LOS ANGELES (KABC) —
Otis Vigil has no idea how many Styrofoam cups or disposable plates he’s used at home, and during the holidays he and his family of six use quite a lot of plastic and paper.
Dr. Stewart Lonky, author of the book “Invisible Killers,” said he has a naughty list for disposable kitchen items. On that list are foam cups, paper plates, plastic utensils and containers that have certain numbers listed within triangles on the packaging.
“Number 3, number 6 and number 7 are the numbers you don’t want to microwave in and you don’t want to use for hot food,” he said.
These codes indicate the presence of phthalates, bisphenol-A and persistent organic pollutants among other chemicals. The trace amounts humans are exposed to daily may not be harmful, but some studies show these chemicals can accumulate in the body and can even be passed on to children.
“The average newborn today has over 200 toxins in their blood stream,” Lonky said.
The items on his nice list are plant based plates and cups as well as BPA-free plastics and glass containers. The items may cost more, but Lonky said the price is worth it in the end.
“Reproductive health becomes a real focus when you talk about toxins,” he said.
Those who often use disposable items should be wary of the plastic coating on paper plates and also paper plates. Lonky said the plates are made white with dioxin.
But toxicologist Dr. Cyrus Rangan said there’s no proof proper single and daily use of these products can be harmful.
“We should be realizing that we don’t necessarily want to make these a mandate if we don’t have the evidence to support it,” he said.
While the evidence doesn’t show the causes and effects from disposable food items, Lonky said what studies do show shouldn’t be ignored.
Vigil said with this new information he is going to be more mindful of what he uses.
“With a big family you have to conscious of their health as well,” he said.