Are Silicones Safer Than Plastics? Find Out!
In the recent times, there has been an upsurge in the use of silicones. They look bright, colourful and pretty. Plus, they have been marketed as safer alternatives to plastics. Right from storage containers to baby bottle nipples, you can find them everywhere. Baking world also uses them as they are claimed to be best suited for the high temperatures involved. The same goes for ice cube trays to be placed in the freezer. So, it is kind of in both extremes. Let us find out whether they are safe! But before that, let us know a little more about where else you find them the most and what they are!
Where else can you find silicones?
You can find them in,
What are silicones?
Silicones are a hybrid between synthetic plastic polymers and synthetic rubbers. They have properties similar to plastic. Being easy to clean, non-staining and nonstick, they are great for cookware! However, not rendered completely safe.
People feel that silicones are natural but it is not so. Just like most plastic polymers, silicones are synthetic by nature. The raw material used to make silicone resins is silica.
Can silicones be toxic?
Now, this is what is actually bothering many! And there is no clear answer. They are said to be relatively safe as they are stable at high temperatures and are resistant to chemicals. Experts say that silicones are safe for food and drink. It is believed to be a safer bet than nonstick cookware.
Research does say that silicones are very stable but this doesn’t mean that they are inert. Simply put, there can be leaching. It has been seen in silicone nipples. Siloxanes released in milk and baby formula according to one study. These compounds are can cause cancer.
So, when it comes to the safety of siliocones, there are weak points and loopholes! So, keep your eyes wide open!
Top tips to use silicone
As a precaution, you should avoid using silicones whenever possible. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Ensure that silicone is either of medical grade or at least food grade. The chances of leaching are less with higher quality.
- Pinch a flat silicone surface and if you see anything white, it means that it has a filler. It may leach into your food. So, it is better not to use it.
- Don’t put nipples and pacifiers in the dishwasher. If they are worn out or get cloudy, replace them.
- For cooking, it is advised to avoid silicone totally. You have glass, stainless steel and ceramic for cooking and baking purposes. Keep silicones as the last resort, when you have nothing else at hand. Though they are safer than Teflon, it is better to avoid them. It may not be a good idea to expose silicones to crazily high temperatures when it comes to food.
- You can use silicone spoons, spatulas, pot holders and mitts as they don’t come into contact with food for long, but it is always advised that you avoid using them directly for food.
Hope you liked reading this post on Silicones!
You may also like reading-