Due to this notice that was supposedly sent out by Johns Hopkins University, confirmation from the university itself was needed to verify the validity of the significant finding. In response to this email, assistant professor, Rolf Halden, PhD, PE, in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Water and Health at Johns Hopkins University discredited this hoax email. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs at the university conversed with Rolf Halden about the issue of dioxins released from plastic bottles as well as the use of plastic cookware. Halden clarified the issue and stated that dioxins are not present in plastics and freezing plastic bottles does not contribute to the release of this chemical. Moreover, he explained that: “Chemicals do not diffuse as readily in cold temperatures, which would limit chemical release if there were dioxins in plastic, and we don’t think there are.” It is important to note however that heating and cooking with plastics does increase the possibility of chemicals being released into the food substance according to Halden. Consequently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto’s statement on heating foods in plastic, as found in the email, is not an inaccurate statement. Rather, understanding the context as a whole can be misinterpreted by many who did receive the email.
Though present-day technology allowed for an immediate distribution of the email regarding the recent research on dioxin, the hoax was quickly identified and detested by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. It is important that society is immediately warned about all possible health risks associated with the usage of plastic ware. For example, many people probably would not have known that some drinking straws have been labeled “not for hot beverages” simply because the chemicals from the straw are being extracted into one’s beverage according to Halden. Most would usually have the initial understanding that one might be burned by using the straw.
Moreover, generating a scare towards drinking water from plastic bottles through a false email contributes to an unrest society. The release and distribution of such pertinent health related information throughout the internet needs to be monitored and certified in a specific manner. I, myself being a previous recipient of such a bogus email, further looked into the issue of dioxins and discovered the falsification attached with the email message. Additionally, the validity of such a message would have not been only claimed online, but through the use of mass media. Today is the age of a well informed society. Nevertheless, I say thank you for the recommendation of using heat-resistant glass, stainless steel, or ceramics when cooking in order to avoid the increased risk of cancer. No thank you to the unnecessary scare that left many wondering what the next everyday essential (like water bottles) will be warned against as a possible risk of developing cancer.