High Amount of Phthalates Detected in Fast Food Consumers

Published Date : Apr 15, 2016

According to a recent research report published in the journal Environment Health Perspectives, the consumption of fast food leads to exposure to phthalates, a group of potentially noxious chemicals. Phthalates are derived from a class of industrial chemicals that are widely used in the manufacturing of food packaging materials. Previous studies have pointed out that these chemicals are released from plastic food packaging that causes contamination in highly processed food products. Researchers at the George Washington University, led by Ami Zota, are among the first to find out the relationship between the consumption of fast food and exposure to chemicals. 

Phthalates Cause Infertility, BPA Leads to Behavioural and Health Problems in Children

By surveying 8,877 participants and testing their urinary samples, the researchers found out that the urinary samples contained breakdown compounds of two different phthalates: di-2-ethylhexylphlatate (DEHP) and di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP). Higher consumption of fast foods leads to the higher presence of phthalates in urine. The study has revealed that fast food consumers have 23.8% higher DEHP and 40% higher DiNP compared to people who do not consume fast foods. Phthalate exposure is mainly caused by the consumption of meat items and grain-based food products such as pizza, bread, cake, burrito, noodles, and rice dishes. Bisphenol A (BPA) is another chemical widely used in plastic food packaging. The chemical compound has been linked to behavioural and health problems among children. 

Phthalates are found in a number of day-to-day products such as perfumes, toys, and food products. Owing to their potential hazards to human health, phthalates have been banned in children’s toys in the U.S. since 2008. There have been evidences that DiNP and DEHP lead to potential problems of reproductive systems, including infertility.