PITTSBURGH, Pa. (KFSN) --You may have heard a lot over the past few years about chemicals in our plastics and cookware that could be dangerous to our health. For years, bisphenol-a, or BPA, was added to plastic to make it more pliable. Only recently has BPA been linked to a number of health concerns. Martie salt introduces us to one woman who came through a devastating illness determined to find a solution that could help others.
Fifty-nine-year-old children's author, Susan Castriota, had a sudden twist to her own life story in 2012 when she was diagnosed with a type of breast cancer possibly caused by synthetic estrogen. It was a wake-up call.
Castriota told Ivanhoe, "I was pretty shocked. Dismayed, that I had kind of been sucked into that whole, you know false sense of security with using plastics."
For years, Susan had followed a healthy lifestyle eating lots of vegetables heated in her microwave. At the time, she didn't realize a chemical in her containers may have been doing more harm than good.
Jennifer Adibi, ScD, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health said, "There have been some links to breast cancer because it's a hormonal disease."
Adibi studies the impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals on human development. Adibi says BPA synthetic estrogen can be found in most plastics.
"If you are microwaving food, chances are that food has fat in it. And they are considered fat-loving or lipophilic molecules. So they kind of naturally migrate into the fat in the food," Adibi told Ivanhoe.
Professor Adibi says glass, or paper, may be less likely to allow chemicals to transfer into food.
After beating cancer, Susan vowed to stay away from plastics, which was tougher than she thought.
She said, "What I found were a lot of glass bowls and mugs. But they all had a plastic top."
So, Susan invented a universal glass lid. A special lip keeps the glass in place. Vents on top allow veggies to steam.
She calls it Cuchina-safe and believes it will make the kitchen safer one microwaveable meal at a time.
Susan says even though many manufacturers have moved to BPA-free plastic, she still prefers to use glass. QVC recently placed an order for 10-thousand lids with Susan, and she also won a challenge on Amazon's inventor's store, where Cuchina-safe is available for sale online.
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