Sunday, March 24, 2013

Letter to VOICES: Health hazards from food consumption

My letter to MediaCorp’s TODAY Newspaper on the above matter is published on Sunday 24th March 2013

Many people are unaware that hot food packed in Styrofoam boxes can cause health problems. Styrofoam contains the neurotoxins styrene and benzene, which are widely accepted to be carcinogens.

These toxins can leach into food that is acidic, warm, alcoholic or oily and into the environment after exposure to rain and other weather. It is critical that people do not microwave food in Styrofoam or put hot food into Styrofoam containers.

The health authorities should remind all food suppliers, including food vendors in markets and coffee shops, to gradually replace Styrofoam boxes with other packaging, such as brown paper wrapped with a thin plastic sheet.

Some health-conscious organisations use plastic boxes of a similar material to milk bottles for babies. People could be advised to buy these less hazardous boxes to use for takeaway food.

Another health hazard is dented tinned goods. Charitable organisations and supermarkets often give tinned goods to the needy, but if these are dented, they can be detrimental to a person’s health.

A polyclinic doctor once advised me to stop taking dented tinned goods after she discovered that it led to my food poisoning.




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