Pizza, popcorn and PFC's: The sickening truth

Pizza, popcorn and PFC's: The sickening truth

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - For many people, pizza and popcorn are guilty pleasures, but the foods may be hurting more than waistlines.

Research shows their packaging contains PFCs, or perfluorinated chemicals, which could make you sick.

PFC's are used to create a coating substance that keeps grease from soaking through and food from sticking inside pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags. 

Research conducted by a slew of 200 international scientists in 2015 concluded that exposure to these chemicals may be bad for our health and bad for the environment.

"The big issue is that even the scientists who are saying they're concerned about this, don't know how dangerous it is," said Dr. Ed Crane, an oncologist and hematologist with UC Medical Center's West Chester campus.

"The issue is, these chemicals don't break down very well, whether they are in the environment or in your body," added Crane.

In fact, some experts claim they can stick around for years and that prolonged exposure could be damaging.

Dr. Crane said there has been a documented increase in factory workers exposed to PFCs who developed cancer. 

He says more research is needed to make that link, but the FDA isn't waiting to take action.

In January, it banned 3 types of PFC's after a petition by nine organizations including the Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Children's Environmental Health Network, Clean Water Action, Environmental Working Group, Improving Kids' Environment, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Packaging manufacturers are now using a variation, a shorter chain of PFC.

The ban didn't take effect until this week. This means the popcorn in your cabinet may still contain the banned substance.

The healthier option may be to go the old fashion route and pop the kernels on a stovetop.

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