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What is Silicone and is it Toxic?

What is Silicone and is it Toxic?Silicone has quickly become a household name in the fall-out of toxic plastics. Its starring role begins right away as we introduce it to our babies from the day they're born. It's been touted as inert and versatile, but just what is silicone and is it toxic?

We decided to give it a thorough background check. In the end, our research leads us to believe that food grade silicone used outside the body for food contact is chemically inert, stable, won’t leach into food, or off-gas. And Health Canada confirms what we’ve found: silicone does not react with food or drinks or produce any hazardous fumes.

Now let's take a serious look at that background check…

In the fall-out of toxic plastics, silicone has been touted as inert and versatile, but is it really safe?Click To Tweet

What is Silicone Anyway?

Here's a simple breakdown, courtesy of Beth from My Plastic Free Life:

It is a man-made polymer, but instead of a carbon backbone like plastic, it has a backbone of silicon and oxygen. (Note that I'm using two different words here: silicone is the polymer and silicon, spelled without the “e” on the end, is an ingredient in silicone.) Silicon is an element found in silica, i.e., sand, one of the most common materials on earth. However, to make silicone, silicon is extracted from silica (it rarely exists by itself in nature) and passed through hydrocarbons to create a new polymer with an inorganic silicon-oxygen backbone and carbon-based side groups. What that means is that while the silicon might come from a relatively benign and plentiful resource like sand, the hydrocarbons in silicone come from fossil sources like petroleum and natural gas. So silicone is a kind of hybrid material.” (Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, p. 277)

Safety and Recyclability of Silicone

In her article Spotlight on Silicone, Mindful Momma explains that silicone has a good track record of safety. As for recyclability, she says “Silicone does not decompose but it is recyclable – although probably not through your city-wide recycling program. You'll probably have to drive to a specialty recycling facility – but then again, silicone is very durable so you won't have to worry about disposal for a long time.”

One of our favorite consumer advocates, Debra Lynn Dadd, explains that silicone is not toxic to aquatic or soil organisms, it is not hazardous waste. So while it is not biodegradable, it can be recycled after a lifetime of use.

Silicone Safety in Dishes and Cookware

We do feel very comfortable recommending silicone dishes as a safe option that won’t leach harmful chemicals into foods. Silicone dishes (like these) are a great alternative to plastics containing known carcinogens or endocrine disruptors. Its use in baby bottle nipples stretches back over 30 years, standing head and shoulders above nitrosamine-tainted synthetic latex nipples that break down quickly under repeated exposure to heat, moisture and detergents.

Now silicone cookware, on the other hand, may turn out to be be non-problematic but we're waiting for more definitive research on that front before making a firm recommendation.

A Little More Background on Silicone

Stacey Feeley, co-founder of Silikids, gave us some great background on the benefits of food grade silicone:

  • Can handle temperature extremes, transferring easily from freezer to microwave
  • Flexible, durable and shatter resistant
  • Petroleum-free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Odor and stain resistant
  • Hygienic and hypoallergenic with no open pores to harbor bacteria
  • Does not fade or scratch

Tips for Choosing and Using Silicone Dishes

  • Be sure to choose dishes made from 100% food grade silicone. Fillers can compromise the quality and durability of silicone.
  • Confirm that all colorants used are not BPA-based and that lead testing has been done, especially for brightly colored products.
  • Don’t be fooled by thermoplasticized rubber (TPR) dishes. They look and feel much the same, but TPR isn’t as durable and doesn’t tolerate high heat like silicone does. Products like these measuring cups made from TPR often have a rigid plastic skeleton and may warp when exposed to heat.
  • Be aware that phosphate-free dishwashing detergents may cause silicone dishes to end up with water spots or hold onto certain smells/tastes. It’s no big deal, just add some white vinegar or a non-toxic rinse aid like Ecover to your wash cycle.

There are times when durability and convenience win out, leaving my glass and stainless steel dishes in the cupboard. So given the choice between plastics made with carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals, I’d opt for silicone anytime.

P.S. Learn even more about why silicone is safer and more eco-friendly than plastic in our latest update!

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109 Responses to What is Silicone and is it Toxic?

