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80% of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Pizza Hut food contains toxic chemicals used in industrial tubing and rubber gloves – study

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Burgers, pizza, and burritos are loaded with dangerous ‘forever chemicals,’ according to a new study.

Several fast-food orders were placed by George Washington University researchers at McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast food chains such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s.

The researchers detected phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastic more malleable, in more than 80% of the samples they examined.

When it comes to Phthalates, they’re referred to as plasticizers, and they’re found in a wide range of items, from vinyl flooring and plastic packaging to soaps and shampoos.

Other health-related issues associated with them include cancer, liver damage, infertility (including hypothyroidism), asthma and smaller testicles (even in men), as well as learning and behavioral problems, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people are exposed to phthalates through the consumption of foods and beverages that have come into contact with phthalate-containing goods or through inhalation of phthalate-particles in the air.

Children pose a greater danger, says health agency, of exposure since they crawl around touching and putting items in their mouths.

Based on market share and best-selling goods the researchers selected the fast food establishments and menu items — hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, chicken burritos and cheese pizza.

According to their findings, which were published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, foods prepared with meat had greater amounts of phthalates whereas French fries and cheese pizza had lower levels.

The food they ordered had 81 percent DnBP, a phthalate linked to an increased risk of asthma, and 70 percent DEHP, which has been linked to decreased fertility and other reproductive concerns.

As public concern over phthalates develops, alternative plasticizers have been created, and scientists discovered one such substitution, known as DEHT, in 86 percent of junk food.

According to the experts, the full health impact of these alternative plasticizers is unknown.

According to the researchers, the burgers, McNuggets, and milkshakes could have come into contact with phthalates and substitute plasticizers anywhere throughout the food supply chain, from processing and packaging equipment to employee plastic gloves.

According to co-author Ami Zota, a GWU professor of environmental health, the study raises concerns that low-income Americans and people of color are being exposed to phthalates at a disproportionate rate.

“Disadvantaged neighborhoods often have plenty of fast-food outlets but limited access to healthier foods like fruits and vegetables,” Zota told The Washington Post.

“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.”

Image Credit: iStock

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