Chemicals used in the packaging, storing or processing of foods could pose unknown health threats, Nature World News reported.

In a paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers noted that exposure to food-contact materials (FCMs) could be a “cause of concern for several reasons,” over the course of a person’s life.

Over 4,000 chemicals are suspected to be used in FCMs, including some known-carcinogens, such as formaldehyde. And according to the paper’s authors, these synthetic chemicals may be capable of leaching into food.

"Whereas the science for some of these substances is being debated and policy makers struggle to satisfy the needs of stakeholders, consumers remain exposed to these chemicals daily, mostly unknowingly," the authors of the paper wrote.

Currently, toxicology tests on food products don’t test for cellular changes that might be caused by FCMs. The researchers are urging more study into the effects of chemicals used in FCMs.

"Since most foods are packaged, and the entire population is likely to be exposed, it is of utmost importance that gaps in knowledge are reliably and rapidly filled," they urged.

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