Are hidden chemicals lurking in your microwave popcorn?
Microwave popcorn and delivery pizza are often thought of as unhealthy because of all the extra butter on the popcorn and the excessive amount of cheese on the pizza, but now researchers say the food may not be as harmful as its packaging.
Pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, shoes, cell phones and hundreds of other products contain the chemical PFAS. Two hundred international scientists recently recommended that manufacturers worldwide limit these chemicals after a recent study found a possible link between PFASs and cancer. Researchers say the chemicals may stay in the body of individuals for years after they have consumed.
“The toxic load that most of us go through in everyday life is kind of unseen,” says Dr. Enrique Saguil, a family medicine physician on staff with Advocate Medical Group in Barlett, Ill. “Knowing that there is something to watch out for empowers us to try and live healthier lives.”
Scientists say specific types of PFASs have been banned for years, but they are concerned that the newer types of PFASs may also be unsafe. The chemicals are used to increase the durability of the packaging by helping it resist high temperatures.
“Research is needed to understand the potential for adverse health effects from exposure to the short-chain PFASs, especially regarding low-dose endocrine disruption and immunotoxicity,” wrote the authors Linda S. Birnbaum and Philippe Grandjean, in an article published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Not everyone thinks that PFASs should be removed from products. The American Chemistry Council says that PFSAs offer reliability and safe function to products used by consumers on a daily basis.
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