Study suggests that eating out could expose you to PFAS

DETROIT – There are a lot of reasons cooking at home is more healthy -- but a new study finds it’s not just about the food choices people make when they eat out.

When you order food you don’t want a greasy box or a wet recycled fiber bowl to just fall apart, but many of the chemicals used to prevent that from happening have already been linked to serious environmental concerns in Michigan. They may also be leeching into your food.

Mother Janna Walls sees a home-cooked dinner as a chance to see exactly what her children are eating.

“I make them something that’s fresh, organic, has to additives, colors, there’s a vegetable, there’s something green,” Walls said.

A new study found that eating out and getting food to go may expose you to a group of toxic chemicals called perfluoroalkyls.

“PFAS,” or “PFAs,” is an acronym for perfluoroalkyls, which are a group of man-made chemicals that are not found naturally in the environment, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

What is ‘PFAS’ and how can it affect your health? Here’s what you should know

“PFAS are what’s known as ‘forever chemicals’ and that’s beacsue they essentially never break down naturally so once they are made they just accumulate in the environment and they end up in our water supply. They end up in our food, and they end up in us,” Kevin Loria with Consumer Reports said.

PFAS chemicals have been linked to some serious health problems, including an increased risk of cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, thyroid disease and growth and learning delays in some babies and children. The chemicals are everywhere.

You will find them in the surfaces of some nonstick pans, in the lining of typical take-out containers and pizza boxes. They are used to keep grease from seeping through.

There are steps you can take to limit our exposure. It starts with more fresh food, if you do eat out get the food out of the to-go boxes right away. Also, don’t store or re-heat the food in the containers they came in.

Studies by the CDC have found the chemicals in the blood of virtually all Americans. They are used in upholstery treatments, carpet treatments, waterproof clothing, furniture, cosmetics, nonstick cookware, food wrappers and even dental floss.

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