The dangers of chemicals used in food packaging
The long-term effects of synthetic chemicals used in packaging, food storage and processing food could be damaging our health, scientists have warned. Jo Adetunji reports.
We actually know very little about how chemicals affect bodily functions or promote disease, or at what life stage we are susceptible.
In a paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the authors said most of these potentially damaging chemicals were found in "food contact materials".
These include the coatings on the inside of cans, laminates on cartons, and glass jar seals.
Small amounts of chemicals used in these materials can diffuse into food, and this can be accelerated by increased temperatures, the type of material used and the length of time foods are stored.
While some of these chemical migrants were regulated, such as indirect food additives in the US, not all were - and as a result contaminants (though not legally defined that way) mean consumers are "chronically exposed to synthetic chemicals at low levels throughout their lives, including the most sensitive periods of development".
Meat packaging line image via Shutterstock.
Read more at ENN Affiliate, The Ecologist.