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💉 Health

Serving hot food in plastic containers a matter of concern

تقديم الطعام الساخن في عبوات بلاستيكية أمر مثير للقلق


Some consumers have expressed concern over the continued use of harmful, non-biodegradable plastic items to serve or pack hot food and beverage (F&B) items in spite of the health hazards involved.

This also violates a 2009 decision prohibiting the use of plastic bags, plates, glasses and cups to serve hot F&B products, according to a report by local Arabic daily Arrayah.

A number of consumers and experts stressed that there is a pressing need for the authorities concerned to exert greater control on the local market to enforce the relevant rules and regulations to ensure the protection of public health and the environment, the daily said.

In this regard, they felt the need to spread more public awareness on the issue to let consumers know about the risks involved and convince them to avoid the use of such plastics items – especially to serve and pack hot food and drink items.

Speaking to the daily, Mohamed al-Hosny said the use of plastic bags posed serious risks to the overall environment as they take hundreds of years to decompose. Animals, too, could be adversely affected if they consume any such plastic item, he pointed out.

Eventfully, this would harm human health and negatively impact the quality of life, as the harmful effects of plastic bags extends to plants as well. He recommended the use of biodegradable bags to maintain the well-being of both humans and the environment with its various components.

In this connection, he acknowledged that many eateries and food outlets across the country have started replacing plastic bags and cups with paper ones, which is a positive development.

Dr Qassim al-Qahtani said there is an alternative to low-quality plastic bags and cups, known as food-grade plastic, which provides a relatively healthier option. He said proper monitoring of the situation is a shared responsibility of the municipality concerned and consumers.

Mohamed Shaheen al-Atiq said further awareness efforts need to be exerted to spread knowledge on this issue and, simultaneously, the relevant law needs to be strictly enforced through regular and sudden campaigns to detect violators. Conducting seasonal inspection campaigns would not be enough to curb such violations, he felt.

Ahmed al-Jabir said many people do not have a clear idea of this issue and the risks involved, and consequently do not take things seriously. Accordingly, he said there was a need to intensify public awareness efforts in this area alongside stringent control measures.

حذرت العديد من الأبحاث الطبية السابقة من المخاطر الصحية للعبوات البلاستيكية المستخدمة فى تناول الطعام أو الشراب، وخاصة إذا كان ساخناً.

وكشفت مؤخراً دراسة طبية حديثة أشرف عليها باحثون من جامعة أوستن الأمريكية، أن الحرارة المرتفعة تتسبب فى نفاذ بعض المواد الكيميائية من البلاستيك إلى الطعام والشراب، وهو ما يعد أمراً خطيراً للغاية.

ووفقاً للدراسة المنشورة فى العام الماضى فإن هناك نحو 175 مادة كيميائية تتسرب من البلاستيك الساخن إلى الطعام والشراب تتسبب فى أضرار صحية خطيرة، وترفع فرص الإصابة بالسرطانات والعقم وتضر بنمو الجنين داخل الرحم.

وحذر تقرير سابق صادر عن الجمعية البريطانية لأبحاث السرطان من الأضرار الصحية الناجمة عن تغليف الأطعمة فى أغلفة بلاستيكية وخاصة قبل تسخينها فى الميكروويف.

ومن أخطر المواد التى تتسرب من العبوات والأكواب والحافظات البلاستيكية، حسب التقرير: مادة البيسفينول ” Bisphenol A”، وأثبتت الدراسات المعملية أنه يرفع خطر الإصابة بسرطان البروستاتا والثدى، وكما يؤدى إلى البلوغ المبكر بين الفتيات، وكما حذر التقرير من تكرار استخدام زجاجات المياه المعدنية وإعادة ملئها بالمياه.

ونشرت هذه النتائج بالمجلة الطبية ” Environmental Health Perspectives”، وكما نشرت على الموقع الإلكترونى لصحيفة “ديلى ميل” البريطانية فى الثانى والعشرين من شهر أغسطس الجارى.

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