In a comment to the best answer to question 582, Muhd writes: "I would add that it is also unhealthy if you microwave in something that is not microwave safe as toxic chemicals could migrate into the food from the container (e.g. from most plastics)."

Is there any evidence for this?
Are some plastics more dangerous than others?


1 Answer 1



Microwaved plastics do not cause cancer.

Can I microwave food in plastic containers or covered in plastic film?
There is no scientific evidence that microwaving food in plastic containers or wrapped in clingfilm can affect the risk of cancer.

Plastic bottles - Cancer Research UK

Claim: Research has proved that microwaving foods in plastic containers releases cancer-causing agents into the foods.
Status: False.

Plastic-Tac-Toe - Snopes.com

Myth: Microwaving plastic containers and wraps releases harmful, cancer-causing substances into food.

Fact: Microwave-safe plastic containers and wraps are safe to use in the microwave.

Cancer causes: Popular myths about the causes of cancer - Mayo Clinic

  • 5
    You had me till that third quote. "Microwave-safe plastic containers" would seem to imply that there are "microwave-unsafe" plastic containers as well.
    – Kyralessa
    Jul 4, 2012 at 22:58
  • 4
    @Kyralessa: "Microwave-safe" plastics are designed not to melt in the microwave. It has nothing to do with what's being discussed here. Jul 5, 2012 at 3:15
  • 7
    The question seems to ask mainly about toxicity but your answer focuses only on cancer. There are a lot of ways for something to be toxic without having to cause cancer.
    – DQdlM
    Jun 11, 2013 at 16:25
  • "Microwave-safe plastic" is referring to, in my interpretation, the ability of the container to resist the heat (and survive the process unscathed), as much as it is referring to the safety of the consumer. This makes complete sense when you see a non-microwave-safe plastic container warp and melt after one burst in the microwave. May 12, 2014 at 3:37

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