Don’t flip out at the news we’re about to share with you. It turns out the plastic spatula you’ve been using to flip your food, could be damaging your liver and thyroid.
Plastic utensils produce harmful toxic byproducts that can contaminate food when heated. The toxic byproducts, known as oligomers, are formed during plastic production and may be poisonous to humans.
When cooking with plastic utensils, scientists are warning people to keep contact with food as brief as possible. Especially when cooking at temperatures above 70°C or 158°F.
Scientists found 30% of kitchen utensils released more than 5mg of oligomers per kilo of food—the limit that is deemed toxicologically acceptable. And when it comes to human health, high doses of oligomers may have adverse effects on the liver and thyroid.
Toxicological data isn’t currently available for food utensils, but scientists suggest manufacturers should compile it, in order to perform a conclusive risk assessment. In the meantime, they suggest limiting the amount of contact your plastic utensils have with hot foods. Or better yet, opt for non-plastic cooking utensils.
As people become more interested in the impact plastic has on human health, scientists are ramping up their research. The science is still emerging, so we don’t have crystal clear answers just yet. What we do know is that using plastic products may lead to inhalation or ingestion of microplastics and hundreds of toxic substances with known or suspected carcinogenic, developmental, or endocrine-disrupting impacts.
So, next time you’re making breakfast, remember to think twice before flipping your eggs with a plastic spatula.