We all know about the microwave oven. But, do you know microwaving food in plastic containers increases the risk of cancer? This post will clear all your doubts related to microwave and cancer. Let us discuss the link between microwave cooking in plastic containers and cancer.

Microwave is a great invention by Percy Spencer. These days, people use the microwave more than an induction or gas stoves. Nowadays, microwaves are available in almost every kitchen or office pantry. It has become a necessity for every working and non-working individual. Glass, paper, ceramic, or plastic containers are used in microwave cooking. Make sure the plastic bowls used in microwave cooking are microwave safe.

If you cook using a microwave, in plastic containers, here’s why you should rethink it:

Migrating Chemical

There is no substance like plastic. Plastic contains some organic and inorganic compounds. These components are added to the plastic to give it shape and stabilize the containers. This includes –

  1. Bisphenol -A (BPA), added to make clear, hard plastic
  2. Phthalates- added to make plastic soft and flexible

These are endocrine disrupters that mimic human hormones which are not for good. The most harmful chemical used in plastic containers is BPA. The BPA we intake gets into our bloodstream and can cause a series of problems like infertility, hormonal changes, changes in gender traits and even different types of cancers.

When the plastic wraps or containers are microwaved, the BPA and Phthalates leak into the food. This happens more likely with fatty foods like meat, cheese, and other food items. Consumption of these chemicals can increase the risks of critical diseases like cancer, infertility, and ruin the normal functioning of reproductive systems and your brain.

A few years ago, the Food and Drug Association also analyzed the potential for a small number of plasticizers to migrate into your food.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)high levels of BPA are found in more than 90 percent of the general population. It is evidenced by research that microwave cooking in plastic containers transfers chemicals into the food, which is one of the leading causes of cancer. Hence, research is done to prove that plastic containers and cancer are interrelated.

Tips for Reheating Food in Microwave

According to the FDA, people should use only glass, ceramic, and plastic containers that are labeled for microwave oven use or are microwave safe. Many health experts have suggested avoiding the use of the plastic container. Here are a few things we need to keep in mind before microwaving food in plastic containers:

  • Do not let the plastic wrap come in contact with the food while microwaving it.
  • While choosing the plastic containers, keep it in mind to opt for the ones specially manufactured for use in the microwave
  • Avoid re-using the microwave-safe dinner trays.
  • Never use old or broken microwave containers even if they claim to be microwave safe.
  • Keep the container uncovered before microwaving the food.


It is true that food absorbs plasticizers and leads to serious diseases. Microwave and cancer are interrelated terms. Researchers suggested that plastic containers should be replaced with glass, paper, or ceramic to avoid cancer. This is because they never transfer chemicals in the way plastic containers do. And, they are much safer for re-heating your meal. In this article, we have tried to explain the relation between plastic containers and cancer. We should always take every required measure to keep ourselves healthy.

Related read: Fast Food & Cancer – Is there a relation?

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