  1. Echo September 16, 2008 at 7:10 am #

    I would like to hear more of a discussion on why silicone is purported to be so great and “safe”? How is it different (food-grade silicone) than the silicone that was so problematic with leaking breast implants? How much testing (independent of course) has been done?

  2. Echo September 16, 2008 at 1:10 am #

    I would like to hear more of a discussion on why silicone is purported to be so great and “safe”? How is it different (food-grade silicone) than the silicone that was so problematic with leaking breast implants? How much testing (independent of course) has been done?

  3. softlanding
    softlanding September 16, 2008 at 7:19 am #

    Hi Echo,

    That’s a great question. When we began looking for info on silicone, that was our first question. We found several studies that seemed to show no link between health issues and silicone breast implants. One such study is “Women with Silicone Breast Implants Have No Increased Risk of Death from Most Causes” completed by the National Cancer Institute.

    Our research always begins with the same basic question, “Does this material contain BPA, PVC or phthalates, known toxins/endocrine disruptors?” If not, we move to the next step and look into the material’s background (which we shared in the above article).

    Honestly, when we look the myriad of plastics out there, it’s easy to see that we’re basically having to make a choice between the least toxic options. We’re surrounded by plastic – even when we use glass containers, we use plastic lids to seal them for storage.

    Nothing is clear cut. We just have to give our due diligence in finding the best answer we can, then make the safest choice for our families.

    By the way, this discussion isn’t meant to include silicone cookware. We’ve haven’t delved into that arena completely.

    Best,

    Alicia

  4. Emilee September 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    I too would like to see some more independent testing done. But at the same time I don’t think that it is necessarily a “green” choice. As said in the article it is not easily/readily recyclable, unless maybe you find a mail in center. But also I’d like to know what the processing/manufacturing entails and what raw products are used. I’m really trying to not only get our family using “safe” products but products that are made to be easily recycled, or from recycled materials, using environmentally minded processing, and if not recyclable – biodegradable. hmm maybe we need a bamboo bottle…HAHAHAH J/K. But in the case of Bottles, I think we need to be supporting BREASTFEEDING more as well, than just supporting all these gazillion different styles and brands of bottles, that is the ULTIMATE, SAFE & GREEN choice!!! 🙂

    • Ken March 27, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

      Breast implants aren’t usually heated to 500 Degrees like cooking utensils which can be heated to even higher temperatures. At what temperature does small amounts of silicon leeching into food matter?

  5. Emilee September 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    I too would like to see some more independent testing done. But at the same time I don’t think that it is necessarily a “green” choice. As said in the article it is not easily/readily recyclable, unless maybe you find a mail in center. But also I’d like to know what the processing/manufacturing entails and what raw products are used. I’m really trying to not only get our family using “safe” products but products that are made to be easily recycled, or from recycled materials, using environmentally minded processing, and if not recyclable – biodegradable. hmm maybe we need a bamboo bottle…HAHAHAH J/K. But in the case of Bottles, I think we need to be supporting BREASTFEEDING more as well, than just supporting all these gazillion different styles and brands of bottles, that is the ULTIMATE, SAFE & GREEN choice!!! 🙂

  6. Emilee September 16, 2008 at 7:34 am #

    I too would like to see some more independent testing done. But at the same time I don’t think that it is necessarily a “green” choice. As said in the article it is not easily/readily recyclable, unless maybe you find a mail in center. But also I’d like to know what the processing/manufacturing entails and what raw products are used. I’m really trying to not only get our family using “safe” products but products that are made to be easily recycled, or from recycled materials, using environmentally minded processing, and if not recyclable – biodegradable. hmm maybe we need a bamboo bottle…HAHAHAH J/K. But in the case of Bottles, I think we need to be supporting BREASTFEEDING more as well, than just supporting all these gazillion different styles and brands of bottles, that is the ULTIMATE, SAFE & GREEN choice!!! 🙂

  7. softlanding
    softlanding September 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi Echo,

    That’s a great question. When we began looking for info on silicone, that was our first question. We found several studies that seemed to show no link between health issues and silicone breast implants. One such study is “Women with Silicone Breast Implants Have No Increased Risk of Death from Most Causes” completed by the National Cancer Institute.

