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Toxic chemicals: Paper straws will never be greener

Toxic chemicals: Paper straws will never be greener

If plastic straws are almost banned from fast food, their paper alternatives aren’t any more environmentally friendly, according to a new Belgian study.

Paper straws may contain “long-lasting” and potentially toxic chemicals, according to a report published in the journal Food additives and contaminants.

“Straws made from plant-based materials, such as paper and bamboo, are often touted as more durable and environmentally friendly than plastic straws,” explained Dr.s Themo Groven, a researcher in environmental sciences at the University of Antwerp, who participated in this study.

“However, the presence of PFAS in these straws means that this is not necessarily true,” he explained.

PFAS are used to make the products water, heat, and stain resistant. It is found especially in non-stick pans or in outerwear.

During their research, the specialists tested 39 brands of lollipops for the presence of these products.

Then they found that 27 straws contained PFAS. Approximately 90% of paper straws are made from these chemicals, compared to 80% for bamboo straws, 75% for plastic straws and 40% for glass straws.

None of these ingredients have been detected in steel straws.

low concentrations

However, PFAS concentrations remained low and therefore did not pose a significant risk to human health.

However, the doctor said: “Small amounts of PFAS, while not harmful in and of themselves, can increase the chemical load already present in the body.”s Groovin.

According to him, the presence of PFAS in paper and bamboo straws also shows that these things are not necessarily biodegradable.

“We did not detect PFAS in stainless steel straws, so I advise consumers to use this type of straw or simply not to use straws at all,” said the expert.

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