For all the attention paid to damaging fast food ingredients – it is only recently that a spotlight illuminated its packaging to be among the worst ingredients to which consumers could expose themselves.
A comprehensive analysis on the prevalence of highly fluorinated chemicals detected this chemical in more places than originally known. These damaging chemicals were found in the waxy cups, wrappers, paperboard (boxes for fries, pizza, etc.), and cupholders of the most typical American eateries.
The Silent Spring Institute reports:
In the most comprehensive analysis(link is external) to date on the prevalence of highly fluorinated chemicals in fast food packaging in the United States, researchers tested more than 400 samples from 27 fast food chains throughout the country. The samples, consisting of paper wrappers, paperboard, and drink containers, were analyzed for a class of chemicals called PFASs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), also known as PFCs. These highly fluorinated chemicals are widely used in an array of nonstick, stain-resistant, and waterproof products, including carpeting, cookware, outdoor apparel, as well as food packaging.
“These chemicals have been linked with numerous health problems, so it’s concerning that people are potentially exposed to them in food,” says Laurel Schaider, an environmental chemist at Silent Spring Institute and the study’s lead author. Exposure to some PFASs has been associated with cancer, thyroid disease, immune suppression, low birth weight, and decreased fertility. “Children are especially at risk for health effects because their developing bodies are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals,” says Schaider. Approximately one third of children in the U.S. consume fast food every day. (Click to Article)