Read the full article by Elizabeth Gribkoff (Environmental Health News)
“As evidence mounts that hamburger wrappers and other kinds of grease-proof packaging contaminate food with PFAS, states have started banning the toxic chemicals from food packaging.
Now, a new report provides yet another reason to remove PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, from food wrappers: climate and ozone pollution.
PFAS exposure is linked to immune and developmental system effects, increased risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women, increased risk of kidney and testicular cancers, and higher cholesterol, among other health effects. The Daikin America plant in Decatur, Alabama, which manufactures PFAS used to coat food packaging and textiles, released 240,584 pounds of the ozone-depleting chemical Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-22)—the global warming equivalent of one billion pounds of carbon dioxide—in 2019, according to a new report out Thursday from the nonprofit Toxic-Free Future.
While HCFC-22, used in refrigeration, was banned at the start of last year under the Montreal Protocol, companies are still allowed to produce the compound as a byproduct of making other substances. Advocates say the new report highlights the need to close that loophole—and to use PFAS-free food packaging alternatives.
‘The entire world is scrambling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before their damage to our climate is beyond repair, yet we are letting a company dump hundreds of thousands of pounds of hydrochlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere so that it can produce ‘forever chemicals’ that poison our communities?’ Peggy Shepard, executive director of the nonprofit WE ACT for Environmental Justice, who was not involved in the report, said in a prepared statement. ‘Where is the justice in that?'”…