Teflon is Toast in Food Packaging!
January 08, 2016
Did you know the FDA published an amendment on the use of three perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in food packaging? PFCs are a family of fluorine-containing chemicals.
The FDA statement reads: "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is amending the food additive regulations to no longer provide for the use of three specific perfluoroalkyl ethyl containing food-contact substances (FCSs) as oil and water repellants for paper and paperboard for use in contact with aqueous and fatty foods because new data are available as to the toxicity of substances structurally similar to these compounds that demonstrate there is no longer a reasonable certainty of no harm from the food-contact use."
In other words the FDA no longer considers these chemicals safe for foods to come in contact with. A great moment for all humanity and the environment I might say!
My question is, if perfluorinated chemicals are unsafe for food to come in contact with, wouldn't it also be logical that related PFCs like perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) be regulated and taken out of sunscreen, lotion and cosmetics? After all these personal care products come in contact with your skin every day.
A recent study discovered that 13 out of 15 samples of items considered safe for use on the human body contained PFCAs. My hope is that in the near future, the FDA's ban on PFCs will encompass all products people use in their everyday lives.
Toxic, Toxic, Toxic!
Many PFCs are considered endocrine disruptors which are related to hormone issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility and immune disorders. Regulating these nasty hormone disrupting chemicals would in my opinion go a long way in helping people and our planet! Sadly, PFCs are linked to breast cancer due to their estrogen activity which is linked to breast cancer cell proliferation.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) states "Some PFCs disrupt normal endocrine activity; reduce immune function; cause adverse effects on multiple organs, including the liver and pancreas; and cause developmental problems in rodent offspring exposed in the womb." While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed the presence of PFCs in human tissue through biomonitoring studies.
Teflon is Toast but Not Burnt Yet
The purpose of PFCs in cardboard food containers is to ensure grease and liquids do not escape the container they are held in.
The FDA may be regulating PFCs so they will be removed from food packaging but these chemicals are still used in clothing under brand names like Gortex, Teflon and Stainmaster. PFCs are also components found in non-stick cookware, furniture and carpets, so buyer beware if you want to avoid these nasty hormone disruptors.
What Can You Do?
The scientific community is investigating how to detox PFCs from your body. Thankfully they've discovered that the use an activated carbon (charcoal) filtration system effectively removes PFCs from your drinking water. Be sure to change your filter annually, as the study notes after 1 year the removal of PFCs diminishes.
Avoid personal care products that contain PFCAs and bring your own reusable coffee mug to work. Request that your favorite pizza parlor use boxes that are free of PFCs. Use stainless steel or cast iron pans for cooking and frying. And last but not least, purchase a hot air popcorn popper and make popcorn the old fashioned way!
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by Bonnie Penner
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