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Industrial Chemicals Found in U.S. Fast Foods

Industrial chemicals found in U.S. fast foods

It’s no secret that fast food really isn’t good for you.  And if you needed another reason to limit these types of food in your diet, a “first-of-its-kind study” was recently published stating that popular fast foods contained chemicals linked to a long list of serious health problems.

“Researchers at the George Washington University and their colleagues bought fast foods from popular outlets and found 10 of 11 potentially harmful chemicals in the samples, including phthalates, a group of chemicals that are used to make plastics soft and are known to disrupt the endocrine system.” They also found that other plasticizers are frequently found in these prepared foods.

In this study, 64 fast food items from different restaurants were tested and the findings were:

  • 81% of the food samples studied contained a phthalate called DnBP and 70% contained DEHP. Both these chemicals have been linked in numerous studies to fertility and reproductive problems in humans. These phthalates can also increase risk for learning, attention, and behavioral disorders in childhood.
  • 86% of the foods contained the replacement plasticizer known as DEHT, a chemical that needs further study to determine its impact on human health.
  • Foods containing meats, such as cheeseburgers and chicken burritos, had higher levels of the chemicals studied.
  • Chicken burritos and cheeseburgers had the highest levels of DEHT. The researchers noted that food handling gloves collected from the same restaurants also contained this chemical.
  • Cheese pizzas had the lowest levels of most chemicals tested.

Some of the sources of these plasticizers are the “food handling gloves, industrial tubing, food conveyor belts, and the outer packaging use to wrap fast food meals.”  The need for additional analysis of the regulation of chemicals used to make food is apparent from this study. The food and beverage industry is highly regulated to ensure the safety and health of consumers but as businesses grow and invest in making products more convenient, the regulatory field must continue to scrutinize how these changes and advancements may affect consumers.

Pragmatyxs is well versed to handle these advancements when it comes to new and changing regulations for labeling.