Sunday, May 17, 2009

Plastic Coating from Food Wrappers found in Human Blood

The Discovery site reports some frightening news:

To the growing list of chemicals showing up in human blood, a new study adds compounds that make food wrappers grease-proof.

Called diPAPs, these chemicals are fairly new and scientists don't yet know if they are harmful to human health. But diPAPs break down into another worrisome chemical, called PFOA, which may be carcinogenic.

"The take-home message is that some chemicals that make our lives easier, better and more satisfying end up in our bloodstream with unknown toxicological consequences," said Scott Mabury, a chemist at the University of Toronto. "We should be smart enough to design chemicals that do what we want them to do without causing a chemical pollution problem."

The new study builds on accumulating and worrisome research into a class of compounds called perfluorochemicals. PFOA (perfuorooctanoic acid) is a major one. PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) is another.

PFOA and PFOS are resistant to oil and water, which makes them perfect for use as liners on carpets, nonstick pans, microwave popcorn bags, clothes, electronics and pizza boxes, among many other applications. The problem is that these compounds end up in the environment, our food and our bodies.