Consumption of fast and ultra processed food increase phthalate exposure. Phthalates make up a group of chemicals used to create plastics. Known as plasticizers, these chemicals make the plastics we use durable and flexible. Our diet primarily exposes us to these chemicals. A study examines the presence of phthalates and other plasticizers in fast food and how these chemicals get into the food.
- The researchers detected both phthalates and replacement plasticizers in all the food samples.
- The study showed higher chemical concentrations in foods containing meat relative to other foods, such as cheese pizza.
- Gloves used to handle food tested positive for the plasticizers and they may be one of the main sources of food contamination.
Why Study Plasticizers?
First, phthalates disrupt metabolic and reproductive health. A “group of scientists and health professionals with expertise in toxic chemicals and neurotoxicity concluded that there is substantial evidence linking phthalate exposures to increased risks for children’s learning, attention, and behavioral problems.”
Second, we’ve know that phthalates are harmful. The US has phased out certain phthalates. Manufactures have replaced certain phthalates with alternative plasticizers. However, currently, we have limited data on the effects of these alternatives.