Americans are beginning to recognize the hazards of fast food, but they might not realize that the packaging could also pose problems.
What’s in the Wrapper?
A new study analyzed fluorinated compounds in more than 400 samples of paper food wrappers, paperboard containers and paper cups. They were collected from more than two dozen fast food chains.
The scientists were looking for the fluorinated chemicals called PFASs. Previous studies have associated such compounds with health problems from cancer and fertility problems to thyroid dysfunction and lowered immunity.
The Envelope, Please:
The analysis detected fluorine in half of the paper food wrappers for burgers and pastry. One-fifth of the paper boxes for pizza and fries also contained fluorine. One bright spot: no paper cups contained fluorine. Samples high in fluorine were often high in PFASs as well. These compounds persist for years in the environment and have been found contaminating drinking water.