Fast Food Packaging More Harmful Than the Food?
Health & Beauty / /
French fries, fried chickens or hamburgers can be very tasty, but experts are constantly warning that fast food is not healthy. However, the latest research suggest that we should be concerned more about the harmfulness of the packages in which the food is packed than about the fast food itself.
Paper and cardboard packages in which food is served or packaged is covered with chemical substances that are grease resistant and contain fluorine compounds, showed a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
Compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are highly persistent synthetic chemicals, some of which have been associated with cancer, developmental toxicity, immunotoxicity, and other health effects. PFASs in grease-resistant food packaging can leach into food and increase dietary exposure, was written in the research.
Chemical compounds on the containers contaminate the food, which means that in addition to the food we consume, we also eat a certain amount of these substances too, regardless of the fact that we do not eat the packaging. The amount of these substances in the food depends on the heat of the food and the time it spends in the package.
After collecting about 400 samples of food from fast-food restaurants around the United States, researchers found that 46% of paper packaging and 20 % cardboard packages contain fluorine.
Also, it was found that 56% of packaging materials for bread, cakes and pastries, and 38%of packaging for sandwiches contain the fluorine compound. At the same time, such substances were detected on the paper cups.
Research has shown that greasy hamburgers are not the worst we can eat in context of their toxic containers, the cakes and bread in fact are foods we need to be most worried. We should be also careful with consuming popcorns, and with the colorful boxes they come in.
Substances containing fluorine compounds (PFAS) can cause serious problems such as reduced fertility, impaired immune system, increased cholesterol and a higher risk of cancer.
Such substances can often be found in pans and water-resistant clothing, cleaning products, paints, lacquers, shampoos, makeup and dental floss.