What's Killing You Faster -- Fast Food or Its Wrapper?

Jill Baughman
9

McDonald'sIt seems that fast food restaurants pull out all the stops when it comes to trying to kill us.

There's a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives that says greaseproof papers, aka the stuff used to wrap fast food, break down into PFCAs. These are bad -- they're carcinogens (agents that directly cause cancer) that can build up and remain in the body.

Of course you're most likely thinking, Um, you dumbass, I don't eat the wrappers. That doesn't matter, as these chemicals can seep into your food just by being in contact with the wrapper.

You can be exposed to PFCAs in other places besides wrappers too: microwave popcorn bags, clothing, bedding, carpeting, packaging -- it seems that they're everywhere and hard to stay away from.

When are we all going to start living in bubbles?

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, researchers couldn't figure out why humans had such high levels of PFOA, a type of PFCA, known to be found in nonstick cookware. Pans don't have enough PFOA to explain these high levels, so now scientists think wrappers and microwave popcorn could be the key.

Too much PFOA can lead to high cholesterol, disrupt hormones, worsen the immune system, and cause cancer. Of course, all of these health problems are also compounded by that Quarter Pounder, large fries, and cookie you're consuming after you unwrap 'em.

Is it safe to say that most likely 99.9 percent of all manmade chemicals are bad for us and too much exposure to them will harm us? With study after study coming out about the newest thing that causes cancer, from cell phones to hot dogs to pools to deodorants to nickles, it could make anyone burn all their microwavable popcorn in a bonfire, sell all their possessions, and buy a one-way ticket to Mars. Seems like scientists are looking for volunteers!

Most likely scientists will soon discover that sitting in the chairs at McDonald's will have some sort of chemical that seeps into your pants and causes cancer. Where will it end? PFCAs may be the new BPA, but I doubt the risk of ingesting these carcinogens will sway many people from quitting their weekly Taco Bell habit. But maybe it will get you to throw out that popcorn or at least stop feeding it to the kiddies. If only there was something you could do about that carpeting ...

Mars, anyone?

Will this new study make you more aware of what your food's wrapped in? Are you going to throw out your popcorn?

 

Image via Heungsub/Flickr

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