Not that you need yet another reason to boycott fast food, but . . . it seems the packaging (not just the food itself) may also be poisoned.
A team looking for fluorine in food packaging found it. The presence of fluorine means that highly flourinated chemicals (PFAS or PFCs) were likely used to produce the packaging—probably because those chemicals help the packaging resist grease and stains.
But as Environmental Health News (EHN) reports, fluorinated chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, development and immune system problems, low birth weights and decreased fertility, can migrate from the packaging into the food. More from the EHN report:
Researchers tested about 400 pieces of food packaging from 27 fast food chains in 2014 and 2015. The samples included popular spots such as McDonald’s, Burger Kind, Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A. They also tested, and found the compounds at places people might not think of fast food, such as Jimmy John’s, Quiznos, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
The restaurants were in or around Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Grand Rapids, Mich.
In total, 33 percent of the packages contained fluorine. The presence of fluorine doesn’t automatically mean the packaging contains the highly fluorinated chemicals of concern. However, it’s “the most likely reason,” said Laurel Schaider, a research scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, and lead author of the study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.