I know, I know, I can hear you groaning from here. As if washing bottles and cups and all of their parts multiple times a week (or day) isn’t hard enough, now we’re going to tell you that the dishwasher is off-limits?
Sorry! Read ahead to find out why American pediatricians are united on the recommendation, and why it could be worth it to you (and your little ones!) to follow their advice on this one.
The AAP published their findings in the August edition of PedatricExperts and they claim that “chemicals found in food colorings, preservatives, and packaging materials may harm children’s health,” and it asks for stricter regulations as far as good safety. The chemicals of concern include bisphenols, phthalates, and styrene, a list that’s potentially harmful side effects include brain development, obesity, autism, AD(H)D, and limited muscle mass and bone strength.
The heat of the dishwasher (or microwave) can cause plastics to leak these chemicals into the food – and yes, even plastics that claim to be BPA free can leach dangerous chemicals into food or milk when heated.
A spokesperson for the USDA said that there is “reasonable scientific certainty” that additives “generally recognized as safe”are not harmful when used as directed. That said, they are reviewing the paper’s findings and say that if the new information indicates, they have “the authority to change previous guidelines or require that use of a substance is reduced or prohibited.”
The bottom line is that your child’s doctor has some concerns about what could get into your kid’s juice or milk or other food if you wash their plastic containers in the dishwasher or heat them up in the microwave. Until the findings are checked and double checked and the government gets around to doing something about it (if they’re confirmed), your kid could be leaving for college.
So maybe the phrase of the day is “better safe than sorry,” and you’ll want to hand wash your plastics and use glass when you’re sticking food in the microwave.
It’s definitely a pain, but hey – no one in the history of ever said that raising kids would be easy.