A recent study has shown that the chemicals widely used in producing the paper food wrappers used in fast food establishments is making its way into the general population’s blood stream.
The research was done at the University of Toronto with the specific intent to identify whether or not the chemicals called perfluoroalkyls are ending up in humans. These chemicals (abreviated as PAPs) are synthetic chemicals designed to repel oil, grease, and water, which makes them very hand for food packaging. “PAPs are applied as greaseproofing agents to paper food contact packaging such as fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags,”said Jessica D’eon of the University of Toronto. Environmental chemists Scott Mabury and Jessica D’eon of the University of Toronto led this study, as well as a preliminary study in 2007. They concluded that perfluoroalkyls, or perfluorinated chemicals are migrating from wrappers into the population’s blood streams. “We suspected that a major source of human PFCA exposure may be the consumption and metabolism of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters, or PAPs,” explained D’eon. “In this study we clearly demonstrate that the current use of PAPs in food contact applications does result in human exposure to PFCAs, including PFOA,” said Mabury, the lead researcher. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances, elevated levels of these chemicals in the blood have been associated with changes in cholesterol and sex hormones.
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