Fast food packaging such as pizza boxes or popcorn bags for microwave contain substances which make them resistant to water and grease. FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration) took the decision to ban some of these substances since they are dangerous for health.
The rule was established on Monday, January 4, but it will become effective after 30 days starting from Monday. Objections to the change can be filled in until February 3. FDA said that now there is no doubt about the harm which comes from food contact substances. The company stated:
As a result of this review, we concluded that data for subsets of long-chain PFCs (demonstrating biopersistence and reproductive and developmental toxicity) are applicable to long-chain PFCs on a general basis and that this data raises significant questions as to the safety of the authorized uses of the three FCSs subject to the petition.”
The substances which are to be removed are three perfluoroalkyl ethyl substances: Perfluoroalkyl, Pentanoic and Diethanolamine salts. They are also known as perfluorochemicals or shortly put, PFCs. These substances are used in numerous industries and as a result they undoubtedly have long-term effects on our health. Scientists have discovered that these chemicals are harmful to vertebrates such as mammals, fish and birds which can be exposed to PFCs thought dermal, inhalational and oral ways. The most common and dangerous mean through which the toxins get into the body is oral uptake. 95 percent of PFCs are absorbed into the body and they get there through the use of food packaging, waterproof cookware and water.
Besides waterproof cookware these substances are used in common products all over the world. They are found for example in waterproof jackets, Teflon pans, furniture fabrics and foams used for fire-fighting.
For avoiding exposure to PFCs people are advised not to use non-stick cookware and not let the pans heat to more than 450ºF. Also, in case the cookware is deteriorated, it should no longer be used. People should as well be careful when choosing packaged food and keep away from packaged fast food which is oily and greasy.
FDA’s measure was actually a response to a petition which urged the agency to ban PFCs. The petition was signed by Clean Water Action, Breast Cancer Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Food Safety and the environmental Working Group.
Image Source: foodgood-new.blogspot.com
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