disrupters in paper packaging
Paper food packaging contains synthetic chemicals suspected of disrupting
hormones, raising concerns it may be no safer than plastic packaging,
according to a study by researchers in Osaka.
packaging contains hormone disrupters, also known as endocrine disrupters,
which have been linked to atypical sexual development and reduced
resistance to disease.
a result, manufacturers have begun switching from plastic packaging
to paper-based containers.
the study, conducted by the Osaka City Institute of Public Health
and Environmental Sciences and led by Asako Ozaki, detected endocrine
disrupters in 21 paper packaging items, including cups, napkins,
tea bags and coffee filters.
levels (detected in the tests) aren't so high they could be a direct
threat to human health, but there should be some sort of guideline
for paper products,'' Ozaki said.
and the team began testing 16 kinds of paper products made from
virgin pulp and 12 items made from recycled paper in 2001.
A (BPA), a suspected endocrine disrupter, was detected in 13 of
the 16 items made from virgin pulp in levels between 34 nanograms
(a nanogram is 1 billionth of a gram) per gram to 360 nanograms
levels of between 190 and 26,000 nanograms per gram were also found
in eight of the 12 food containers made from recycled paper, including
sandwich and fried chicken packaging.
highest levels of BPA-26,000 nanograms per gram in a sandwich box-
is equal to BPA levels found in polycarbonate plastic food packaging.
tests also detected high levels of a chemical compound called Michler's
Ketone (MK), a suspected carcinogen contained in ink, in cardboard
boxes used to carry vegetables.
further examination, the researchers found microscopic traces of
ink and copy paper among the fibers of items made from recycled
pulp, which could explain the source of the contamination.
Food Sanitation Law issues standards for plastic, china and metal
packaging that come into direct contact with food.
similar paper products are unregulated.
products have never been inspected for potential danger so they
have never been regulated,'' said a health ministry official. "If
study results suggest otherwise, we will certainly look into the