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Have you ever eaten bhel or roadside chat from a hawker who serves it in cones made of newspapers?
Do you often go the supermarket and buy foods packed in cardboard boxes?
Have you used newspaper to soak oil from the fried foods you cook at your home?
Well, you might be putting yourselves at a greater health risk than you probably know.
Newspapers are printed all over with ink that is dissolved on it with the help of chemical solvents. Studies have shown that printing ink from newspapers can easily get leached into foods wrapped or served in them and pose a health risk. The solvent used to dissolve ink on the paper can be potentially carcinogenic.
Also, newspapers and cardboard boxes used for pacakaged foods are made of recycled paper that may be contaminated with harmful chemicals like diisobutyl phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate which can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity.
Recycled paper also has printing ink residues trapped from previous prints. These trapped residues have found to contain hormone disruptors like benzophenones and mineral oils. They can interfere with reproductive cycle, especially in women.
One good example demonstrating the ill-effects of paper as the packaging material is the case of 2010, when a cereal company had to recall an entire batch of boxes coated with paper lining. The material had an increased level of methylnaphthalene which leached into the cereal and consumers reported digestive problems after eating the contaminated cereal.
Our Food: Packaging and Public Health. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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