Is silicone a safe material?

Silicone kitchenware, infant bottle nipples, cosmetics, and personal care goods are commonplace in our daily lives. It is widely regarded as the best alternative to other materials like plastic. Although silicone is continuously marketed as a safe substance for humans and nature, many individuals still question if silicone is safe for us.

What is Silicone?

The terms silicone and silicon are not interchangeable. Silicone is a polymeric molecule made up primarily of silicon, carbon, and hydrogen atoms and is a naturally occurring element. Silicone can be solid, liquid, or gel, depending on the application. 

Silicone has several favorable properties that have led to its employment in various applications. Silicone is a great substance for caulking since it is water repellent and can make entirely watertight seals. Because of its low electrical conductivity and thermal stability, it has also been utilized as thermal and electric insulation. Silicone has become an integral part of many kitchens due to its heat stability and resistance to microbial growth. Certain silicone grades have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have found their way into homes as bakeware and cookware.

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Silicones’ Characteristics 

The following are some of the most prevalent silicone properties: 

  • Silicones have limited thermal conductivity and chemical reactivity.
  • They are also non-toxic. 
  • It can repel water and create waterproof seals. 
  • It’s resistant to oxygen, ozone, and UV rays. 
  • It has both insulating and conductive characteristics. 
  • High thermal stability and gas permeability 

Is It Safe To Use Silicone? 

Silicone has a lot of good qualities, but is it safe for people and the environment? That’s a difficult question to answer because there isn’t one. 

  • Silicone for Environment

The safety record of silicone is excellent. Silicone does not disintegrate; however, it is recyclable — albeit unlikely through your municipal recycling program. You’ll most likely need to drive to a specialized recycling center, but silicone is quite long-lasting, so you will not need to stress over removal for quite a while. Silicone is neither poisonous to aquatic or terrestrial organisms nor is it a hazardous waste. It can therefore be recycled after a lifetime of usage, even if it is not biodegradable.

  • Silicone for Household Products

Silicone can normally endure temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and can go from intense heat to extreme cold. It’s kid-friendly, but it’s also perfect for busy adults who enjoy cooking, and leftovers freeze well in silicone dishware. When you’re finished, simply toss the silicone dishware into the dishwasher without worrying about it melting after a hot wash.

Silicone can be recycled into a variety of goods. Silicone items can be recycled into petroleum products and reused once they’ve been consumed.

It contains no hazardous compounds such as BPA, Lead, or Phthalates present in plastics. It’s also bacteria-resistant, sanitary, and hypoallergenic. Silicone is non-toxic and does not react with food or beverages.

Silicone is very easy to keep clean. It can be sterilized by boiling it and then cleaned in the dishwasher. Certain foods with strong odors can infiltrate silicone; however, this is readily addressed by boiling in water. Under prolonged exposure, silicone does not distort or harm.

Cooking utensils made of silicone are safe. Simply ensure that your silicone cooking equipment is FDA-approved and labeled as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) (GRAS). When buying silicone kitchen utensils, be sure they’re 100 percent pure food-grade silicone.

Cooking With Silicone In A Safe Manner 

Although silicone-based products are extremely easy to clean, certain concerns regarding long-term safety persist, so it’s advisable to follow a few simple guidelines. This is especially true when it comes to cookware because you and your family will be eating from it. To ensure you acquire the greatest quality goods to use with your cuisine, follow the guidelines below.

  • Silicone ought to be of phenomenal quality, ideally “medical-grade,” yet in any event, “food grade.” Chemical filtering is more outlandish as the quality moves along.
  • Squeeze and contort a level surface of a silicone item to check whether any white appears through to check for synthetic added substances. Since pure silicone shouldn’t change color, assuming you notice white, a filler was probably used. Assuming the item contains fillers, it may not be consistently heat safe and may make food smell. Be that as it may, most vitally, you won’t know what the filler is, and it could release unknown substances into your food. It’s conceivable that the filler is an inferior quality silicone or none by any means.

What are the benefits of using food-grade silicone? 

If you require an FDA-approved elastomer, silicone is an excellent choice. Silicone is an excellent choice because elastomers are often regarded as suitable for regular use in food preparation. This is due to the material’s resistance to microbiological causes and other contaminants. Seals and gaskets for food should be able to operate for long periods without being affected by destructive degradation or contamination.

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Properties of Food-Grade Silicone:

  • No BPA, BPS, PVC, latex, lead, or phthalates are present, making it non-toxic and odorless. 
  • Extreme temperature resistance 
  • Time does not cause it to harden, crack, peel, crumble, dry out, rot, or brittle. 
  • Transportable and lightweight 
  • It is considered non-hazardous waste and can be recycled 100 percent in some regions.

Conclusion 

Silicone is a relatively safe material used in domestic products such as kitchen utensils. 

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