Migration of Xenoestrogens from Plastic Food Containers during Cooking
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Xenoestrogens are compounds, foreign from the body, that can enter cells and interact with the estrogen receptors (ER) to produce an estrogenic response. Many additives used in plastics are compounds with estrogenic activity. Some of these additives are known to slowly leach from the plastics. When using plastic containers as lunchboxes for reheating or food storage, these additives can leach from the plastics and end up in the food. In this project, food simulates were cooked in six different thermoplastic containers, made of polypropylene, in an oven at 100 °C for 15 minutes. Three of the thermoplastic containers were lunchboxes marketed to be able to withstand cooking in a microwave. The other three were provisional lunchboxes made from various food storing containers originally made for refrigeration purposes. The estrogenic activity in the different samples was measured using an ER-CALUX in vitro assay. The results were measured in 17β-estradiol equivalent (Bio-EEQ) values in pg/ml. The purpose of this project was to investigate whether or not these plastic containers leach xenoestrogens that can be measured with an ER-CALUX assay, and compare the results with the results from other existing toxicological studies, and also to see if there is a difference in Bio-EEQ levels between the plastic containers made for microwave usage and those made for refrigerated purposes. The results from this project indicate that most of these plastic containers do leach estrogenic compounds that can be detected in the ER-CALUX, even the ones made for microwave usage. Fortunately, compared to other toxicological studies, the Bio-EEQ levels in these food samples cooked in plastic containers are low. However the potential adverse effects in prenatally exposed children cannot be ignored as other studies have shown that very low levels of xenoestrogens are enough to potentially cause a disturbance in the reproductive development and fertility.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Xenoestrogens, toxicology, ER-Calux assay, oestrogenic additives in thermoplastics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-43957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-43957DiVA: diva2:799230
Subject / course