The National Institute of Health – in an article published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal is warning of chemicals used in the boxes used to carry Pizzas. Scientists are pushing for restrictions on Polyfluoroalkyl and Perfluoroalkyl chemicals normally used to prevent grease from seeping through the boxes based on studies that show they could be the reason behind several health conditions.
PFA’s are normally used in products because of their resistance to high temperatures while aiding in increasing the shelf life and durability of items. They are also used as oil and water repellents.
Companies that manufacture PFAs maintain they are safe but scientist are raising concerns based on past studies.
Over 200 scientists in 38 countries believe the two chemicals continue to cause more harm than good as they were chosen as the replacement after other similar chemicals with the same structure were phased out.
The experts are calling the switching of one questionable PFA with another uncertified PFA as a ‘toxic whack mole’ citing massive flaws in the US legislation that allows the usage of chemicals until proven to be harmful.
Teflon is one of the best documented PFA chemical product that was used more than 50 years ago in pots and pans found to be a cause of enlarged livers in rats and rabbits. The chemical compound was also found to be a major cause of cancer.
DuPont was fined by the US Environmental Protection Agency $16.5 million in 2005 when found to have withheld some information related to PFAs with hazardous health effects.
More PFAs are to be phased out this year. However, the scientists are questioning whether their replacements that have been found to have the same structure are any better or they will just bring up the same concerns.
Arlene Blum from the University of California and one of the lead authors of the Madrid Statement believes it is the responsibility of authorities to pass decision that last long instead of resorting to using replacements that have not yet been certified.