From tax increases to global warming, we all have a lot to worry about – especially after yesterday's budget.
And now, scientists are warning about enjoying too much fast food – again – as a new study has found that some of your favourite dishes contain hormone-disrupting chemicals known as phthalates.
Phthalates are commonly used in plastics to make them flexible,
And researchers from George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health tested 64 food samples from 6 different restaurants in America – including McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza.
They found that 81% of food items contained a phthalate, while 70% also contained a specific chemical linked to fertility problems.
It also found that 89% of items tested contained a non-phthalate plasticizer, according to Gizmodo.
The report also states that meat items, including cheeseburgers and chicken burritos, were found to contain the highest levels of chemicals.
A spokesman for the group told Gizmodo: “We found phthalates and other plasticizers are widespread in prepared foods available at U.S. fast food chains, a finding that means many consumers are getting a side of potentially unhealthy chemicals along with their meal.
“Stronger regulations are needed to help keep these harmful chemicals out of the food supply.”
There is a suggestion that the plastic packets used to store the food could be a cause for the contamination, or it could have come from the gloves used to handle the food.
Report co-author Ami Zota told the Washington Post: “Disadvantaged neighbourhoods often have plenty of fast-food outlets but limited access to healthier foods like fruits and vegetables.
“Additional research needs to be done to find out whether people living in such food deserts are at higher risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals.'
While the report was based on tests from America-based chains, there was no mention of, or suggestion that the UK versions contain the same chemicals – it is also unknown just how damaging ingesting that amount of chemicals on a regular basis can be.
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