A new study has found that highly-toxic chemicals are present in some of the wrappers used for fast food packaging, and these chemicals may contaminate the food and make their way into the bloodstream of the consumer.
While it is no secret that fast food items continue to bloat the American belly, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) found in fast food wrappers appear to further exacerbate the drastically declining health status of the general population. PFCs are the same chemicals used to line nonstick cookware, flame retardants and stain-resistant products.
Previous research revealed that PFCs found in such packaging may actually migrate into the food itself, which when consumed, can accumulate in the body. A recent study found modest amounts of PFCs in 56 percent of dessert and bread wrappers, 20 percent of paperboard products – such as those the hold french fries or other fried foods – and 38 percent of sandwich and burger wrappers. Researchers also found this compound in 57 percent of Tex-Mex food wrappers and 16 percent of beverage containers.
In 2011, some food packaging manufacturers in the United States began voluntarily pulling the use of these PFCs from their products due to health concerns. Findings from one study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, made it evident, however, that even though these harmful chemicals are being phased out by some manufacturers due to their potential health risks, other manufacturers are choosing to continue their use.
“This study reinforces the reality that these chemicals are highly persistent in the environment, and may find their ways into people’s bodies for years after they are no longer intentionally added,” noted outside expert Dr. Leonardo Trasande. He continued, “This study adds to concerns about chemicals that contaminate highly processed or packaged foods, potentially magnifying health effects above and beyond the effects that may result from their high-fat or high-sugar content.”