If you're thinking of using your plastic container to heat your leftovers, think again!  A recent study revealed that plastic containers have chemicals used in plastics known as phthalates, which could be ingested in the body.

Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine were able to link phthalate levels in urine and their effect on children's health. In their study published in the journal Hypertension three types of phthalates were found to be responsible for higher blood pressure. Another study published in Endocrine Society found that phthalates cause insulin resistance.

Phthalates is the chemical used in making soaps, cosmetics, plastic pipes, shower curtains and many more.

The National Institutes of Health reported that while it is still unknown as to what extent could phthalates undermine human health, the agency believed that these chemicals could function as endocrine disruptors, which could cause body's glands, metabolism, reproduction, and other endocrine systems from functioning properly. Phthalates are also associated to premature birth and neurobehavioral problems among infants.  

While socioeconomic and other demographic factors could also play significant roles in the development of obesity, blood pressure, and insulin resistance among children, still, evidences suggest "that chemicals [are] a potential third contributor to the epidemic," lead author Leonardo Trasande, who works as a professor in the department of pediatrics at New York University, said. However, Tresande said it would be easier to regulate and control chemical exposure than compared to unhealthful diet and sedentary lifestyle.

Trasande, therefore, suggested avoiding the use of plastic containers to prevent food contamination. Drinking from plastic containers with the recycling numbers 3 (for polyvinyl chloride), 6 (for polystyrene), or 7 (for, uh, whatever else doesn't have its own number) is also discouraged. Trasande explained that they are made of "chemicals of concern," he says. And once the plastic scratches (because the protective coating may have broken down), experts suggest throwing them away rather than reusing them to avoid contamination.