Not the old phthalates scare again! This has been thoroughly debunked. The fact is that phthalates have all sorts of bad effects when fed in high doses to rats but have NO ill-effects in humans. See here for details
It's not just the cholesterol, calories and carbohydrates in fast food that people have to worry about: burgers, pizza and burritos are crawling with toxic 'forever chemicals,' according to a new study.
Researchers at George Washington University ordered dozens of items from McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Taco Bell and Chipotle.
According to their analysis, they found phthalates, which are used to make plastic pliable, in over 80 percent of the samples.
Phthalates are also known as plasticizers, and are used in hundreds of products, from vinyl flooring and plastic packaging to soaps and shampoos.
In addition, they have been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer, liver damage, infertility, thyroid disease, asthma and even smaller testicles, as well as learning disabilities, behavioral issues and attention-deficit disorders in children.
People are exposed to phthalates by ingesting foods and beverages that have contacted products containing phthalates or by breathing phthalate particles in the air directly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Exposure is a particular risk for kids, the health agency said, because children crawl around touching things and put them in their mouths.
The researchers chose the restaurants and menu items — hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, chicken burritos and cheese pizza — based on market share and best-selling items.
Items made with meat had higher levels of phthalates, while French fries and cheese pizza had the lowest, according to their findings, published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
Of the food they ordered, 81 percent contained a phthalate called DnBP, which has been linked to a heightened risk for asthma, and 70 percent contained DEHP, which has been tied to reduced fertility and other reproductive issues.
As concern over phthalates grows, alternative plasticizers have been developed, and the scientists found one such substitute, called DEHT, in 86 percent of the junk food.
The full health impact of these alternative plasticizers are not yet known, the researchers said.
The burgers, McNuggets and milkshakes could have come into contact with phthalates and replacement plasticizers anywhere along the food-supply chain, the researchers said, from processing and packaging equipment to the plastic gloves worn by employees.
The FDA doesn't set limits for phthalates in food, according to the Post, but the levels detected in the 64 fast-food items purchased from franchises around San Antonio, Texas, were all below the EPA's current acceptable thresholds.
Still, the FDA told the Post that it would review the George Washington study and consider its findings.