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Natural Awakenings

Toxic Food Wrappers: It's a Wrap... This Packaging is Dangerous

Mar 31, 2011 11:34AM

When we buy a packaged prepared meal, we might, be ingesting harmful chemicals leached from the wrapper into our food. University of Toronto scientists have found that chemicals used to coat paper and cardboard food packaging to repel oil, grease and water are capable of migrating into food and contributing to chemical contamination in people’s blood.

The researchers focused on perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCA), the breakdown products of chemicals used to achieve the nonstick and water- and stain-repellent properties of items that range from food packaging and kitchen pans to clothing. “We suspect that a major source of human PFCA exposure may be the consumption and metabolism of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters, or PAPs,” explains Jessica D’eon, a graduate student in the university’s chemistry department. “PAPs are applied as grease-proofing agents to paper food contact packaging such as fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags.”

PAPs are a source of potential personal chemical contamination that we can easily limit or avoid altogether.

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