    Our research always begins with the same basic question, “Does this material contain BPA, PVC or phthalates, known toxins/endocrine disruptors?” If not, we move to the next step and look into the material’s background (which we shared in the above article).

    Honestly, when we look the myriad of plastics out there, it’s easy to see that we’re basically having to make a choice between the least toxic options. We’re surrounded by plastic – even when we use glass containers, we use plastic lids to seal them for storage.

    Nothing is clear cut. We just have to give our due diligence in finding the best answer we can, then make the safest choice for our families.

    By the way, this discussion isn’t meant to include silicone cookware. We’ve haven’t delved into that arena completely.

    Best,

    Alicia

  8. Violet July 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    I would love to see a post about silicone cookware (muffin molds, cooking utensils, etc.) I have all different kinds of black nylon (?) utensils. I am ready and willing to replace them all but I just need a good alternative!
    Any ideas?
    -Violet

  9. Violet July 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    I would love to see a post about silicone cookware (muffin molds, cooking utensils, etc.) I have all different kinds of black nylon (?) utensils. I am ready and willing to replace them all but I just need a good alternative!
    Any ideas?
    -Violet

  10. thesoftlanding
    thesoftlanding July 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    Hi Violet,

    That's a great question and one we get quite often! We've been researching and researching silicone cookware for the last six months or so. We just want to be really sure about our conclusions regarding its safety before offering our opinion.

    So far we haven't found any evidence to sway us one way or another. Silicone is definitely high heat durable and free of know endocrine disruptors (BPA, phthalates), but not many scientific studies have been done on the use of silicone as bakeware at high temperatures.

    The jury's still out for us at this point. There is some great discussion on the topic on Debra Lynn Dadd's website at http://www.dld123.com/q&a/index.php?cid=24 and at Care2.com http://www.care2.com/greenliving/is-silicone-ba

    We'd love to hear everyone else's thoughts!

    Alicia

  11. SafeMommy July 6, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    What we do know is that several platcs are proven to be Harmful.let's not focus on what's bit known about silicone but use common sense by not overdoing the heating for sterilization , etc

  12. Jodi November 13, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    Hi Violet,
    I just replaced all of my nylon and plastic utensils with Bamboo ones. I love them. They are very durable and work just as well. They are natural and nice looking. You can get them many places…I got mine from the Phalzgraff website and also from Pampered Chef. Both have quality bamboo utensils.

    • Elena April 10, 2017 at 4:18 am #

      That’s wonderful, but do you know how the bamboo in your utensils has been treated, coated, lacquered, etc. The bamboo cooking utensils I see in stores don’t look completely natural to me.

  13. Rubber bracelets December 11, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    this kind of bracelets that made in silicone is best suited for kids since its elastic and will return on its original size after it was enlarged.

  14. Lindsay March 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    I have recently purchased the below noted take-away mug.

    http://www.thegoodhuman.com/2009/10/01/reusable

    It has a silicone lid. My first concern was whether or not this was harmful, as I have chosen to eradicate all plastic storage containers in my house, and replaced them with glass ones.

    Does anyone have any information? Silicone is supposed to be non-leaching and non smelling, however mine does smell a bit…

  15. Black Mold Removal March 29, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    Silicon is as well as harmful like Black mold now a days!

  16. recycledgifts March 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    yes i agree watch out for it. 🙂 be safe

  17. Black Mold Removal April 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Silicone has quickly become a household name in the fall-out of toxic plastics. Its starring role begins right away as we introduce it.

  18. Sandra May 7, 2010 at 4:02 am #

    I agree about the smelliness of silicone. For all it's hype, it does give off a plasticy smell, which I find suspect.

    • socialblogsite September 5, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      After many years of research, Hulda Clark (if you think “quack”, this website is not for you) she recommends “if it smells, it’s dangerous”.

      I just bought an ozonator, and the silicone hose smells. The ozone will be the first thing that will take that out, whatever it is, but I don’t want it to go straight inside me, so I’ll run it a few times with water to extract the leaching material, before to drink anything from it.

