Monday, January 16, 2012

Researchers find school packed lunches contaminated with phthalates

Scientists have found that food packaging appears to increase the levels of two phthalates in lunches fed to children by up to 50%, following a study in Italy.

Researchers from the University of Naples measured the levels of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) and di-n-butylphthalate (DBP) in packed school meals prepared for children aged between 3 and 10 years old, and estimated the influence of the packaging process on meal contamination and the contribution to daily intake.

They found that 92% of foodstuffs employed in meal preparation contained DEHP, and 76% of them DBP, at detectable levels. By comparing food contents before and after packaging, the researchers found that the packaging process contributed to a significant increase in the level of the two chemicals, estimating that for young children school meals can increase daily DEHP intake by up to 18% and DBP by up to 50%. Source