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13th Apr 2016

Your takeaway could be coming with a large side of chemicals

This time the strange stuff is in the packing.

Carl Anka

Here’s some grim news to put you off your cheeky mid-week takeaway.

New research published on Wednesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found frequent fast food eaters have higher levels of phthalates in their system.

Phthalates are a man made chemical, which has been linked to a number of disorders including asthma, ADHD and breast cancer.

Used to make plastics more flexible, phthalates are can be found in food packaging commonly used in fast food outlets, along with drink containers, dairy transport containers, and the equipment used to process fast food.


In the study, nearly 9,000 participants were tested for their phthalate levels – with people who ate fast food in the last 24 hours having as as much as 40 per cent higher levels of the chemical in their bodies than those who ate none.

“Our findings raise concerns because phthalates have been linked to a number of serious health problems in children and adults,” Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental health and the lead author on the study said in a statement.

Something to bear in mind next time you fancy a burger and chips.