This is stated in a report presented by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) – a body that monitors food safety in Germany.

The authors of the report warn that, made of polyamide, spoons, shovels, beaters, and so on, when heated to temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius, oligomers are released – chemicals that, when ingested, can be harmful to health. It is believed that in high doses, oligomers can provoke the development of cancer of the liver and thyroid gland, as well as disrupt the human reproductive system, leading to infertility.

Although in general there is not enough information about the dangers of oligomers for humans to assess the degree of risk, specialists from BfR based their calculations on toxicity information for substances with a similar chemical structure. As a result, they came to the conclusion that for a person weighing 60 kilograms, it’s enough to get only 90 micrograms of oligomers per day with food, so that it affects his health badly.

However, in practice it turned out that kitchen utensils made of polyamide, when heated, liberates oligomers in much higher concentrations.

Thus, an analysis of 33 objects — various spatulas, soup spoons, and other kitchen tools used, for example, when stirring boiling soup or turning meat roasting in a skillet — showed that the volume of oligomers secreted by 30% of them upon contact with hot food, in several times higher than the maximum permissible indicators. Therefore, the authors of the report advise as much as possible to reduce the use of plastic utensils in the kitchen.


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