The special packaging and containers that come with go-to foods have made the lives of many people easier as it is now easier to get a meal that can be carried anywhere easily without having to deal with the dripping grease or spilling.
How does fast-food packaging stop the grease from spilling out?
A certain family of chemicals that are present inside the packaging of most of the pastry wrappers, burritos or burger packs, as well as the pizza and French fries boxes, is responsible for stopping the grease from dripping outside.
Recently, a study on the use of chemicals in fast-food packaging along with a report showed that around one-third of the packs actually contained grease-repelling coatings that were made of perfluorinated chemicals.
Perfluorinated chemicals compounds, also known as PFASs and PFCs have been known to be linked to a number of health conditions such as reproductive damage, developmental issues, disruption in the immune system, and even cancer along with many others.
What exactly are these compounds?
Per-or-poly-fluorochemicals or PFCs are a whole family of chemicals that are commonly used in the development of grease, water, and stain repellent-coatings. These chemicals are also present in a variety of other consumer products.
The industrial applications of the compounds are enormous given that these elements have increased in the environment and the average human body causing both serious health issues and environmental problems.
You might have heard that PFCs have been banned but in reality only the use of a few of these compounds including those that are used in 3M Scotchgard and Teflon pads as they have been found to be dangerous.
After the ban on such PFCs was imposed, the use of the mentioned compounds was discontinued in many products. However, chemicals companies developed and launched various new types of PFCs soon after the discontinuation of the previous ones.
If you are thinking that the newly launched compounds might be different and safer in comparison with the previous ones, then you are wrong. These chemicals may be in fact just as dangerous as the discontinued ones.
The use of such compounds is very similar to the use of BPA whose toxic effects are well-known. Researchers cited BPA as toxic regardless of the exposure to it after which the chemical companies turned to developing a new but related chemical alternative.
This compound, known as bisphenol S started being used in various products which had BPA in them before such as the common household cleaning products. Later, the reports on the new chemical showed that the compound is equally dangerous.
Additionally, a number of reports on the effects of bisphenol S showed that the compound is even more hormonally active and potentially toxic than the BPA it replaced. In a similar way, not only were the banned PFCs harmful but so are the new ones.
PFCs like BPA have been observed to lead to a number of very serious health conditions. According to the report on PFCs in fast-food packaging, the chemical does cause a growth of cancerous tumors where even the amount of exposure is unknown.
This means that no one is certain whether this is because of a high exposure to the chemicals or can also happen in little exposure because of the toxicity.
What can you do about this?
It is almost impossible to avoid PFCs as they are present in high amounts in the environment along with the fast-food packaging.
The report that appeared on the Environmental Science and Technology letters showed the packaging of some of the most preferred and favorite restaurants in the United States which contained shocking amounts of PFCs.
The only way to reduce exposure to the harmful chemicals is by eating home-cooked meals more frequently and by avoiding certain products such as nonstick dental floss, paper tableware, and microwave food especially popcorn.
Not only will avoiding eating out and buying many of such products protect you from PFCs but many other chemicals that are present in most of your daily use products.