      I recommend doing so if you have an ozonator. Hulda Clark’s son, in an email campaign, said he run an ozonator all day in some exposition, using water from their personal drinking water bottles, and at the end of the day a sticky film/layer of plasticizer was found floating on the water and a ring on the glass container, at the water level, which wouldn’t come off with nothing!

      It’s so sad that today victims of metal leaching (e.g. hip implants) are being compensated for it while Hulda Clark said it years ago and was discredited by it.

      She tested many products with her controversial “synchrometer”which you can build at home, while only profitable studies realized with expensive devices people can’t build (so they pay) are the ones accepted in court.

      Just watch the attorney’s TV ads seeking for victims and you’ll see. They are making money, while she is being considered quack for those claims, discrediting 98% of her research on cancer which can’t be contradicted by any oncologist with good knowledge of pathogens and nutrition.

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  20. Rug Cleaning Boca Raton October 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Completely in agreement with the comments…! Great site! Thanks a lot for sharing these!

  21. Mold Removal Gainesville October 29, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    I agree about the smelliness of silicone.I have recently purchased the below noted take-away mug.I would love to see a post about silicone cookware

  22. Mold Testing Illinois November 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    That’s a great question. When we began looking for info on silicone, that was our first question.

  23. Gfd4564 December 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    I dont trust the goverment. These are the same people who put you away for 20 years for simple pot yet allow chemically enhanced tobacco to be sold practically everywhere. One may have possibly harmful effects and may be habit forming and not addictive while the other is in kin to heroin in power of the mental addiction and as it requires constant dosing – is very very harmful to be getting that much smoke and tar.

    So rule of thumb – if nature didn’t make it – good chance it isn’t good for you. I say go glass all the way. Then rubber. I would avoid any and all plastics – especially with babies and food. If it causes adult fish to change their gender – yeah! It may not have such a strong/obvious effect on us but only a little bit of poisoning doesn’t exactly make you well off. As for the boobs- get pregnant for them. Or just eat a lot. Besides you must not have ever experienced back pain if you want to go and throw a ton of weight on your chest. If it is for pleasing men – your other part will work far better and all men really want is that you use them more often. They could give a damn about such details.

  24. Carpet Cleaning Boca Raton February 12, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  25. Lorenza February 20, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    I just bought an eco coffee cup with a silicone lid. It was made in China. The silicone lid tastes bitter and has an acrid smell. So, though I really like the idea of it, It’s sort of freaking me out and I’ll probably return it. I thought it was supposed to be inert? If it’s inert, why does it taste and smell so bad?

    • APNurse February 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      It’s probably not *just* the lid. The glaze could be contaminated as well. Don’t let the corporate name “eco” fool you – the Chinese have been caught dumping all kinds of toxic filler into metal products, glass products, dyes, ceramic products, electronic products, you name it, they have been caught making it toxic……..including dog food, cat food, animal treats, and any kind of human food (including baby food) you can think of.

      We just have to try and get our hands on non-GMO seeds, make our own non-pesticide/herbicide-contaminated compost and mulch, and going back to drying/canning – in glass not made in China.

  26. boo December 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    After searching for months, I just purchased an electric tea kettle.They claim the water never comes into contact with plastic, however there is one silicone gasket. Is it safe to boil silicone?

  27. Cgoldman April 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Not to good for my allergy to rubber. I could’nt figure out why I was getting Ill until I realized my kitchen cooking utensils had silicone handles!! I thought silicone was plastic. Ceg

  28. Tiffany Adele Scott January 6, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Hello, I see below that in a comment it states silicone is free of endocrine disruptors such as BPA and phthalate, but when I was about to purchase silicone food grade caulk, it stated it contains “PVC” … can anyone explain why food grade silicone would contain PVC if it is supposed to be safe. This makes me second guess all of this research. Please help!

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters January 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi Tiffany,

      I’ve never researched caulking before, but I know it’s common for home decor and repair products to contain PVC for its flexibility and long lasting durability. Such a bummer – and a whole new product to be concerned about!

      Would you mind posting the link here so we can add it to our list of items to research in the near future?

      Thanks!

