Your ‘Compostable’ Takeout Container Might Have a Dangerous Chemical


Pour around a common office in the afternoon, and you may find at least compostable fiber bowls at restaurants like Chipotle and Sweet Green holding lunch with your co-workers. As consumers in increasingly comfortable China cities compete in cities across the United States, many companies find these eco-friendly containers a way to make themselves environmentally responsible. But through investigation The New Food Economy This assertion begs the question: It is thought that compostable bowls are made with fluoride compounds, called PFAS, that are never naturally broken and can cause serious health risks. Is.

In the investigation, The New Food Economy Gather samples of compostable takeout containers from 14 different restaurants in New York City, including Sweet Green, Chipotle and Dodge Inn. The samples were sent to Graham Paisley, a chemist at the University of Notre Dame, who tested them using a type of ion beam analysis called particle indices Gamma Ray Emission. These tests revealed the total amount of fluorine in the samples, not the specific type of PFAS present in them. Nevertheless, it is a reliable way to determine if an item has been treated with fluoride compounds such as PFAS. And the results were compelling: containers sampled, the lowest of 826 parts per million (ppm) displayed, while the highest registered 2,167 ppm – on average, the sample was 50 times higher than the control group. Were at the level of fluorine.

Said Rainer Luhmann, director of the Luhmann Lab at the University of Rhode Island, which studies the effects of toxic chemicals on waterways. The New Food Economy That the procedure was correct.

“The test that Graham does is an excellent means of screening,” he said. “If a product is really showing high fluorine levels, companies can’t really claim that they haven’t used PFAS.”

These are disturbing results because PFAS chemicals are not biodegradable. Ironically, because they are used in takeout containers, PFASs are invasive to grease and water, and they prevent fiber containers from dissolving when consumed with food. It also means that the containers are only partially fertilizable: the plant-based fiber will break down into the compost, but PFAS will surround it forever, sink into the soil, and even dump the containers. After giving it will also enter the drinking water.

In addition, PFAS is not without health risks. Several types of PFAS, called Long China PFAS, from the FDA after being linked to kidney and testicular cancer, low birth weight, thyroid disease, and optimal health problems. , Has been banned. Other types of PFAS, also known as short chain PFAS, are still legal, but their health effects are not fully understood. According to experts cited The New Food Economy, Short chain PFAS can stay in the human body for a few days to a few months. If you eat a regular takeout, you will be consuming these chemicals much faster than your body can get rid of them.

Containers once filled with PFAS pose once more risk. Since PFAS is not broken, it is present in the compost and can then be used to fertilize fruits and vegetables using this batch of compost. If the container goes to landfill, PFAS stays in the soil and can make its way into groundwater. Existing filtration technology is not capable of capturing PFAS, so any chemical entering the public water system will also come out of the drains.

Peaslee said, “This is the biggest problem with PFAS in my mind The New Food EconomyGeneral Chat Chat Lounge “The fact is we are now polluting our waterways. If you do not eat it with your wrapper, you and your children will remove it from the municipal water in two months. This is the scary part.

In response to a new finding about the spread of PFAS, the Biodegradable Products Institute, which gives the product a compostable certificate, has updated its standards to include 100p in compostable products. Less than PM total potatoes are included – approximately – this amount is found in the control group. The New Food EconomyInvestigation. The new rules will go into effect in January 2020.

Until then, you’ll want to think twice about ordering this takeout salad. If you eat food, try to look for food that is offered in PFAS-free containers, such as plant-based plastic boxed cardboard boxes. Of course, you can always make your own lunch too.

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