Survey finds fast food exposed people to harmful chemicals

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10th May 2016 18:02 - Chemicals

Recent research has revealed that those who consume the most fast food are being exposed to 40 per cent higher levels of potentially dangerous chemicals than those who do not.Survey finds fast food exposed people to harmful chemicals

The survey also revealed that those who eat a lot of fast food are at a higher risk of exposure to phthalates, which are chemicals that are used in vinyl and plastics to make them more flexible. Phthalates are often present in food packaging for items such as dairy products wrap and items used to wrap fast food.

An alternative study suggested that chemicals can leak out of food packaging and into highly processed food, thus contaminating it with potentially harmful chemicals.

As it stands, phthalates are banned from children’s products and toys because of their toxicity and their involvement in many conditions and illnesses, namely autism and asthma. They are also known to interfere with hormones.

The recent research was one of the first studies to explore the link between fast food consumption and phthalates exposure and was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

As part of the study, a group of doctors examined the data given by 8,877 respondents who had been questioned in detail about their diet in the last 24 hours. This included how much fast food they had consumed. As well as this, the research participants gave the doctors a urinary sample, which was tested for the breakdown of DEHP and DiNP, two specific phthalates.

From the research the doctors discovered a correlation between the amount of fast food the participants ate and high exposures to phthalates. It was found that the individuals in the study who consumed the most fast food has 23.8 per cent greater levels of the breakdown product of DEHP in their urine sample, as well as approximately 40 per cent higher levels of DiNP metabolites, than those who hate no fast food 24 hours before their urine sample was taken.

The study also identified that meat and grain products were the greatest contributors to phthalate exposure.

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