Foods containing meats, such as cheeseburgers and chicken burritos, had higher levels of the chemicals studied
Chicken nuggets, burritos and other popular items consumers buy from fast food outlets in the United States contain chemicals that are linked to a long list of serious health problems, according to a first-of-its-kind study published recently.
Researchers at the George Washington University and their colleagues bought fast foods from popular outlets and found 10 of 11 potentially harmful chemicals in the samples, including phthalates, a group of chemicals that are used to make plastics soft and are known to disrupt the endocrine system.
The research team also found other plasticizers, chemicals that are emerging as replacements to phthalates.
81% of the food samples studied contained a phthalate called DnBP and 70% contained DEHP. Both these chemicals have been linked in numerous studies to fertility and reproductive problems in humans. These phthalates can also increase risk for learning, attention, and behavioral disorders in childhood.
“Stronger regulations are needed to help keep these harmful chemicals out of the food supply”, said the researchers.