Juice box safety? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-05-2002, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everybody,

I love juice boxes, as does my son, though we try to save them for trips because of the expense.

Anyway, I never thought of these handy little delights as being potentially harmful until the following things happened. We were getting on a plane and my 5-year-old set off the metal alarm because he was drinking a juice box! He found it pretty amusing, and the security folks were very nice to him. I never realized the boxes were lined in foil, though I guess that's what you poke the straw through. I mentioned this incident a while later when some friends and I were sharing airport stories. One health-conscious friend got all concerned, since aluminum has been related to Alzheimer's. I do recall hearing something about not cooking using aluminum pans, but juice boxes??? My friend thought it was unsafe if the foil was touching the juice. So I dissected one of the boxes the other day, and sure enough, the whole box was lined with foil which was in direct contact with the juice. Is this safe? Anybody know? Or know where to find more info? I'll be looking around other places too, so I'll let you know if I learn any more.

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#2 of 9 Old 08-05-2002, 02:11 PM
 
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Interesting thought, I have heard (don't have proof) that the sodas are in non-alluminum cans, but they are still called that... I guess that is one of those "hidden secerts" the FDA won't tell you about huh?
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#3 of 9 Old 08-05-2002, 08:25 PM
 
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It may not be real aluminum, but it could be some other metal that isn't good for us. The reason I think it may not be real aluminum is that aluminum would probably fall apart on contact with acidic juices like cranberry and grape. I know when you read cookbooks they tell you not to use foil with foods with tomato sauce because it will create holes in the foil. I'm not sure if juice would do the same or not.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-08-2002, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, here's what I found out. Not completely conclusive or anything, but for Tetra Pak, who seems to be the main manufacturer of juice boxes:

"The juice boxes are made of three things: paperboard, a sheet of aluminum foil, and the foil is covered with a layer of laminating film. Presumably, the laminating keeps the beverage from coming into direct contact with the aluminum foil."

This quote is from an email from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health. I found their address and some starting information on aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/external/faq/alum.htm, and then emailed for further info.

Here's the entire email - I'm pretty impressed by its friendliness and thoroughness!

"What a thought-provoking comment and question you have sent in! From what I have been able to find in the process of looking for information about juice boxes is this:
1) I could only identify one manufacturer, Tetra Pak. They are a, "global company with offices in almost every part of the world."
2) I could not find any information on the site of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, however the Environmental Protection Agency
mentions juice boxes in some of their model recycling programs. It is a bit difficult because of the three layers of different materials
used in the packaging (see below).
3) The juice boxes are made of three things: paperboard, a sheet of aluminum foil, and the foil is covered with a layer of laminating film.
Presumably, the laminating keeps the beverage from coming into direct contact with the aluminum foil.
4) I was not able to find any health effects research that had been conducted on these boxes, so I do not know the answer to your questions
about how younger children might be affected by drinking from these boxes.

Finally, I attached a copy of the Environmental Report from Tetra Pak, in case you are interested in reading any of their information. I'm sorry
this has taken me so long, but I really had to dig for information on this one. Good luck, thanks for visiting the NIEHS website and for your
interest in environmental health!
Best wishes,
[name and phone numbers deleted]
Public Affairs Specialist
NIEHS/Communications and Public Liaison
www.niehs.nih.gov"

MW
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#5 of 9 Old 08-08-2002, 08:32 PM
 
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Here's my thought: Does food/beverage that has been exposed to a plastic product sound like a healthy choice? What is plastic made from?

Yes, we use the convenient juicebox. But maybe not for long.
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#6 of 9 Old 08-08-2002, 10:23 PM
 
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So then what should we buy our beverages out of? Is only glass safe? What abt the paper oj and milk cartons? They are coated with st too arent they?

This world makes me crazy!
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#7 of 9 Old 08-08-2002, 11:41 PM
 
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Come to think of it.....the "juice" we buy only contains a miniscule amount of juice. Oh, man I don't know if I really want to think about this....

Lucy, you said: "They are coated with st too arent they?"

What is it they are coated with?

I don't feel so good.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-09-2002, 12:10 AM
 
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I dont either This guy looks like the Mr Yuk stickers doesnt he? Makes me so mad that things have gotten so out of hand where these chemicals are virtually inescapable.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-09-2002, 04:09 PM
 
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Sure makes me want to "get back down to basics".

I'm looking at buying a juicer.

Wow.
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