In an article published on May 1, 2015 by the news provider Civil Eats, journalist Elizabeth Grossman reports on the Madrid Statement in which scientists express concern about long-term harm of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The statement recommends consumers to avoid products containing, or manufactured using, PFASs. The statement was first presented at the DIOXIN 2014 Symposium held in Madrid, Spain (FPF reported). PFASs are used in a wide variety of food contact materials (FCMs), such as fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, disposable paper plates, and others. As Grossman points out, PFASs are extremely persistent chemicals that have been detected in food and humans worldwide and a growing body of evidence links this class of chemicals to a variety of health problems. A report released on May 1, 2015 by the non-profit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far failed to fully determine how the chemicals may break down or what their long-term health effects may be. EWG also criticizes both the FDA and the manufacturers for their lack of transparency about the safety of these substances. The Madrid Statement calls for proper labeling of products containing PFASs, amongst other things. According to the statement, the international community should cooperate in limiting the production and use of PFASs and in developing safer, non-fluorinated alternatives that are currently lacking. As Grossman highlights, highly fluorinated chemicals that have been identified as hazardous have been replaced with others that are similarly problematic.
The full statement is published in the May 2015 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Elizabeth Grossman (May 1, 2015). “Scientists say avoid nonstick, greaseproof, or waterproof kitchen products.” Civil Eats
Health and Environment Alliance (May 7, 2015). “Madrid Statement on fluorinated chemicals.”
Blum et al. (2015). “The Madrid Statement on Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs).” Environmental Health Perspectives 123, A107–A111 (open access).