The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has warned parents about the dangers of heating plastics, even in the dishwasher.

In a report published in the latest edition of Pediatrics the AAP has shared the health risks of reheating plastic items in the microwave and even putting them in the dishwasher.

Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing, according to AAP.

“Since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food, avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic when possible,” the report says. “Also try to avoid putting plastics in the dishwasher.”

“As pediatricians, we’re especially concerned about significant gaps in data about the health effects of many of these chemicals on infants and children,” study lead author Dr Leonardo Trasande explained.

“Chemicals that affect the endocrine system, for example, can have lasting effects on a child since hormones coordinate complex functions throughout the body,” Dr. Trasande said. “Even small disruptions at key moments during development can have lifelong consequences,” he said.

“There are critical weaknesses in the current food additives regulatory process, which doesn’t do enough to ensure all chemicals added to foods are safe enough to be part of a family’s diet.”

The AAP recommends safe and simple steps families can take to limit exposures to the chemicals of greatest concern.

These include:

  • Buy and serve more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed meats–especially during pregnancy.
  • Since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food, avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic when possible. Also try to avoid putting plastics in the dishwasher.
  • Use alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.
  • Avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless they are labeled as “biobased” or “greenware.”
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching food and clean all fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled.


“Despite a tough political climate, there is an urgent need for decision makers to fix this issue,” Dr. Trasande said, “starting by rolling back the presumption of safety for chemicals added to foods.”

Share your comments below

  • I often re heat food in those plastic takeaway containers. My kids are adults so at least I’m not damaging them.


  • The excessive hear in the dishwasher tends to split plastic containers too, especially if they are put in more than once.


  • Thank you for the interesting article, cheers.


  • Wow, the microwave often became a lifesaver to heat up bub’s food. Never in plastic though. Now there are some plastics that are microwave approved, but not when my son was little. And the dishwasher…??? Someone needs to sort the facts out from the fiction and then create public awareness.


  • To be safe do not put hot food in plastic, I always have lived by this rule. And I would never use a microwave anyhow, I don’t believe they are safe.


  • It’s good to be informed of these issues but how does it help mum’s who’s baby bottles are plastic? Companies don’t recall or replace with glass ones. Where are the practical solutions for mums and dads trying to do the best for their babies? Fear and scare mongering doesn’t help new parents, it just causes added stress.

    • You need to buy BPA free and quality bottles, don’t buy the cheapest.

      • I use Avent and Tommee Tippee bottles and all claim BPA free however they are still plastic.
        My son is over 3 now (stopped bottles after 2) and daughter 11 months so bit late to be reading for my two.


  • Better to use glass in the microwave indeed.


  • Good to be aware for us all ! Heat can cause plastics to leak BPA into food, we should also be aware of the BPA lining in tinned food. Although the microwave can be very convenient, I’m not sure about the use and efffect of it on our foods.


  • Always cautious about plastic in microwave for this reason


  • I’ve always been funny about heating plastics in the microwave but never really gave much thought to putting them in the dishwasher


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating