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Buttonstc's avatar

Why would a Lexan mug be unsuitable for microwave use?

Asked by Buttonstc (27597points) July 6th, 2012 from iPhone

I just purchased a 32 oz. mug from GSI. It’s labeled as being BPA-free (which is a good thing)’ It’s also a very hard plastic.

The general guidelines I’ve read concerning using plastics in microwaves warn against using softer type plastics, like styrofoam,which can leech chemicals into your food because they are partially melting, one of the biggest concerns being BPA. The warnings even include the typical (suppsedly) microwaveable containers that packaged frozen items like Stouffers include. The plastics typically used are somewhat flexible and “softer” than other types of plastics. So those warnings make perfect sense to me.

But this mug is a solid rigid Lexan plastic, not the slightest bit flexible at all. So much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if it shattered if dropped the wrong way. But that being said, the overall mug is solidly built and the plastic is quite thicker than average so I’m sure it can handle average dropping.

Therefore, I was quite surprised to see on the bottom of this mug “DO NOT MICROWAVE”.

Would the same prohibition apply to any type of Lexan (as it does for all Melamine products)?

I’m aware that the optimal products to use for microwave cooking are those made from tempered glass and most ceramics. But I thought hard plastics were OK also.

So, is this company just being overly cautious and litigation-shy by putting that on, or is there inherently something about Lexan making it unusable for microwave use?

Hopefully some scientific Jellies can weigh in here and give me the straight scoop. Thanks.

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2 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Lexan is generally safe to use in a microwave but the FDA requires serious testing to prove that before the manufacturer is allowed to leave the Do Not Microwave off the bottom. So its often marked as not safe for microwaving just to save money.

Buttonstc's avatar

That’s really interesting. I was unaware that it was required by govt.

So, are you referring to GSI or to whichever company makes Lexan?

If it’s GSI, I find that somewhat understandable since they’re a significantly smaller company than the makers of Lexan (which I’m assuming is some huge megacorporation)

I guess I would assume that whoever makes Lexan would find it in their long term best interests to foot the bill for the required testing since it would make their product more saleable.

But then, the plastics industry is not something I know much about so I guess I assume wrong :)

But I’m going to use it in the microwave anyhow :)

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