Popular Fast Food Found to Contain Extremely High Levels of Toxic Chemicals

As if we didn’t already know that fast food isn’t the greatest meal option healthwise, a new study of six American fast-food chains has revealed that 80% of their food products contain a harmful chemical that leads to toxicity and infertility.

The study collected data from both food and gloves, analyzing them for 11 chemicals.

Hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, chicken burritos, and cheese pizza were obtained respectively from the most popular restaurants: McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Domino’s, and Pizza Hut.

More than 80% of the samples contained phthalates, a class of chemicals used to make plastic softer and more flexible. Despite the known negative health effects, phthalates and other plasticizers are commonly found in food packaging and gloves.

Previous studies have confirmed that the urine of those who consume fast food regularly contains high phthalates levels. This study is the first of its kind to test the food directly.

Phthalates have been found to cause severe problems with fertility and child development. Those with high levels of phthalates in their system are more likely to die early, with heart disease being a major cause.

Eating phthalates once will not kill you; however, regular consumption should be avoided.

Postdoctoral scientist at George Washington University Lariah Edwards told Insider:

“While they don’t build up in your body the way that PFAS chemicals do, you still are being constantly exposed to these phthalates from multiple sources.”

Though the Consumer Product Safety Commission already forbade the use of eight different phthalates in children’s toys and child-care articles in 2017, those banned substances are still used in other plastics. At least four of them were detected in fast foods.

DEHT has replaced the banned phthalates, though its long-term effects have not been well-studied. The group found that 86% of the tested food returned a positive result for the newer DEHT phthalate.

Lower-income neighborhoods generally have more fast food options and less fresh food options, making the community more susceptible to sickness.

A CDC study found that Black Americans consume more fast food than any other demographic, thus exposing them to higher levels of phthalates and other toxic chemicals.

Edwards acknowledges that not everyone can eat less fast food, and they shouldn’t have to worry about consuming a potential poison.

“Maybe you want to eat less fast food, but that’s not always an option for everybody. Fast food is a convenient alternative to having to cook at home, so it should be not [SIC] full of chemicals.”

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