Silicone Products and Health
Silicon-based products, referred to as silicone, line our shelves, but what are the health implications? Many people wonder if silicone is a safe alternative to products made from plastic, metal, and glass. Items made from this flexible, multicolored material include beverage cups, bowls, spatulas, and many others. These uber flexible items are available for purchase, and the consumer needs to know if they are safe. Another consideration for many is the environmental impact of silicone products- are they reusable and recyclable?
Made of bonded silicon (sand) and oxygen, silicone is a petroleum-free chemically derived substance. The pliable substance feels like the rubber in a rubber ball or a rubber band, but silicon replaces carbon in silicone products, giving this material unique characteristics and enhanced usability. Production of food-grade silicone is similar to that of medical-grade, and there are many regulatory companies worldwide to ensure the safety of the material.
Cups made from silicone such as Silipint’s pint-size cups are deemed safe because they are BPA-free, and they are chemically inert and stable. Hence, they won’t interact with food or beverages even at extremely high and low temperatures. BPA, a product in plastic and a coating for metal cans, does leach into food stored in plastic and metal containers. BPA contamination has been shown to affect children’s behavior adversely. Additionally, BPA may adversely affect blood pressure, as well as negatively influence the prostate and brain. Silicone products provide a safer alternative to plastic and BPA coated metal.
Additionally, food and beverages stored in this inert material do not interact with the silicone, so the taste is not affected. Due to high-temperature stability, this substance is useful for baking and other cooking activities. Products made of silicone are deemed microwave safe. Another side benefit is that spatulas and whisks made from this soft, pliable rubber-like material do not scratch cookware or melt when left in contact with heat too long.
Regarding the environmental benefit of using silicone products, there is a probable positive effect, assuming a few things. Silicone products can be recycled, unlike most plastics that cannot. Admittedly, many recycling centers currently lack the intake for silicone products; but hopefully, this will change. Plastic, which does not decompose, now litters our landfills and the oceans. Most silicone products will break down over time, given the right conditions. Silicon will not replace plastic on all fronts, but we can choose it when the conditions are right and reuse it whenever possible.
One of the best arguments for using silicone products, however, rests in their reusability. Silicone containers are sturdy and durable, and their coloring does not quickly fade over time. Also, the flexible material is very lightweight, making them excellent options for a variety of portable food storage containers. The substance does not break if dropped. Glass, while inert and useful, is nonetheless heavy and prone to breaking. Silipints even provides a lifetime guarantee on its cups. Straws made out of silicone are highly reusable and entirely flexible. A quick rinse and the silicone straw can be folded up for easy storage and future reuse. Many restaurants struggle with the problem of straws because we understand straws pollute our oceans and hurt marine life.
The one downside of these food and beverage containers is their compressibility. For instance, it is possible to squeeze a silicone cup and spill its contents, unlike other firmer cups made of plastic, glass, or metal. Nonetheless, paper cups and Styrofoam containers alike will deform if handled roughly, and it is important to use caution whenever handling hot beverages.
If you’re looking for a safe, environmentally friendly food storage and preparation alternative, consider silicone-based products. In Chapel Hill, NC contact the chiropractic and acupuncture offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay to learn more about how to make better health-based decisions every day.
Thanks to Acupractic: Acupuncture and Chiropractic in Chapel Hill for their insight into how acupuncture helps assist in healing the body.