Takeout containers may expose consumers to toxic chemicals: research
VANCOUVER -- Hoping for a healthy start to the New Year, you may have resolved not to eat takeout as often. That’s a healthy choice -- not only for your waistline.
New research has found some takeout containers may expose consumers to toxic chemicals. Per and poly-fluoroallkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS, can be found in many everyday items, including non-stick cookware and the lining of some takeout containers, where they keep grease from seeping through.
With high levels of exposure, some PFAS chemicals have been linked to serious health problems, including an increased risk of cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, and growth and learning problems in babies and children.
Even microwave popcorn can be a risk. People included in the study who ate the snack often had higher levels of the chemicals in their blood.
It is possible to limit your exposure to PFAS. Consumer Reports Health Editor Kevin Loria says fresh food is a good start.
“We don’t know how much of our individual exposure comes from food packaging exactly, but what this study did show is that people who cooked at home more had lower levels of PFAS in their blood than people that ate out more frequently,” he says.
“PFAS are what’s known as forever chemicals, and that’s because they essentially never break down naturally. Once they're made, they just accumulate in the environment, they end up in our water supply, they end up in our food and they end up in us.”
Loria suggests when you do eat out or order in, unwrap food as soon as you can and don’t store it or reheat it in the container it came in.