Study Finds Chipotle’s Paper Bowls Contain Cancer-Linked Chemicals
A new study is raising concerns about the chemicals used to treat bowls at a popular Central New York restaurant.
If you've ever eaten at Chipotle, your salad or burrito bowl has been served in a molded paper bowl. 'New Food Economy' says they tested bowls from several Chipotle locations, along with those from other restaurants that use this type of bowl, and discovered that the bowls have been treated with PFAS, also known as a "forever chemical" because they don't biodegrade in the environment. As the bowls break down, the chemicals leach into soil, making it more toxic.
The bowls are treated with PFAS to "allow these bowls to hold hot, wet, and greasy food, which would quickly destroy any untreated paper product." according to New Food Economy.
The public health implications of this finding are not yet clear. The very worst PFAS chemicals are linked to a range of serious health outcomes, from colitis and thyroid disorders to kidney and testicular cancers, and have been mostly phased out of production in the U.S. These bowls are more likely to contain newer varieties that are just as persistent in the environment and are of grave concern to scientists, but have not been studied as closely for potential health effects.
The EPA says PFAS is "persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects."
Maybe we'll just take that burrito in some bread, thanks.