D H
Nov 18 · Last update 17 days ago.

Should we be worried about 'phthalates' in Fast Food?

Phthalates are chemical additives that act as a flexibility enhancer in plastics and are common compounds found in a wide range of plastic products, such as cosmetics, paints, children’s toys, packaging, medical devices, glue, and PVC, as well as many many more. A recent study found that phthalates have been found in 81% of American fast food, possibly because of increased use of plastic gloves in food preparation, but this is just a preliminary study, the scale of the problem globally is so far unknown. This is worrying because phthalates are associated with a range of negative effects on human health, however most phthalates are gradually being replaced in products in the US, Canada and the EU over these health concerns. So, should we be worried about phthalates in fast food? Or is this an issue that has already been dealt with?
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This study collected data from 64 common fast food items, such as hamburgers, pizza, fries and fried chicken, from six popular fast food restaurants in Texas and tested them for eight common phthalates, DEHP, DnBP, BBzP, DMP, DiBP, DnOP, DiNP, and DEP, and tested the gloves used in food preparation. Theses chemicals are thought to disrupt not just the endocrine system but also the endocannabinoid system in human beings and animal studies have demonstrated links to obesity, liver damage, testicular damage, while they are associated with all causes mortality, meaning the exposure to phthalates increases all indicators of premature death. While the study estimated that phthalate exposure contributes to around 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths in people aged 55-64 every year in the US, this study is only scratching the surface and a lot more research is needed. Regulation is not going far enough to deal with this issue, this study also tested for common replacement plasticizers used since phthalates have started to be regulated, finding that there were similar levels of replacement plasticizers found in fast food and that they too had similar health consequences.

nature.com/articles/s41370-021-00392-8 ehn.org/phthalates-in-fast-food-2655393751/nutritional-disparities edition.cnn.com/2021/10/12/health/plastic-chemical-early-death-wellness/index.html

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D H
Nov 20
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DH edited this paragraph
This study collected data from 64 common fast food items, such as hamburgers, pizza, fries and fried chicken, from six popular fast food restaurants in Texas and tested them for eight common phthalates, DEHP, DnBP, BBzP, DMP, DiBP, DnOP, DiNP, and DEP, and tested the gloves used in food preparation. Theses chemicals are thought to disrupt not just the endocrine system but also the endocannabinoid system in human beings and animal studies have demonstrated links to obesity, liver damage, testicular damage, while they are associated with all causes mortality, meaning the exposure to phthalates increases all indicators of premature death. While the study estimated that phthalate exposure contributes to around 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths in people aged 55-64 every year in the US, this study is only scratching the surface and a lot more research is needed. Regulation is not going far enough to deal with this issue, this study also tested for common replacement plasticizers used since phthalates have started to be regulated, finding that there were similar levels of replacement plasticizers found in fast food and that they too had similar health consequences.
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