plastic containers can end up in the food or drinks that are kept inside them.

But the levels of these are very low. In some experiments, plastic bottles are heated to high temperatures for many hours. They cancer and plastic containers usually far under levels that are considered unsafe, cancer and plastic containers.

Studies may also look at the effect of these chemicals on human cells. But they will often expose them to much higher levels than people are exposed to in real life. These levels are also much higher than the limits which are allowed in plastic by law. There is no evidence to show using plastic containers actually causes cancer in humans. The European Food Safety Authority did a full scientific review of BPA in and decided there was no health risk to people of any age including unborn children at current BPA exposure levels.

They are due to update this in In the UK there is very strict regulation about plastics and other materials that are used for food or drink, cancer and plastic containers. These limits are well below the level which could cause harm in humans. Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of isphenol A BPA in foodstuffs: Mobile phones, wifi and power lines.

Medical scans, air travel and nuclear industries. Call freephone or email us. Skip to main content. Do plastic bottles or food containers cause cancer? What is the evidence?

Find out more Cosmetics and cancer and plastic containers Mobile phones, wifi and power lines Medical scans, air travel and nuclear industries. Last reviewed 31 July Can cancer be prevented? HPV and cancer Hormones and cancer Air pollution, radon gas and cancer Cancer risks in the workplace Cancer controversies Cancer clusters Cosmetics and toiletries Mobile phones, wifi and power lines Plastic bottles and food containers Stress Medical scans, cancer and plastic containers, air travel and nuclear industries Inherited cancer genes and increased cancer risk Age and Cancer.

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Cancer and plastic containers

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