New Study Targets Fluorinated Grease-Proofing Agents Employed in Paper Packaging for Fast Food
Fluorinated chemicals are used in formulating food packaging paper and paperboard materials for their grease-repellent properties.
A recent study by the Silent Spring Institute, published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, suggests that a substantial portion of the paper and paperboard used for fast food packaging contains certain fluorinated grease-proofing chemicals, including poly or perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The study, which has received extensive media attention (see e.g., here and here), implicitly suggests that the presence of PFAS in the food packaging poses some safety or environmental concern.
While the press coverage suggests a potential health concern for consumers based on this study, at least some of the news articles do reference a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesperson who stated that FDA has carefully reviewed the science on short-chain compounds and has not identified any safety concerns.