Toxic Food Wrappings?

I was awarded my Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, which means that I receive its (paper edition) magazine four times a year. Excellent magazine, I would like to add. At any rate, in the autumn 2007 issue I came across a bit of not-so-stunning (I suppose) information in an article titled A Bad Wrap. Scary stuff…

I quote: “A study led by two University of Toronto chemists has shown that potentially harmful chemicals commonly applied to food wrappers can make their way into the bloodstream. Earlier research has found that perfluorinated chemicals can migrate from wrappers into food. The new study by environmental chemists Scott Mabury and Jessica D’eon establishes that the wrappers are a potential souce of these chemicals in human blood. Professor Mabury, chair of the Dept of chemistry, and D’eon, a doctoral student, fed the chemicals to rats, whose blood was monitored daily. The chemicals appeared in the rodents’ bloodstream within four hours, which suggests a similar process could occur in humans. Researchers have not yet determined the impact of the chemicals on human health, but Mabury says the findings suggest more research is warranted. €˜I think our results do indicate that a broader look is necessary,’ he says, €˜especially when it comes to the potential for toxicity.’ ‘I think (regulators) have made three assumptions, says Mabury, ‘that the chemicals wouldn’t move off paper into food, they wouldn’t become available to the body and the body wouldn’t process them. They were wrong on all three counts.”

How about that? Ahhh, when I think back on all my university years spent eating chocolate bars and wrapped fast food whatnot ! Yikes!


  1. I became chemically sensitive in 1996. Just the sight of plastic at that time was enough to make me nauseous. Drinking from a plastic bottle was out of the question. I was overloaded with all sorts of petrochemicals that seemed to attract the petrochemicals in any source of plastic that I encountered. (Plastic is made from petrochemicals, as are pharmaceuticals, by the way.) Since 1996, I’ve used glass jars for food storage. If I have to put something into a plastic freezer bag, I first wrap the item in waxed paper. When I buy produce, I put the produce into plastic bags, and empty the bags when I get home. (Some chemically sensitive people wrap produce at home in paper towels and aluminum foil.) When buying condiments, I choose those in glass jars rather than plastic. This is more difficult to do in a regular grocery store, and easy to do in an alternative store like Wild Oats and Whole Foods. I’m really shocked by the lack of choice in traditional stores. More and more foods are being packaged in plastic – a negative harbinger of future choices, I think, unless customers revolt and write to the companies that use plastic packaging. I suspect that most people don’t pay any attention to the packaging. They’re in a hurry and grab the familiar brand they’re looking for without noticing the change in packaging from glass to plastic. I’ve found that the easiest way to avoid most plastics is to avoid buying processed foods in the center aisles, opting instead for fresh foods on the perimeter aisles of the store.

  2. Margaret…I am playing chemist in the kitchen for Scott and are working on two experiments…sublingual and subdermal. My recipe for today is macadamia nut oil, curcumin and maple syrup all heated together to make “curcandy”…something that he can place under his tongue and suck on while he works away trying to re-plot his new test results and blog to you all about it. So, any idea on how much of the oil (the minumum) to use so the candy will set up and still have the bioavailability effect to get the stuff into his system. (My oil of choice today is the macadamia nut oil…seems I found some very positive info on it’s effects and can’t wait to try it….seen anything about it??) … I have a high grade syrup and will double boil it along with my other ingredients (I am getting away from that microwave, I am not convinced it’s the way to increase heat in any compound….

    So, ask me about the subdermal part…so far, it worked but we are refining that little experiment somewhat….(hint: shea butter suppositories..)

    Really, ask away…… Lu

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