Danger! - Storing food in plastic containers can cause cancer

BY: Augustina Tawiah
Storing food in such plastic products can be dangerous to your health.
Storing food in such plastic products can be dangerous to your health.

Parents have been advised to desist from storing food in plastic containers for their children.

They are also to ensure that children are given stainless water bottles instead of plastic ones for water and other drinks to school.

A Researcher into Human Health, Mr Effa Baffo Gyamfi, who gave the advice, also urged children to stop putting foods such as porridge (koko), rice, waakye and beverage in plastic polythene bags.

He explained that the chemicals used to produce plastic products are very dangerous for human health, especially for children.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the chemicals used to produce plastics as carcinogenic substances, meaning that they cause cancer in humans.

Plastics are made from petrol chemical products such as coal tar so when they come into contact with anything that contains oil, salt, alcohol and heat, they leach the chemicals into the food,” he warned.
Mr Gyamfi, who is also a Library Assistant at the University of Ghana Medical School, Korle Bu, pointed out that the country was currently recording a lot of cancer cases in children, pointing out that plastics could be a major contributor.

He said when children consumed foods from plastics, they risked getting cancers, kidney failure and early menstruation in girls.

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“Eating food from plastics can cause children to become hyperactive because the chemicals used for plastics are neurotoxic so they affect the neurological system and also cause children to become restless,” he added.

The researcher noted that all plastics were dangerous irrespective of the colour. They include feeding bottles, plastic containers, polythene bags etc.

He further explained that when plastics such as bowls usually fade, the chemicals would have leached into the food slowly over the period, pointing out that it would have been absorbed into the system of anyone who had eaten food from those bowls.

Mr Gyamfi, however, said parents could give their children plastic bowls or water bottles which have been lined with stainless steel, porcelain or ceramics as that would be safe for use.