      Alicia

  29. APNurse February 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Another endocrine disruptor – toxic at much lower levels than BPA – is tritan, manufactured by Eastman. Eastman actually sued the independent labs that ran studies proving the link between tritan and breast cancer, endocrine, brain, liver, and DNA/RNA modification (leading to passing on cancer predisposition to generations). Independent testing has found evidence that it is worse than BPA – but industry-funded lab tests are done with – every one should love this tactic – a type of rat “the Charles River Sprague Dawley” , which oddly does not respond to synthetic hormones like BPA or Tritan, and therefore will “prove” that EVERY synthetic hormone “does nothing”.

    Tritan – look it up. You won’t find much about it that is not positive. Eastman has hired the former tobacco corporation attorneys and propagandists to fight against getting the information about it’s toxicity made public. You can check this latest edition of Mother Jones – to see the article “Are Any Plastics Safe?” by Mariah Blake in the March+April 2014 issue online, you need to subscribe; otherwise, if you don’t subscribe to the print version, maybe your library does (it should).

  30. Ann October 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Thank you for that information!

  31. boots October 29, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    I was wondering about this a couple of days ago as I put a batch of bran muffins into the oven. Thanks for your timely article. I have silicone pans that have seen a lot of use for over a decade and are still durable. I hope my newer cupcake/muffin liners will serve me just as long. Found an online store Life Without Plastic but it’s just so expensive to change everything over. Got my first order a few weeks ago so it’s a start.

  32. Megan Stevens November 21, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I just shared this article. It’s great and really helpful! 🙂

  33. Cathi December 12, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    As I’m doing more and more research on buying silicone products, I’ve discovered that there are so many companies out there that say that their products are 100% silicone, but are not. A quick “pinch test” is all it took while walking though bed and and beyond. Several of their ice cube trays and chocolate molds touting “100% silicone” are in fact, not 100% silicone. If you fold (for example) a blue “silicone” ice cube tray, and white appears in the fold, it has cheap fillers, and most likely was made in China…DO NOT BUY!

  34. Emily December 17, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Have you found any bowls that are 100% silicone? It seems like a great choice for my baby, but so far, according to reviews, even Kinderville and Green Sprouts don’t pass the pinch test!

  35. Aussiekate December 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Are watches with silicone bands considered safe?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 18, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      So long as they’re 100% silicone, I’d feel just fine wearing them myself. ~Alicia

  36. Balt December 18, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    This is so useful, thank you. Do you know if phthalates if any kind are ever used in silicone?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 18, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      So glad you found it helpful, Balt! No, I’ve never heard of phthalates being used in silicone. It just doesn’t need that particular set of chemicals to make it more flexible (like PVC does). ~Alicia

  37. jan February 16, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

    Are you familiar with silicon baking liners? They’re sold in a set of 3, one is for the toaster oven, imported from France but made in China. They’re supposed to replace parchment or wax paper &in the box it says that they’re approved FDA food-grade silicone. Do you have any idea if they’re totally safe for use with food, even when the heat is so close like in the case of the toaster oven?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters March 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      Yes, we’ve seen them around for years. We’re not comfortable recommending baking or cooking in silicone until more research is done. At this point, we only recommend using 100% silicone in food containers and dishes that aren’t placed in the oven/toaster oven.

    • Dr. Carin S. Smit March 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

      The FDA has approved many compounds which are currently causing health sequelae, such as mercury amalgams. Kindly note that silicone DOES make it into people’s DNA and forms very dangerous DNA Adducts (request proof of this off-list).

      • Adianez Alfonso March 11, 2015 at 9:55 am #

        Hello,
        1. What are we to use in place of silicone nipples?
        2. Can daily sterilization (electric machine) make it worse?
        I know it’s a moot point, just feel better doing it.
        3. Can PVC off gassing from a plastic container contaminate silicone nipples stored in the same place? (stored together for several weeks, unknowingly)
        Thank you..

      • Michael in Boulder April 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

        I would love to talk to you off the list if you are still open to that. My name is Michael and I’m not sure how to be in contact with you.

