Get a Non-Plastic Lunch Box Instead – It's Naturally BPA-Free
With the ongoing concerns about the toxic effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a common chemical found in plastic products, BPA-free lunchboxes are becoming a real hit among health-conscious mums who are rushing to replace their kids' old plastic lunchboxes with new, BPA-free plastic containers. However, turns out these mums may have jumped on the BPA-free plastic bandwagon too quickly – research now suggests that also BPA-free plastic containers might be unsafe. If you're looking for ways to reduce your kids' exposure to potentially harmful chemicals leached from their lunchboxes, buying a non-plastic lunch box made of stainless steel might be the smartest move.
Why avoid plastic lunchboxes altogether?
An alarming study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011 suggests that a BPA-free label on a plastic product does not guarantee that the product is harmless. The researchers found that over 90 percent of the tested products – many of which were BPA-free – leached chemicals that can act as endocrine disruptors – just like BPA. This large-scale study covered over 20 baby bottles and more than 450 plastic food and beverage-packages.
Endocrine disruptors are compounds that interfere with the endocrine system (or hormone system) in humans and other mammals. In essence, any part of the body that is controlled by hormones can be affected by endocrine disruptors. Health problems and diseases that may be linked to excessive exposure to these chemicals include attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, impaired brain development, deformations of the body, breast cancer, prostate cancer, infertility, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Why get a lunch box made of stainless steel?
So, as boring as it may sound, a non-plastic lunch box made of stainless steel may be the safest option out there when it comes to lunch boxes for kids. Not only is it naturally free of BPA, it is also free of all the other nasty endocrine disruptors that may be present in plastic containers. In fact, stainless steel is considered one of the safest materials for food storage and handling.
High-quality non-plastic lunchboxes made of stainless steel are also more durable than their plastic counterparts. They are more resistant to heat and cannot be scratched easily. Plastic lunchboxes, by contrast, wear out relatively fast, and a plastic container that shows signs of use is likely to release even more harmful chemicals.
Be aware: not all metal is stainless steel
Just because a container is made of hard, non-plastic material doesn't mean it is made of stainless steel. For example, some stores sell enamel lunch boxes which, when in good condition, are actually considered safe. However, if the porcelain-coating on an enamel lunchbox gets chips or cracks, toxic heavy metals may leach into the food.
Be also aware of all kinds of aluminium containers. Many of them are not suitable for storing any kind of food, and those that do have a 'for food use' label may come with a BPA-containing plastic liner.
Buying a stainless steel lunch box
Companies are starting to respond to the increasing demand for non-plastic lunch boxes, and you may even find one in your nearest department store. You can also buy a stainless steel lunch box conveniently online. Don't know which one to pick? Try Stainless Steel Bento Box Food Container by ECOlunchbox. It is made of grade 304 stainless steel, independently tested to meet the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act standards. To get your child – or yourself – one of these high-quality non-plastic lunch containers, check out these links: