Doctor's Note

For more videos on the health risks associated with chemicals found in plastics, watch:
BPA Plastic and Male Sexual Dysfunction
Dietary Sources of Alkylphenol Endocrine Disruptors
Despite the risks of BPA in the linings of canned beans, the benefits are worth it, check out:
Increased Lifespan From Beans
Beans and the Second Meal Effect
Beans, Beans, They'e Good For Your Heart

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on industrial toxins. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Do Eden Beans Have Too Much Iodine?Soymilk: shake it up!, and  Pollutants in Californian Breast Tissue

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on industrial toxins. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • Keith Akers

    PUR says that their water filters are BPA free, but that their pitchers are made with #7 plastic (“an acrylic-based polymer”), #6 for their lids, and their filters from #5. All of this according to this web site:

    But the video says #3 and #7 are the plastics to stay away from. So is PUR making this up, or is their #7 plastic O. K. in this case? (I notice that the label for #7 is “other” suggesting a catch-all category.) I don’t want to put BPA in my filtered water!

  • sympathys

    Ok, I know that drinking alcohol is not the healthiest thing you can do for your body. However – if I do want to buy a bottle of rum or whatever for a party, I have noticed that many manufacturers are actually making hard liquor bottles out of plastic these days, probably because it is cheaper. Since alcohol is actually a solvent, are the bottles safe? Also, how long can you store them?


    You are becoming more aware of better things to incorporate into your life, that’s very responsible of you. Warnings have been given about the damage UV light, heat, and freezing can do on the cellular make-up of plastic containers, which in turn can harm those who drink from these containers. Since you can never know how the plastic bottles have been treated before purchase, it’s best to go for the glass bottled variety. By the way, do drink responsibly for everyone’s sake! Here’s a great clip on eating vs. drinking Concord grapes to block DNA breaks!

  • HereHere

    I wish you had links to the studies. My dad thinks the whole BPA issue is a hoax (and human-caused climate change, too, if you can believe it). But, he claims to be a scientist, so putting a few good studies in his hands would help. Oh, he also doesn’t think there is an obesity epidemic in America.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Not sure if there’s any talking sense to a climate skeptic, but there are more than 1,000 free scientific articles on bisphenol A accessible through PubMed Central (PMC). Unlike straight PubMed, PMC only indexes articles that are free and open to the public (2 million to date!).

      Probably the most interesting study published this year on the topic was “Most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals: a potential health problem that can be solved,” which found endocrine disrupting chemicals even in “BPA-free” plastics based on the in-vitro effects on estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells. In some cases, BPA-free products released even more chemicals having estrogenic effects than BPA-containing plastic products. The good news is that a new study found that one could dramatically reduce one’s exposure of these both BPA (and “penis-shrinking” pthalates) by choosing more fresh, unpackaged foods.

  • Mollympatrick

    Hi Dr. Greger 
    I am wondering about the safety of plastic water bottles like that you would find at the grocery store. 


  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please also check out my associated blog post Do Eden Beans Have Too Much Iodine?

  • Edith Seaman

    What about “boil in the bag” products?  They have no number on them.  Can you boil in plastic safely? Or, microwave rice?  It comes in a plastic bag. Should it be removed from the bag and heated in a bowl? 

    • Joel

      NO, you can’t boil food in plastic bags “safely” – don’t buy food in plastic bags to begin with! Microwaving changes protein for the worse. Get serious and take control of your intake. Square the curve!

  • Dominic Bouffard

    Hello Dr. Greger. I am a vegetarian since a few months, and several people tell me that because my blood type is O+, then the vegetarianism is not for me. Is there any relation between blood type and suggested diet?

  • Guest

    On the topic of packaging, as far as I understand Tetra Paks (the packaging for the oat milk we buy and many products) have a layer of aluminum then plastic. I like the convenience, but I’m a bit concerned that the liquid is in contact with the plastic (and an article or two said the aluminum, somehow) and there may be leaching. We use these Tetra Pak plant based milks daily for cereal and sometimes in recipes. Is it enough of a concern to merit making our own plant based milks?

    My other question is about aluminum cans. We use BPA free canned beans for ease. I’m glad it’s BPA free, but what about the aluminum getting into our food and increased risk of disease like Alzheimer’s?

  • heatherdee

    On the topic of packaging, as far as I understand Tetra Paks (the packaging for the oat milk we buy and many plant milks) have a layer of aluminum then plastic. I like the convenience, but I’m a bit concerned that the liquid is in contact with the plastic and there may be leaching. Is it enough of a concern to merit making our own plant based milks?

  • heatherdee

    I’m wondering about your thoughts and research on non-stick coatings and health effects.

    I got rid of all of my non-stick cookware a few years ago because I was concerned. I’ve been oil free at home, but am really wanting to make pancakes and waffles occasionally. I’m wanting to know if some coatings are better than others or if it is just not a good choice to use any non-stick cookware even if just for occasional use.

  • Bataleon

    Doctor, what about plastic kettles?

    Is it likely that the hot water causes even more chemicals to leach out of the plastic and into the water?

    I’ve used one for years, which I now regret.

  • jaadams

    In March 2014, a blinded study was published, of men attending a urology clinic compared urinary BPA levels between men with prostate cancer, vs. controls from the same clinic. The level was four fold higher in those with prostate cancer. When they looked at prostate cancer in men under the age of 65 (which tends to be more aggressive), there was an eight fold difference!

    The author of the study was interviewed on the radio program ‘On Point’ last night (toward the end). Here’s a link to the show: (The first part of the show was an excellent discussion of endocrine disrupters in BPA-FREE plastics!!!)

    Here’s a link to the peer-reviewed publication: ( But the interview is more informative.

    I’m a physician and I’m now thinking that *no* plastics are safe. I’m sure it’s true, though, that most exposure comes from eating animal products and fish, as Dr. Gregor points out.

    Joe Adams, M.D.

    Towson, Maryland

    • Thea

      Dr Adams: Thanks for your good post.

      I’ve also heard that no plastics are safe when it comes to talking about endocrine disrupters, but I was wondering if you have any knowledge of the following: I was generally under the impression that storing food in plastic is relatively safe as long as one is not heating the food. Does that ring true to you?

      Here’s why I ask: While I don’t store food in plastic myself, I’m seeing more and more products in the store convert from glass to plastic. For example, a couple of the nut butter brands that I like are now selling in plastic containers. I’m trying to figure out how much exposure I might get from that sort of thing – something that would be stored at room temperature or even the fridge.

      Thanks again for your post.

      • jaadams

        Thea, I don’t have any independent knowledge, but I recall that the Mother Jones article noted that plastics do not necessarily need to be heated in any way in order to release harmful chemicals (unfortunately).

        I’m not sure what to do with all my own plastic containers. I’m gradually replacing them with Pyrex basically. (I freeze a lot of stuff, and ordinary glass jars occasionally break in the freezer). I’m sure that if you stored food relatively briefly in the fridge, in plastic, it would be much better.

        – Dr. Joe

        • Thea

          Thanks for the reply Dr. Joe. And for the link! I don’t store food at my house in plastic, but I have still been buying the food that comes in plastic containers. This is definitely something to think about. :-(


      • jaadams

        Oops. Here’s the link to the *excellent* Mother Jones article:

  • Youcef

    Hi Dr. Greger,
    You recommend to avoid microwaving even microwave-safe boxes. What do you base this recommendation on? Thanks.

    • James

      Hi Youcef,

      I think overall it is best to play it safe since it is not always easy to tell the quality of the plastic you are purchasing, even if it is microwave safe as evidenced by this study. Remember, microwaving food can be one of the best ways to preserve antioxidants, but I agree with Dr. Gregor when opting to play it safe and going with glass rather than risking some exposure with random plastic. :-)

  • Charlie Ross

    Could you comment about microwave cooking and how it affect the quality of foods? Do the microwaves destroy vitamins? Phytonutrients? Is there any danger (aside from the BPA issue) to one’s health using the microwave as many internet sites claim?

    • Thea

      Charlie: I love this question, because there are few topics that I feel have such a clear and easy answer.

      Dr. Greger has covered microwave cooking in a few videos. I recommend you start with the one that says, “The Best Cooking Method”. I think that will answer your question best concerning vitamins and phytonutrients.

      And if you are at all concerned about microwave cooking or alarmed about the stories circulating on the internet, check out this awesome article which busts all the microwave myths:

      Microwaves are great time savers and can make food healthier in ways not covered by Dr. Greger’s video above. For example, I often use the microwave to cook foods that I would otherwise saute. That saves me from having to use oil. (There are other non-oil methods for sauteing. I just don’t like standing over the stove and worrying about burning and sticking.)

      The main safety issue with microwaves as far as I am concerned is cooking with plastics (of any kind – even supposedly microwave safe plastics). I just use glass or ceramic dishes.

      Hope that helps.

      • Charlie Ross

        Thanks a lot…that is what I was looking for.


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