US senator Charles Schumer has called on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct an investigation on the effects of chemical usage in fast food packaging.
The senator called for the investigation citing a Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics report and a seven-year Centers for Disease Control (CDC) based study that examined the health effects of chemicals present in fast food products that wrap sandwiches, holds drinks or carton fries.
Schumer said: “Consumers are not giving these everyday packaging products a second thought. They assume they are safe - and they should be, especially when their reach extends to millions upon millions of Americans.
“So, the FDA must take my order for a fast food packaging investigation very seriously and take this long-sitting health data off the backburner.”
Known as phthalates (THA-LATES), the chemicals are often found in fast food industry’s packaging products.
These chemicals, which are prohibited in multiple industries, remain on the inventory supply menu.
Schumer claimed that people who regularly have fast food are prone to exhibit higher levels of phthalates in their bodies.
According to the CDC, phthalates make plastics more flexible and harder to break and get converted into metabolites after they enter the human body.
Certain phthalates are toxic and can cause developmental and reproductive medical issues in the human body, according to the FDA.
Phthalates are also associated with reduced active thyroid function and increased insulin resistance.
The European Union prohibits the use of four types of phthalates in consumer products, while in the US, six types of phthalates are not allowed to be used in children’s toys and other childcare products.