  38. Valerie Townsend February 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    What makes silicone non-toxic compared to the silicone used by construction workers? Are both non-toxic?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters March 2, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

      “Non-toxic” silicone is simply a claim and doesn’t really mean anything, so always look for 100% silicone. ~Alicia

      • Dr. Carin S. Smit March 2, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

        Dear Alicia

        The percentage of silicone in a product is really of no consequence here – it is the capacity of that product to cross-link with proteins in food which is ingested that determines its eventual epigenetic fate.

        • Organic Baby University March 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

          Do you have any testing results from the patient? Since she had many different types of exposure are you able to determine which path caused the exposure for example? Is it most damaging topically? When heated? Are you able to determine from this if others are benign such as the mouthpiece since it is not heated? How do you know it is not just from one of these sources such as topical? Do you have lad results showing the effects on DNA specifically and this is what caused it along with the amounts in their blood etc? I, like Alicia, teach others about the safety of plastics and really need more information to help inform myself and others. Thanks for your expertise!

          • Dr. Carin S. Smit March 4, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

            I do. As said before, seeing that this pertains to several of my patients, and parient confidentiality issues are at stake, I would be more than willing to discuss this off-list in a private conversation on Skype. The evidence is riveting as it not only shows which forms of silicone are having epigenetic impacts, the lab tests can actually pinpoint which genes are adducted, this linking the silicone directly to the actual disease condition, like cancer, CFS, Liu Gehrigs Disease or cardio-vascular incidences.

            • Organic Baby University March 10, 2015 at 10:07 am #

              I would be very interested in this Skype. Alicia would you want to join?

              • The Soft Landing Sisters
                The Soft Landing Sisters May 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

                I’d like to hear more about Dr Smit’s experiences for sure. Feel free to email us a info[at]thesoftlanding.com with details. ~Alicia

            • Samantha Phillips September 17, 2015 at 2:38 am #

              Do you have any research on the effects of nano silicon, without the ë”,
              We are using it as a supplement to encourage calcium fixing, collagen and also detox from heavy metals among other effects.

    • Dr. Carin S. Smit March 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

      Both can have epigenetic impacts, both can cause disease – exposure and individual responses to toxins / detoxification are key issues here. However, silicone is not a benign compound. Please note – inert, does not equate to “non-toxic”!

  39. Dr. Carin S. Smit February 28, 2015 at 6:42 am #

    I am an Clinical Metal and Environmental Toxicologist. One of my patients suffered from acute Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She is a high functioning lawyer and head of legal teams for two sub-continents in the oil and gas industry. When we looked at Lymphocyte Sensitivity tests and DNA Adducts testing we found that SILICONE and several forms of so-called “inert” silicone had made their way into her cells at devastatingly high levels. What were the sources of her silicone poisoning? 1. She is a diver who hold a prestigious world record and she has the silicone mouth piece from her regulator in her mouth on every dive. Her dive mask is manufactured from so-called inert silicone. She applies body and beauty care products to her skin which contain dimethicone (minuscule amounts of this compound can cause cancer and cause epigenetic changes to DNA). She used an underarm anti-perspirant which contained a silicone compound known as cyclopentasiloxane and finally she is an avid underwater photographer who applies silicone from a tube to the O-rings of her dive camera housing and dive equipment. Go figure whether silicone is as benign and as “safe” (GRAS) as claimed by the food industry. The BAD thing about silicone? It lipid binds, it sets itself up in one’s cells at receptors which are designed for other elements and by displacing these, wreak havoc in our cells. Silicone is NOT benign, is NOT safe and I could submit several lab reports of patients who are ill or have already passed away with cancer, where silicone was the main player in the genesis of their disease. Please revise your facts – this is not a safe product to use around babies or food which is consumed by humans.

    • Valerie Townsend March 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

      Thank you Dr. Carin S. Smit for your information regarding silicone. May I ask, what non-toxic product would you suggest we use in place of silicone? And, what is your advice to cake designers that use silicone molds to create edible cake designs with fondant? Thank you once again for your valuable opinion.

    • parvatii March 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

      this is the info i was searching for. i am looking for storage containers and have found some with glass bottoms and tops but the top seal is made of silicone which would come into contact with the bowl’s contents. seems the best option is a glass bottom and top lid, only glass.

