If youve grabbed a salad bowl for lunch at Chipotle, Sweetgreen or the like, you may have been handed a cardboard container.
These supposedly compostable takeout bowls, thought to be better for the environment, may in fact be harmful to your health and the environment.
They contain PFAS, synthetic chemicals that dont break down naturally and have been linked to several health problems.
A new study by the New Food Economy found that these items contain forever chemicals that can taint soil, pollute water and ruin composts.
If theyre ingested, they can linger in the body for months before being excreted, increasing the risks of severe disorders, birth defects and conditions including cancer.
The problem with these man-made PFAS is that theyre ubiquitous, found in food containers, cosmetics, and clothing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Theyre found in many moulded fibre bowls, prevalent in loads of restaurants and takeaways.
These bowls are largely used due to their water- and grease- repelling properties, which make it ideal for holding hot and greasy food.
The New Food Economy tested fibre bowls from 14 locations of eight different New York City restaurants.
All moulded fibre bowls contain PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a broad class of more than 4,000 fluorinated compounds that do not biodegrade naturally in the environment, said author Joe Fassler.
This means that the bowls used at restaurants like Chipotle and Sweetgreen arent truly compostable, as has been claimed.
Instead, they are likely making compost more toxic, adding to the chemical load of the very soil and water they were supposed to help improve.
And rather than degrade quickly, they contain potentially hazardous ingredients that never break down. Not in five years, and not in 500.
Some of the health concerns that arise from the worst PFAS chemicals include colitis, thyroid disorders, kidney and testicular cancers.
The current amount of fluorinated chemicals found in these include 2,000 parts per million of PFAS, or 0.2% of the bowls total material.
This doesnt surpass the US Food and Drug Administrations threshold of PFAS that can be found in food packaging.
But the way they linger in the body (by being absorbed through polluted sourRead More – Source