FDA Revokes Use of Toxic Chemicals Commonly Found in Pizza Boxes and Other Food Containers

The FDA has ruled that three chemicals commonly used to grease-proof pizza boxes and fast food packaging
FDA Revokes Use of Toxic Chemicals Commonly Found in Pizza Boxes and Other Food Containers

Photo Modified: Flickr/Marc Wathieu/CC 2.0

Three chemicals previously approved for use on food contact surfaces have been banned by the FDA over concerns that they are harmful to reproductive health.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially banned the use of three previously approved chemicals commonly used to treat pizza boxes and other food containers as oil and water repellents, citing possible concerns that the chemicals “could harm the male, and possibly, female reproductive systems.”

The chemicals, which are used as grease-proofing agents on paper food wrappers and containers, are three kinds of perfluoroalkyl ethyls that are widely used in FCSs, or food contact substances. The chemicals have been used on pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, fast food packaging, and pet food bags to prevent oil and grease from leaking.

In a press release, the FDA stated that the agency was revoking the use of the three long-chain perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) “in response to a Food Additive Petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Food Safety, the Breast Cancer Fund, the Center for Environmental Health, Clean Water Action, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Children’s Environmental Working Group, and Improving Kids’ Environment.” 

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