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Some fast-food items contain plastics linked to serious health problems, new report shows

Chemicals that research has shown to be linked to reproductive harm and learning problems in children were found in popular menu items

A new study reports that far too often, small amounts of industrial chemicals called phthalates (pronounced THA-lates), which are used to make plastics soft, have been found in samples of food from popular outlets including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Chipotle, the Washington Post reports.

George Washington University researcher Lariah Edwards, professor Ami Zota and their colleagues purchased 64 fast-food items from national burger chains McDonald’s and Burger King; pizza chains Pizza Hut and Domino’s; and Tex-Mex chains Taco Bell and Chipotle, all around San Antonio, Tex.

The study found harmful chemicals in a majority of samples collected. Phthalates are linked to health problems, including disruption to the endocrine system, and fertility and reproductive problems, as well as increased risk for learning, attention and behavioral disorders in children.

All six restaurant chains did not respond to requests for comment.


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