Plastic Food Packaging And Containers Contain Chemicals Causing Cancer, Infertility, Gene Mutations

Plastic Food Packaging And Containers Contain Chemicals Causing Cancer, Infertility, Gene Mutations By Study Finds for Natural Blaze

Plastic food packaging and containers can contain hundreds of chemicals which increase the risk of developing cancer, infertility, and gene mutations, a new study warns.

The wrappings had 388 individual “substances of concern,” including 352 known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic to reproduction – which scientists call CMRs. Another 22 were hormone or endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and 32 endanger health with persistence and “bioaccumulation.”

Peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated the presence of 127 of these molecules in food contact materials (FCMs). Plastic particles or monomers which are hazardous to human health can leach into foods under actual conditions of use, making them highly likely for human exposure.

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The study refutes the common assumption that ingredients for the manufacturing of plastic polymers do not migrate from the finished packaging.

“Our study provides scientific evidence that hundreds of harmful chemicals are lawfully used in FCMs in Europe today, and people are ingesting these hazardous chemicals with their food,” says lead author Dr. Jane Muncke, managing director of the Food Packaging Forum in Zurich, according to a statement from SWNS.

“We present here a ready-to-use list of priority chemicals that should immediately be phased out from use in food contact materials by policy makers.”

package chems
(Credit: Journal of Hazardous Materials)

Dozens of chemicals leaking into food

The Swiss team compiled the List of Food Contact Chemicals of Concern (FCCoC) by rigorously analyzing those used in packaging. It will help with implementing the EU initiatives Farm to Fork and Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. Furthermore, prioritization allows manufacturers and researchers to improve safety for consumers.

“Among the 30 monomers included in the FCCoC list are well-known plastic monomers such as acrylamide which is polymerized to polyacrylamide, styrene used to make polystyrene, bisphenol A, a monomer in polycarbonate plastics, as well as vinyl chloride that is used to produce the polymer polyvinyl chloride,” researchers write in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

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