The journal Environmental Health Perspectives published an editorial where it is discussed about how ordinary pizza boxes contain harmful industrial chemicals that not only endanger the health, but also the environment and environmental scientists have strongly warned about this danger.
In an editorial signed by 200 scientists from 38 countries is required a restriction on chemicals known as PFACs and their alternatives without any thorough testing on their safety.
“Research is needed to find safe alternatives for all current uses of PFASs,” explain Linda Birnbaum from the US Department of Health and Human Services and Phillippe Grandjean from the University of Southern Denmark and the Harvard School of Public Health.
“The question is, should these chemicals continue to be used in consumer products in the meantime, given their persistence in the environment?”
PFASs stands for perfluorinated alkylated substances also known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, and are widely used nowadays. They repel water and oil in products like pizza boxes, waxed pastry bags, beverage cups, wax paper, and carpet treatments. The reason why they are so widely used is because they are resistant to high temperatures.
According to “The Madrid Statement,” animal studies have discovered a link between PFASs and health problems like liver toxicity, dangerous changes in lipid metabolism, and problems with immune, endocrine and neurological system. Scientists have also confirmed that these chemicals can cause tumors, behavioral toxicity and death in infants.
Another study from a human epidemiological research have found that PFASs is also associated with testicular and kidney cancer, ulcerative colitis, poor immune response, decreased hormone levels, delayed puberty, obesity, lower birth weight, high cholesterol levels, hypothyroidism and improperly functioning liver.
Other studies mark PFAS as persistent organic pollutant or POP because they are able to resist environmental degradation and eventually bioaccumulate in tissues, in both people and animals. “The Madrid Statement” explains that during degradation, PFASs break down to perfluorinated toxic chemicals resistant to degradation.
In 2005, DuPoint, the Teflon maker, was fined with $16.5 million by the Environmental Protection Agency. The famous nonstick lining Teflon used to be made from PFASs, but now they’re replaced with fluoride-based toxic chemical PTFE. This is because evidences associated PFASs with cancer.
“Although some of the long-chain PFASs are being regulated or phased out, the most common replacements are short-chain PFASs with similar structures, or compounds with fluorinated segments joined by ether linkages,” is explained in “The Madrid Statement.
“The Madrid Statement” asked the global community to “take measures at the international level to reduce the use of PFASs in products and prevent their replacement with fluorinated alternatives in order to avoid long-term harm to human health and the environment.”