What Moms Should Know About The AAP's New Plastic Safety Guide

family at grocery store

The American Association of Pediatrics (APP) is advising parents to be careful when purchasing particular foods as part of their new guideline for kids. According to new reports, the organization said in a statement that parents should be aware of the potentially harmful chemicals that might be ingested by your child.

In a new guideline titled Food Additives and Child Health, the AAP advises parents to limit the amount of processed meats along with the food stored in plastic and canned foods that they purchase, especially if they have small children at home.

Dr. Leonardo Trasande, the lead author of the policy statement and technical report, said in a statement, “More than 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food in the U.S., but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is unable to ensure all of those chemicals are safe. Many chemicals are used under a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation without FDA approval or notification. They’re designated as safe by company employees or hired consultants.”

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Dr. Trasande adds that children are particularly susceptible to chemicals because of how much they eat and because their bodies are still developing. The AAP is mostly concerned with chemicals such as bisphenols, which are found in plastic containers and aluminum cans. It has been linked to obesity and ADHD. In addition, nitrates, which are usually found in pre-packaged deli meat have been linked to several types of cancer.

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Credit: iStock / shironosov

The organization suggests parents opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. In addition, it’s advised that parents do not microwave foods and beverages in plastic containers and to not wash them in dishwashers, too. Instead, use stainless steel or glass whenever possible. Also, take a look at a plastic product’s recycling code (at the bottom) and avoid those with codes three, six or seven, unless the product is labeled as being biobased or greenware.

As always, wash your hands before handling any food or beverages and wash all of the fruit and vegetables you buy that can’t be pealed. If you don’t follow all of these guidelines at home, the AAP says not to worry. Even though they suggest that parents change their habits, they also add that there is no need to panic.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, the AAP further suggests that you contact your child's pediatrician or a health professional. Otherwise, they stress that parents should incorporate these new guidelines into their daily routines.

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