The Food and Drug Administration has banned a chemical commonly used in pizza boxes because there’s a reasonable chance it could cause harm to consumers’ health.
Food Safety News, an advocacy group that reports on foodborne illness outbreaks, recalls and changes imposed by the FDA, reported that the change applies to three types of perfluoroalkyl ethyl, which is used in food contact substances (FCS). FCSs work like water and oil repellents to prevent paper products, like pizza boxes, from getting soggy when they come in contact with greasy or fatty foods.
Previous research has linked exposure to long-chain perfluorinated compounds with birth defects.
The FDA’s decision comes in response to an October 2014 petition that called for a ban of FCSs in common food packaging and filed by nine organizations: the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Food Safety, the Breast Cancer Fund, the Center for Environmental Health, Clean Water Action, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Children’s Environmental Health Network, Environmental Working Group, and Improving Kids’ Environment.
The FDA’s decision will reportedly take effect 30 days after its filing Thursday in the Federal Register, the federal government’s daily journal.