Many fast food foods tested as part of new research have found a hormone-disrupting chemical known as phthalates. The authors of the study found different types of phthalates across different types of fast food takeout bricks, as well as other chemicals to replace phthalates.including ms, fry, burritos, And cheeseburgers. Although the health effects of these chemicals are still being studied, the authors argue that more should be done to keep them away from our food.
Phthalates are a widely used plasticizer used to soften plastics and other materials. They are also a type of endocrine disruptive chemical (EDC) that mimics or otherwise interferes with naturally occurring hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Animal and human studies have indicated that excessive exposure to EDC, including phthalates, can have a negative effect on children’s development and increase their health risk. Asthma, Obesity, And Subsequent fertility problems, Although the exact strength of these associations is not clear.
Plastics are ubiquitous in our lives, and so are the chemicals used in them like phthalates. But researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University have seen in recent years that fast foods can be a particularly rich source of exposure. A study of them in 2018 Looked Americans who took part in a national representative survey of urine samples and found that those who recently reported eating at fast food restaurants were more likely to have higher phthalate levels than those who ate more often at home.
This new research, conducted by some of the same authors, has instead focused on fast food themselves. They collected samples of 64 dishes from 6 different restaurants in the San Antonio, Texas area, including a burger shop, a pizza place and a Tex-Mex restaurant; They also collected pairs of food-handling gloves from these three restaurants. They tested them for commonly reported phthalates as well as other plasticizers that have begun to be used as safe alternatives to phthalates.
All told, 81% of food items contain phthalate di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), while 70% also contains D (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), both of which are involved as much as possible. Contributor About 89% of fertility problems contain some D (2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate (DEHT), a non-phthalate plasticizer. Some studies have suggested that DEHT may be a safer chemical than other phthalates, but it has not yet been studied closely, so any conclusions about its relative safety in humans are still speculative, the authors argue. Meat items, including cheeseburgers and chicken burritos, usually contain the highest levels of all these chemicals.
The team’s findings were published Tuesday in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
Laria Edwards, George’s postdoctoral scientist and lead author, said, “We’ve found that phthalates and other plasticizers are widely found in ready-to-eat foods available in the U.S. fast food chain, leading many consumers to add a potentially unhealthy chemical to their food.” . “Strong regulations are needed to help keep these harmful chemicals out of the food supply.”
Perhaps the plastic packaging used to store these foods is a way of contamination. But gloves used to prepare meals for customers may be different. Other tests in the team found levels of replacement plasticizer, especially in gloves.
Although the exact risks posed by fast food phthalates are not easily measurable at the moment, the authors suspect that certain groups are more at risk for them. There are more fast food restaurants in poorer neighborhoods, where there is less access to fresh food. And these neighborhoods are divided not only by class, but also by race and ethnicity. So while these foods may not be healthy to start with, phthalates and other environmental toxins can exacerbate the health disparities that exist between what is and what is not.
“People living in this type of food desert need additional research to find out if they are at high risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals,” said Ami Jota, a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington.
Scientists and security lawyers are starting to be louder on the subject Health And environmental risks (including contributions) Climate change) Posed by plastic, although there are industry-led campaigns Pull back In reply. We need to take systematic efforts to really reduce the presence of these chemicals in our world, but in the meantime, the author says that these and other results provide another reason why cooking at home is a good, healthy choice.