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microwave popcorn PFAS

Microwave Popcorn brings home the toxins

by / Views 0 / April 5, 2017

Popping prepackaged popcorn brings home the toxins in spades…. YECH !!

When we talk about toxins something to consider  is how they get into your body. Unfortunately there are loads of packaged and processed food products that have the same  toxins that we avoid in our other home products. PFAS’s are a family of chemicals known as Per and Poly Fluro Alkyls. What makes them a family is their having fluorine as a key component. Without a chemistry lesson,  just remember that fluorine is known to be one of the most reactive chemicals and it impacts our health.

Why the fuss, PFAS compounds and fluorine are associated with a variety of negative impacts on our health includings causing cancers, low birth rates, and thyroid disease.Big word and toxic…..now for a bit of history. These chemicals are know as persistent long lasting and have been identified in Washington’s Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxic (PBT) List (Chapter 173-333 Washington Administrative Code) as a persistent organic pollutant and have been detected in the environment, wildlife, and humans (Buck et al. 2011). 

In early 2016, the federal Food and Drug Administration banned the use of several PFAS chemicals in food packaging. What happened was a common consumer product switch to variations of the banned chemicals. The new rendition of the chemicals coat food wrappers, bags, and boxes that are being used at your home are no better.

So is eating a toxin better than placing some on your skin. ? We at Pure Living don’t think that’s acceptable. The really sad part of this story…. the FDA did not do the study, it was the Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction (HWTR) Program at the Washington Department of Ecology. Who’s minding the store and is a switch to other toxins in the same family ok ?

Action Points:

      1. Don’t use microwaveable popcorn containers, period. Buy popcorn and pop it in a non-toxic container. Have you seen the easy to use glass bowl with a silicon top ?

     2. If you eat fast food, such as a burger and or fries or backery products, get rid of the  wrappers, asap or change your habits make the burger at home, sans wrappers.

      3. Check your furniture for treatments, especially stain and waterproofing. When you buy new products ask questions and don’t apply or reapply any of these chemicals to your current products.

       4. Outdoor gear, especially jackets and other water proof products (75% tested positive) or your umbrella (71%) could be contaminating you and your children.

We start with picking on prepackaged microwave popcorn containers. Yes one of our favorites is packaged in …..get this 100% of the time, perfluorinated products. The wrapping of your burger from the fast food joint  “only” 20% of the time and the other containers…well depends.

What the…. well to keep greasy foods from making a mess food manufacturers are using theses chemicals to keep the fat on one side of the box, wrapper or container. We probably should let the slippery less than healthy foods slip by without the extra toxins.

So choose your foods carefully and don’t take home these toxins.

Toxic Chemicals Could Be Extra “Flavoring” In Microwave Popcorn
Think Twice Before You Zap and Pop!

Popcorn is one of the healthiest foods to eat. It’s low-fat (if you skip the butter) and it has lots of fiber. But new testing shows that depending on how it’s prepared, a healthy bowl of popcorn could come with an extra flavoring of toxic perfluorinated chemicals.

A new study by the Washington State Department of Ecology found fluorinated chemicals in 100% of microwave popcorn bags they tested. Previous studies have shown these greaseproof chemicals can leach into popcorn. In one study researchers found the highest migration of the chemicals from food packaging into food was from microwave popcorn bags.

It’s not just microwave popcorn bags. A study published last week found one-third of fast food packaging contained fluorinated chemicals. Nearly half of wrappers used for items like burgers and pastries, and 20 percent of boxes used for items like pizza and fries, tested positive for fluorinated chemicals.

Popularity in Food Packaging Raises Concerns

Long a source of concern to scientists because of their remarkable persistence, PFAS chemicals are used in food packaging to keep the grease from leaking out. These properties make them great for keeping stains off furniture and water from soaking our clothes. The fact that these chemicals are all too common in food packaging is concerning. Some PFAS compounds are linked to a variety of health effects, including cancer, low birth rate, and thyroid disease.

In early 2016, the federal Food and Drug Administration banned the use of several PFAS chemicals in food packaging. However, variations of the banned chemicals are still widely used, and today many food wrappers, bags, and boxes are coated with this new generation of PFAS.

Washington State Could Take Action

Luckily, Washington state has the opportunity to take action and eliminate these chemicals from food packaging. The Healthy Food Packaging Act (HB 1744), sponsored by Rep. McBride (D-Redmond), would ban the use of these chemicals from materials used to package foods, including microwave popcorn bags. You can send an email to your legislator asking them to support HB 1744 and to get toxic chemicals out of our food here.

How to Reduce Your Exposure

Until companies stop using these chemicals in food packaging, you can reduce your exposure by following these tips:

  • Eat fresh foods whenever possible.
  • Stay away from greasy or oily packaged and fast foods, as the packages often contain grease-repellent coatings. Examples include french fry boxes, microwave popcorn bags, bakery wrappers, and hamburger wrappers.
  • If you do eat fast food, remove the food from the packaging as soon as possible to minimize contact with the packaging.