Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Dangerous chemicals in food wrappers likely migrating to humans: U of T study

From a November 8, 2010 University of Toronto news release

University of Toronto scientists have found that chemicals used to line junk food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags are migrating into food and being ingested by people where they are contributing to chemical contamination observed in blood.

Perfluorinated carboxylic acids or PFCAs are the breakdown products of chemicals used to make non-stick and water- and stain-repellant products ranging from kitchen pans to clothing to food packaging. PFCAs, the best known of which is perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are found in humans all around the world.

“We suspected that a major source of human PFCA exposure may be the consumption and metabolism of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters or PAPs,” says Jessica D’eon, a graduate student in the University of Toronto’s Department of Chemistry. “PAPs are applied as greaseproofing agents to paper food contact packaging such as fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags.”…

….

“In this study we clearly demonstrate that the current use of PAPs in food contact applications does result in human exposure to PFCAs, including PFOA. We cannot tell whether PAPs are the sole source of human PFOA exposure or even the most important, but we can say unequivocally that PAPs are a source and the evidence from this study suggests this could be significant.”

Regulatory interest in human exposure to PAPs has been growing. Governments in Canada, the United States and Europe have signaled their intentions to begin extensive and longer-term monitoring programs for these chemicals. The results of this investigation provide valuable additional information to such regulatory bodies to inform policy regarding the use of PAPs in food contact applications.

###

The study  [full text here] was conducted by Jessica D’eon and Scott Mabury of the University of Toronto’s Department of Chemistry and is published today in Environmental Health Perspectives. Research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

 

 

November 9, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: