In today’s generation of families, everyone is so busy that eating out is no longer a luxury or a treat, it has become a way of life. According to an August, 2016 report on Statistic Brain, there are 160,000 fast food places in the US and 50,000,000 people served daily. That’s a lot of food being consumed, even with all the reports about how unhealthy fast food is for you. A recent study shows that people may face more danger from the wrapper that contains the food.

Chemicals in the wrappers?

As reported by KSDK news, 27 different fast food places were part of a research study to see what the wrappers and containers your food comes in might contain.

The research, published in Environmental Science and Technology, was quite surprising. Wrappers from these fast food restaurants were collected in 5 different areas.

Testing of the wrappers and containers showed them to contain fluorinated compounds, called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). If that just looks like a misspelled word, think again! According to the report, this is a pretty wicked chemical and can also be found in stain resistant products, nonstick cookware and firefighter materials.

It has been linked to causing cancer, thyroid issues and other illnesses. These PFASs can be absorbed by the food in the wrappers and then ingested by unsuspecting consumers where it gets into the bloodstream.

Researchers found that, of 407 pieces tested, 46 percent of wrapping papers and 20 percent of paperboard, such as French fry containers, contained detectable amounts.

Are the fast food restaurants aware of the chemical?

All restaurants that were part of the study were contacted about the results. According to news report only two of them responded and one even said that they had verification that they only used chemical free wrappers, even though the test showed otherwise.

A professor of experimental nuclear physics, Graham Peaslee, tested the materials. He said that these statistics are of concern because these chemicals can get into the bloodstream and remain there. He stated that the chemicals don’t biodegrade or naturally degrade. The more fast food we eat, the more of these chemicals we might be adding to our bloodstream.

Fast food places continue to advertise as a fun family place and offer all kinds of bargains and incentives to get a family through their drive up. Peaslee suggests that these places start using things like wax paper or to at least make sure the wrapper is chemical free.