The FDA is banning certain chemicals that were used for decades to make pizza boxes, hamburger wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, to-go boxes, and other food packaging resistant to grease and oil.
The chemicals are Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs). They are found in the blood of 98% of Americans, accumulate in the body, can pass through the placenta to a growing baby, and pollute the environment for decades.
PFCs may not be in your pizza box anymore, but they may still be inside your body. It takes around 3-5 years for long-chain PFCs to weaken to 50% of their potency in humans, according to the EPA.
In 2010, toxicology reports suggested that PFCs could cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive or developmental effects.
All manufacturers in the U.S. stopped using long-chain PFCs by October 2011. Earlier this year, 3M Corporation — the only manufacturer left — said the chemicals have been “completely and permanently abandoned by industry in the U.S.” in a petition asking the FDA to revoke approval.
The industry quickly abandoned long-chain PFCs amid growing awareness about environmental and health risks. One of the most hazardous is PFOA, also known as C8, which was used for decades to make Teflon.
C8 also contaminated drinking water in the Mid-Ohio Valley, which is how scientists linked it to the following diseases:
- Kidney Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Thyroid Disease
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (including preeclampsia)
- High Cholesterol
Over 3,000 injury lawsuits were filed against DuPont. Last year, a jury in Ohio awarded $1.6 million to a woman who developed kidney cancer. Another trial ended in a $5.1 million jury award earlier this year to a man with testicular cancer.
Source: FDA Constituent Updates