A new study conducted by The New Food Economy found that compostable bowls have been linked with a cancer-causing chemical called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals” reports The New York Post.
According to the claims made, 14 locations of New York City’s eight restaurants have been tested including the likes of Fresh & Co., Chipotle, Sweetgreen, Dos Toros and Dig Inn. The study concluded that all of the tested samples contained fluorine.
Fluorine is a big problem because it works alongside PFAS and is “what allows these bowls to hold hot, wet, and greasy food, which could quickly destroy any untreated paper product,” reveals The New Food and Economy.
Here’s what the Director of the University of Rhode Island’s Lohmann Lab was quoted saying regarding such findings:
“If a product is showing really high fluorine levels, companies really can’t claim they didn’t use PFAS,”
and if said presence is true, it is deemed dangerous to one’s health as it can lead to kidney diseases and an array of cancers and fertility-related concerns to name the least.
As per Researcher, Joe Fassler, compost is becoming more toxic because of the use of said chemicals that are deteriorating soil quality, adding that, “rather than degrad[ing] quickly, they contain potentially hazardous ingredients that never break down.”
Since Chipotle was one among the tested restaurants to having possibly used PFAS in their compostable bowls, the company has since shared an elaborative statement arguing that they abide by FDA’s strict guidelines. Here’s an extract:
“As evidenced in Chipotle’s Sustainability Report, we are committed to using safe and sustainable food packaging and only partner with suppliers who make fluorochemical sciences and food safety a top priority,” further mentioning that the restaurant chain has the necessary certification that “fully meet[s] regulatory requirements.”