We always knew that fast food was bad for health, and that the trans-fats in those cheese burgers and oily potato fries that we loved gorging on too were detrimental for health but here’s a new research that shows that fast food wrapper is actually much worse than we thought it was. And no, it is not because of some newly discovered chemical in the food itself. It is because of the packaging of the fast food.
That’s right. New research published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, that is published by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, has claimed that a group of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyls are finding their way into the blood of human beings. This is happening because these chemicals are used to coat fast food wrappers. And, as they can reach into the food contained in the packaging, they then find their way into the human blood stream, in high concentrations.
But what exactly are perfluoroalkyls? They are stable (which means they do not break down easily) chemicals that are usually used to repel substances like grease, oil and water. They are most often used in coatings for packages and surfaces that need such protection, like for instance in Teflon coatings, varnishes, and stain resistant carpets. But they are also found on fast food wrappings that keep the oil, mayonnaise and ketchup from flowing out into your hands as you eat.
The problem is that chemicals like Perfluorooctanoate (a particular perfluoroalkyl chemical) are carcinogenic and it can affect the function of the human immune function and even hormone levels. A study on mice has indicated that it could contribute to weight gain in middle age. The study that was carried out by Jessica C. D’eon and Scott A. Mabury of the University of Toronto examined specific chemicals like polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs), which are the breakdown products of the perfluorinated carboxylic acids used to coat the paper wrappers.
These chemicals have been shown to be disruptive to the endocrine system and can negatively affect the sex hormones.