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Microwave boxes safe despite HK plastic warnings

(Global Times)

11:14, March 25, 2013

A manufacturer of plastic food boxes has issued a statement saying its products are safe to use in the Chinese mainland, and do not contain toxic chemicals.

This follows a report issued by the Consumer Council of Hong Kong on March 18 which found plasticizers had leached from seven brands of 25 types of microwave plastic food containers tested when they were heated. However, the council found that the levels were well below levels set by the European Union.

Plasticizers are used to make plastic products durable and flexible, and are commonly known as phthalates.

The report stated that the seven brands are Tark, New Ocean, Everlock, Lock&Lock, Jinging, JCJ and unix ware.

Lock&Lock announced Saturday that when used properly, their products are safe and adhere to European and Chinese standards.

"The products that Hong Kong consumer committee detected are made in Vietnam and we halted production of them three years ago. Those products currently are not sold in the Chinese mainland," said the announcement.

Li Yifang, an expert in toxic substances with Greenpeace, said that even though the plasticizer amount is low, plasticizers are a poisonous substance and can harm the reproductive system.

"Plasticizer will decrease men's sperm quality and quantity. It may also lead to female infertility, and it's bad for the growth of children's reproductive organs," said Li. According to Li, plasticizer gets into the body through direct contact with the mouth and hands, and is more easily absorbed into the body if it leaches into fatty food.

Customers at Walmart in Wanda Plaza, Chaoyang district, said they did not know there could be risks if plastic products were heated.

"I even use them for instant noodles. I didn't know it could be harmful and I often heat them for over three minutes," said customer Yang Yueming.

China does not have a standard for levels of plasticizer, but the Ministry of Health is drafting guidelines, the Legal Mirror reported in December, 2012.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangJin、Chen Lidan)

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