Study Finds Harmful Chemicals In Popular US Food Items

Study Finds Harmful Chemicals In Popular US Food Items

Study finds harmful chemicals in popular US food items. Phthalates, also called plasticizers, are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable.

Phthalates are present in food, such as vinyl flooring, lubricating oils, and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays).

Plasticizers are replaced to reduce exposure to phthalates, however, it is required to study their long-term effects on human health. Plasticizers are added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. 

The latest research studies levels of several phthalates and replacement plasticizers in popular food items.

Ortho-phthalates are commonly referred to as phthalates and are used to enhance the softness and durability of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other plastics.

The recent study links consumption of fast food with higher levels of phthalates in urinary samples. It examined the concentration of plasticizers in popular food items from fast-food chains in the United States.

The study was published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.

Exposure to replacement plasticizers could potentially have adverse health effects on human health, the study shows.

“Regulation of phthalates has been minimal in the U.S., with the exception of a ban on eight phthalates in children’s toys. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the legal authority to regulate phthalates in food. However, in spite of significant health risks, the agency has thus far refused to withdraw its approval for the 28 phthalates it currently allows as food additives in food contact materials,” the study’s first author, Dr. Lariah Edwards said.