Hot Food In Plastic Packets Can Make You Blind?

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:44 [IST]
 
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Food In Plastic Packs Can Make You Blind

Did you know that taking hot food in plastic packets can make you blind? Yes. It has been studied whether plastic compounds and plasticizers found in plastic could be the cause of Macular Degeneration. Age Related Macular degeneration (AMD), is a disease of the retina (the seeing part of the eye) where abnormal deposits accumulate in the cell layers and cause damage to the retina and the blood vessels. This causes bleeding, scarring and subsequent blindness. It (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the USA.

How it works:
Hot foods poured into plastic packets for home delivery can cause microscopic melting of the plastic. The melted plastic releases compounds called "plasticizers" into the hot food. These plasticizers are eaten by us along with the food we eat. Since these are small compounds, our intestine absorbs them and takes them into our blood stream. These compounds pass through the blood vessels and get clogged in the "end arteries" of the eye. They clog into the end arteries of the eye because these vessels are really tiny and do not let these compounds flow through. 

These clogged blood vessels cause waste materials to accumulate in the retina and degeneration sets in. This causes classical Age Related Macular Degeneration to occur in relatively younger persons. 

Plasticizers also cause male sterility. (Other disadvantages of food delivered in plastic packs).

Evidence:
Lot of medical journals have studied and reported this occurrence. But of late, these articles have started disappearing form literature presumably due to pressure form the plastic industry in the US. 

What you can do:
Avoid putting hot food into plastic containers. Use steel vessels instead.

Dr. Ashley Mulamoottil is the Medical Director & Chief Surgeon in Mulamoottil Eye Hospital & Research Center, Kozhencherry, Kerala. You can interact with him from his Facebook page.

Topics: eye care, disorder
Story first published:  Monday, November 21, 2011, 13:04 [IST]
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