Tags: Cancer | chemicals | cancer | PFCs | PFASs | dangers

Can Chemical in Pizza Boxes Give You Cancer?

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2015 12:16 PM


Common chemicals that make products resistant to water and grease could be giving you cancer, and environmentalists are calling for their ban.

Chemicals known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are endocrine disrupters that studies show interfere with hormones, and the Natural Resources Defense Council says they can disrupt the brain development of children, damage the male reproductive system, and cause cancer.

Perfluorinated compounds or PFCs are a type of PFASs, and they have been used in thousands of products from Teflon cookware to pizza boxes to furniture and clothing. Although U.S. manufacturers stopped using the PFCs in pizza boxes and other food containers three years ago, they're still used in other countries, such as China, and are imported into the United States.

A Danish study published this week found that PFASs increased the risk of miscarriage by up to 16 times. Other research, which follows the health of people exposed to PFASs by a chemical spill at a West Virginia chemical plant, point to an increase in thyroid disease and kidney cancer.

A new debate has arisen over the safety of chemicals developed for use in place of banned types of PFASs. The companies contend the alternatives are safe, but the alternative chemicals are being detected in the bloodstream of many Americans, and their long-term effect is unknown.

"When you have something that is a first cousin or brother-in-law to a chemical that we are certain is carcinogenic, you have to somehow prove that it is safe before you use it — that it is not injurious," said Dr. Paul Brooks, who has followed the West Virginia chemical spill.

Brooks isn't convinced the new chemicals are safe. "You just have to be cautious," he told the New York Times.

"It's likely they're going to have some health effects, it just may take us a while to figure out what it is," said Thomas F. Webster, a professor of environmental health at Boston University’s school of public health. Webster is asking for more research into the safety of PFASs. "It might take five or 10 years to really do the research," he told the New York Times."


 
 

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Common chemicals that make products resistant to water and grease could be giving you cancer, and environmentalists are calling for their ban. Chemicals known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are endocrine disrupters that studies show interfere with...
chemicals, cancer, PFCs, PFASs, dangers
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2015-16-01
Friday, 01 May 2015 12:16 PM
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