      • The Soft Landing Sisters
        The Soft Landing Sisters March 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

        We’re totally comfortable with silicone in food containers, especially if you’re only talking about a silicone seal. ~Alicia

    • Valerie Townsend March 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      Thank you Dr. Carin S. Smit for your information regarding silicone. May I ask, what non-toxic product would you suggest we use in place of silicone that is as pliable? And, what is your advice to cake designers that use silicone molds to create edible cake designs with fondant? Thank you once again for your valuable opinion.

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters March 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience Dr. Smit! I can understand concern with insertion of silicone medical devices into the body, baking in silicone, and possibly even the theory that silicone in personal care products could potentially cause harm, but I’ve never seen validated research studies pointing to epigenetic changes to DNA from exposure to silicone in dishes and food containers. Do you have any studies you could provide links to so we can the information further? ~Alicia

    • Lisa L June 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

      Dr. Smit, after reading your information regarding silicone, all I can say is yikes! I am currently searching for a safe, reusable non toxic bottle that my husband can fill with water daily while he works in construction and drinks large amounts, however I found plastic is to be the worst as it leaches out harmful chemicals that play havoc within the body, including the hormones. If you have ANY suggestions, I would much appreciate them. Thanks!

      • Chelsie August 13, 2015 at 3:07 am #

        you’d want to go with a stainless steel water bottle. Klean kanteen has nice sturdy ones, though you can find less expensive ones in any store these days. I love that my klean kanteen has never dented or had the cap break as other cheaper versions have.

        • Maria White August 30, 2016 at 8:40 am #

          Be sure to get stainless steel and not aluminum.

    • Nikki June 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      Could you please share alternatives for baby products (i.e. bottle nipples)?

      ETA: Should we be feeding our kids through a glass dropper or something?

      • Helen M. August 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

        I think the only safest option for baby products is breastfeeding. The rest would all have something harmful or potentially harmful to it.

    • Alex Paschall August 29, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

      Dr . Smit,
      Would it be possible for me contact you? I was diagnosed with silicone toxicity 6 months ago from the Mirena IUD. You seem very knowledgable and I have not been able to get information or facts from any doctor this far. My blood work is supposed to be sent to Vanderbilt Toxicology this week.

    • Robin Krantz November 3, 2016 at 11:37 am #

      Wondering how I can find out safety of silicone patches for after basil cell repair .. recommended by dermatologist

      • The Soft Landing Sisters
        The Soft Landing Sisters December 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

        I wish we could help with that Robin, but we haven’t found much research on the subject.

  40. UserannonymousLady March 17, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    Can an expert such as Dr. Carin please comment on the silicone that is used in menstrual cups? I want to get one but reluctant to do so for health concerns especially fertility since I am yet to have children in the future.

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters May 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      I thought I’d pop in and give you my thoughts on silicone menstrual cups since Dr. Carin hasn’t responded yet. I’ve been using the SckoonCup for 2 years now and love it. Based on the researched we’ve reviewed, we have no qualms about using silicone in this manner. You can read more about my sister’s an my experience with reusable cups here: http://thesoftlanding.com/does-the-sckooncup-really-work/ ~Alicia

  41. Pam June 27, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    Siloxanes D4 and D5 can be extracted from silicone and are toxic and persistant. Low levels of leachables and extractables are extracted from ALL polymers including rubber, plastic, or silicone polymers. The concentration extracted by water will depend upon polymer mix, age, solution pH, temperature etc.. Hot water overall extracts significantly more than cold water. While some extractable compounds are considered less harmful than others, the long term and accumulative effects are not all known. Its important to note that when a plastic component becomes known as a toxic component, manufacturers’ may substitute alternative compounds to do the same job (eg. stabilizer, mold release agent, color) and the new compound may, at some future date, be found to be toxic in a different way.
    I would prefer to reduce continuous exposure where possible. Can you tell me of an espresso machine with metal piping and no polymer parts that are exposed to heated water? I will take my chances with metal piping any day over that of organic compounds. I am looking for a machine below $500.

