Plasticizers Found In Food From Major US Fast-food Chains

Researchers have found chemical reagents in food items of leading fast-food chains in the country. Phthalates, a chemical that is used to keep plastics soft, was primarily found in gloves that are used to handle food, said the researchers.

George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health tested 64 food samples from 6 restaurants in San Antonio, Texas, which includes names like Pizza Hut, Dominos. Burger King, and McDonald’s. The test showed that almost 81% of the samples contain Phthalates and almost 70% of the items contain other chemicals that contribute to infertility. Almost 89% of the items have another plasticizer, di(2-Ethylhexyl) terephthalate.

The study was published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology on Tuesday. Lead author Lariah Edwards, a postdoctoral scientist at George Washington told Gizmodo, “We found phthalates and other plasticizers are widespread in prepared foods available at U.S. fast-food chains, a finding that means many consumers are getting a side of potentially unhealthy chemicals along with their meal. Stronger regulations are needed to help keep these harmful chemicals out of the food supply.”

Phthalates are essentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) that replicate and interfere with the normal sexual hormones like testosterone and estrogen and bock their natural flow. This leads to infertility. The study also says that since these fast-food chains are extremely rife in the poor neighborhoods across the country, the contamination can have a lot of adverse effects on the socio-economical concentration of diseases.

National Institutes of Health has also said that exposure to these chemicals also result in ADHD and other mental disorders in children. The FDA has acknowledged the research but has not commented.

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