Dioxin Internet Rumors Debunked
Two rumors concerning dioxin are circulating in cyberspace.
Some of the e-mails, sent by well-meaning individuals as warnings
to family and friends, cite Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School
of Public Health and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center as
sources of information. What are these dioxin rumors and what
is "the real deal?"
Dioxin Rumor #1: Freezing water in plastic bottles
causes dioxin to migrate into the water.
Dioxin Fact: According to the American Plastics Council®,
freezing water in plastic bottles does not cause dioxin to
migrate into water. There is no reason to suspect that dioxins
are present in plastic bottles in the first place. Dioxins
are a family of compounds that are largely produced by combustion
at extremely high temperatures-well above 700 degrees Fahrenheit-a
far cry from water's freezing temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Professor Rolf Halden of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
School of Public Health, "Freezing actually works against
the release of chemicals. Chemicals do not diffuse as readily
in cold temperatures, which would limit chemical release if
there were dioxins in plastic, and we don't think there are."
Dioxin Rumor #2: Microwaving foods in plastic causes
dioxins to migrate into the foods.
Dioxin Fact: There is no scientific evidence that
dioxins are present in plastic wrap or containers, so there
should be no leaching of these compounds into microwaved foods.
Nevertheless as a matter of food safety, it is important to
use only microwave-safe plastics in microwave ovens. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture invites the public to learn about
microwaving food safely at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/pubs/fact_microwave.htm.
For Additional Information:
American Plastics Council [On-Line] Available:
Mangialetti, Nadia (June 27, 2002). "Perilous Plastic?" American
Council on Science and Health. [On-Line] Available: http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.127/healthissue_detail.asp
S.C. Johnson Response to Internet Rumor on Plastics in Microwave