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters July 1, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Hi Pam, we’ve never come across a study documenting this info, so please share your source for this information. ~Alicia

      • noloveinfear January 1, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

        I had a nasty experience recently with an extract with high levels of limonene (stuff we extract for orange oil). It is one of few things you could potentially find in food that interact with silicone.

        In my case, it caused the extract to merge with the silicon and become a gross gooey rubber substance that I wouldn’t get anywhere near any cook surface. Upon applying this “reacted” material, a strong burning rubber smell filled the air and I threw out the container.

  42. willy August 4, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    All my silicone spatulas started oozing a sticky goo. What is it? Who knows. But it happened the same time my stainless steel utensils started to rust. Iron bacteria? Does iron bacteria eat silicone too? I don’t know. But maybe there’s a silicone eating bacteria as well.

  43. ECOlunchboxes
    ECOlunchboxes August 6, 2015 at 12:47 am #

    we’ve actually just launched a kickstarter to provide a lunchbox that doesn’t leak – yet doesn’t use any plastics. we’re using silicone lids with stainless steel bottoms for a non-toxic combo. http://kck.st/1MsCc0w our product testing shows this is the safest alternative.

  44. Stephanie Ward Bishop August 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    So….these silicone cupcake things are not recommended? Correct?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters August 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      We recommend them for molds but not for baking. ~Alicia

      • Anita Amazon February 3, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

        Sorry but I don’t understand – why are you not recommending silicone baking moulds?? Thanks

    • STAY.SAFE September 2, 2015 at 4:10 am #

      Dont take the risk, its not worth it

  45. Zorica Dimkova February 4, 2016 at 6:42 am #

    I found tutorial on internet on how to make molds for fondant (to make figures for cake decoration). It is made with ordinary silicone (the one we use for bathrooms )+ starch+oil. I made the molds and they turned out great but I’m concerned is it safe to use it now?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters May 19, 2016 at 8:33 am #

      That’s a great question! We’ve never looked into using silicone caulking for food before, but we’ll keep it on our list to research as soon as we can.

  46. metyldragon March 20, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    My concerns are of the medical nature. I have issues with the tubing and cannula’s for oxygen, which I do need. Many years ago, my Doctor told me that I was allergic to plastic inside my body due to an NG tube which caused my face to swell up and a sever headache as well as the Teflon IV needle which made my entire arm swell up and was not infiltrated…. I cannot be on the Oxygen very long as my nasal passages as well as my sinuses burn and I get a severe headache plus sneezing and coughing. Is there any one who makes this tubing with Silicone and is it safe? Can you please email me at metyldragon@yahoo.com with your response…..Thank you….

  47. Melissa March 27, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    Alicia I was just curious about the posts a year ago by Dr smit. Did you all ever discuss the safety of silicone further or have you researched any of his claims? Ty

    • The Soft Landing Sisters May 19, 2016 at 8:32 am #

      Hi Melissa – Dr. Smit never replied to our inquiries, and we’ve never been able to substantiate his claims. We promise to stay abreast of current research on silicone and keep you all informed! ~Alicia

  48. pjiet October 24, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    So what’s the difference between food grade silicone and the one that comes in tubes (also used in bathrooms and stuff)? I want to make molds for static objects as well as for chocolate and the tubes are waaaay cheaper…

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 6, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

      The silicone caulk used for bathrooms is usually made with additives that you don’t want your food to come in contact with.

      • pjiet December 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

        But what if I’d let it sit for a week or 2, wouldn’t they have evaporated or are they the matter that keeps plastics soft?

        • The Soft Landing Sisters
          The Soft Landing Sisters December 7, 2016 at 7:56 am #

          It’s my understanding that the chemicals are bound inside the silicone caulking, so wouldn’t recommend using it.

  49. Chamara Dassanayaka December 24, 2016 at 7:17 am #

    Hi, is silicon oil used for hair treatments a safe lubrication for latex condoms ? . This product contains Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isopropyl Myristate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, Tocopheryl Acetate and Perfume.

    Do you see any harmful ingredient which might create a bad reaction in contact with latex ?

  50. ammad March 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    hi
    can you plz tell me ecact formulation to make SILICON FOOD WRAP ?
    waiting for reply

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