A week or so ago I did a post on the silicone cupcake liners which I love. Someone commented that they did not feel that the silicone was a safe thing to use as it had chemicals that could leach into the food, etc.
This concerned me, because anyone will tell you, I am an eco-freak. Actually, I am an eco-freak from long lines of eco freaks, my ancestors were all pretty much farmers and were into organics way before it was cool. But I digress.
I n my eco- freakiness I decided to do some research to see what I could find out. After all, my readers support me! If I am going to recommend something to you I don’t want it to be something that will kill you off. Here is what I found out. From Debra Lynn Dadd: I tried to find some information on the health effects of silicone rubber, but it was not listed in any of the toxic chemical databases I use.
I went to the Dow Corning website (who makes over 700 different silicone rubbers) and looked at a random sample of their MSDSs. The ones I read listed no hazardous materials or health effects, or needed first aid measures. All descriptions I read of silicone rubber describe it as chemically inert and stable, so it is unlikely to react with or leach into food, nor outgas vapors. MSDSs also note that silicone is not toxic to aquatic or soil organisms, it is not hazardous waste, and while it is not biodegradable, it can be recycled after a lifetime of use.
Some years back there was a question about the safety of silicone used in breast implants. Whether or not the health problems experienced by some women with breast implants were associated with the implants has been very controversial. I found an article from the year 2000 on a leading website on breast cancer and related women’s issues that states “A large study conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) finds no correlation between silicone-filled breast implants and breast cancer risk.”
The prolonged inhalation of crystalline silica dust is associated with silicosis, but there is no silica dust exposure from the use of silicone kitchenware.
O.k…That sounds good!
I read through the description of it on free patents online and saw nothing that would indicate a health risk.
Basically everything I did read, and there was not a lot specifically dealing with this, maintained that all chemicals were inert and did not pose health risks.
I read a ton of bloggers that loved using them, found out that they are not always perfectly nonstick, and that sometimes the bake time can be longer ..Other than that, go for it!
I try to keep in mind that we live lives in a precarious balance. Is it better to use plastic bags that never biodegrade? Paper than use up valuable resources? Canvas that you have to research to make sure they were not made by children in foreign sweatshops? Living is very complicated these days if you give any thought to it. Sometimes we have to research a subject, admit that the research may be flawed, and follow our conscience in the matter.
I prefer to use reusable items. These are. I prefer not to use bleached and dyed paper. These are not. I love the ease with which they clean up, the fact that I always have them available and the fact that after using them for a month or so I have recouped my investment. For me these are a good thing and a product I will continue to use.
I hope this information is helpful to you.