During an episode of the Ellen show, singer Sheryl Crow talked about having breast cancer. She also mentioned that women should not drink water from plastic bottles that have been in a hot car, because the heat pulls unhealthy toxins from the plastic into the water.
The Internet is filled with articles indicating that Sheryl Crow stated that her doctor confirmed, that her breast cancer was caused by drinking water, from plastic bottles that had sat in her car. Allegedly, the heat causes cancer producing carcinogens to be released from the plastic into the water. Since that announcement, numerous reports of the dangers of heated plastic have emerged.
Articles abound, which say that using plastic containers to warm food in the microwave, produces cancer causing toxins. And that only ceramic containers should be used. There is also concern about drinking water from plastic containers, that have been frozen in the refrigerator.
Information coming from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, indicates that freezing water in plastic bottles releases dioxin carcinogens, which cause breast cancer. Rolf Halden, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says freezing actually works against the release of chemicals. He states that chemicals do not diffuse as readily in cold temperatures, and this would limit the toxins in plastic.
According to Plasticmythbusters.com, the FDA indicates that they have no evidence, that freezing plastic bottles releases cancer causing dioxins. They say the idea, that plastic causes water to produce poisons, is nothing more than a hoax.
Representatives, from Johns Hopkins in America say that they have no ties to this misleading information. They state, that the rumor began on a Japanese television show in 2002, and has no basis.
Initially when I heard the reports of the danger of freezing water in plastic bottles, I believed it was answer to a prayer.
I had been seeking God for answers regarding my mother. She began having severe headaches, in December 2002, and had trouble with balance and walking. She was treated for sinus problems, and told she might have vertigo. She was even tested for MS.
In April 2003, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center, found cancer cells in her spinal fluid. They did not however locate a primary source of the cancer, which metastasized to her brain. My mother lost her hearing, sight, and her mind. She died 5 weeks later.
I was apprehensive, over the fact that top physicians could not locate the primary source of the cancer, and my mother did not receive treatment. She was only given oyxcontin for pain. I was concerned because we had no idea of what type of cancer caused my mother’s death, or if it could happen to other family members.
Each time I prayed for an answer, I would see the same image in my mind, a 16 oz. diet Coca Cola bottle filled with water. My mother would reuse these bottles, by pouring tap water in them, and putting them in the freezer. She also microwaved most of her food using plastic containers.
When I read about Sheryl Crow on Ellen, I believed my prayers had been answered and I had a cause for my mother’s cancer. I decided to no longer use plastic microwave containers or drink water, that was frozen in plastic containers. The conflicting reports have not changed my mind.
The best rule of thumb in this situation is, when in doubt, don’t. There is so much about cancer that is still unknown. An ounce of prevention,(not using plastic to freeze water, or microwave food), is most definitely better than the pound of cure,(radiation, chemo and other cancer treatments).
I cannot prove my mother got cancer from microwaving food in plastic, or drinking water from plastic bottles that have been frozen. Neither can I dis-allow the possibility that there is a connection. Does freezing water in plastic bottles, and warming food in a microwave in plastic containers, cause toxins to be released which cause breast cancer? Is this perhaps nothing more than misinformation, and an urban legend?
Separating fact from opinion, will require much more research. In the meantime, until there is more conclusive evidence either way, the best attitude to take should be, better safe than sorry. We cannot go wrong, by taking every safeguard and precaution, when it comes to cancer.