High levels of chemicals, which lead to health problems, have been found in seafood, meats and chocolate cake in US stores, reports the Food and Drug Administration.
The levels in nearly half of the meat and fish tested by researchers were at least double the federal advisory level for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a group of more than 4,700 synthetic chemicals used for a variety of industrial purposes.
Meanwhile, the FDA report found much higher levels in the chocolate cake, the Associated Press reported, with PFAS levels of more than 250 times the federal guidelines.
PFAS have been in production since the second world war and are most widely used to make non-stick cookware, food packaging, carpets, couches, pizza boxes and firefighting foam. The ubiquity of PFAS means they are found in virtually all Americans’ blood, as well as in the drinking water of about 16 million people in the US.
Public health groups have criticized the Trump administration for not acting more quickly to phase out the use of PFAS, with high levels of the chemicals on US military bases causing heightened concern and lawsuits in parts of the country.
Exposure to high levels of PFAS has been linked to cancers, liver problems, low birth weight and other issues.
The compounds were called “forever chemicals” as it takes thousands of years to degrade them, and because some of them accumulate in people’s bodies.