Chemicals In Fast Food Packaging Found To Penetrate Food, Upset Hormones In People Who Eat Them
Just when you think you’ve got the whole “chemicals in your food” thing licked…
From bisphenol-A in our water bottles to glyphosate on our food crops to the myriad of nasty additives and preservatives that are in processed foods, sometimes it seems like we’re playing whack-a-mole to keep up with all the ways that food manufacturers are trying to poison us.
Well, people who eat fast food and store-bought processed foods can add another toxin source to the list. (The fact that fast food and highly processed grocery store foods are in and of themselves a pretty solid source of toxic nastiness is a subject for another story.)
A new study looked at the phthalates people carry in their systems and correlated that data to the frequency with which they consume fast food and the results were truly stunning.
The study looked at nearly 9,000 people who had answered the National Health and Nutrition Examinations Surveys between 2003 and 2010, in which they reported all the food they had eaten within last 24 hours. The study participants also were asked to give a urine sample which tested for bisphenol-A, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and diisononyl phthalate, all of which are known to be endocrine disruptors and thus have an effect on human hormones.
For people who ate enough fast food that it made up 35 percent of their diet, rates of both kinds of phthalates were significantly higher, by 24 percent (DEHP) and 40 percent (DiNP) respectively. Although they tested for BPA as well they found no correlation between it and fast food consumption.
But as far as phthalates go, the study’s conclusion pointed the finger at fast food packaging, or possibly added contamination from plastic gloves worn to serve the food, or the plastic on conveyer belts where the food is kept under heat lamps.
“The same range of concentrations measured in this [group] overlaps with the range of concentrations that have been measured in some of epidemiological studies that find adverse health effects,” said study author Ami Zota in a Time interview.
Zota added, “About a third of all the people in the study had eaten fast food in the prior day. That’s a lot. That alone tells you the public health impact of this type of food preparation.”
Indeed it does. And it tells us yet another reason to add to the burgeoning list of reasons why you should avoid fast food at all costs.