Pizza Boxes Will Kill You Before Pizza Will, Says FDA

The pizza box — an icon if there ever was one. Whether in the hands of your stoned 15-year-old delivery guy or stacked on top of each other by the door in your college dorm room, it’s a method of food transport as recognizable as the Chinese takeout box or the bucket of chicken. But, because of a recent FDA ruling, the pizza box may not be long for this world.

Turns out there’s something in those boxes that might kill you, and I’m not talking about the pizza. I’m talking about the chemicals used to treat the cardboard so that all of the grease from your meat lovers supreme doesn’t leak through onto your futon cover. Three perfluoroalkyl ethyl substances “used as oil and water repellents for paper and paperboard for use in contact with aqueous and fatty foods” are the specific culprits. According to the FDA filing, they are:

1. Diethanolamine salts of mono- and bis (1 H, 1 H, 2 H, 2Hperfluoroalkyl) phosphates where the alkyl group is even-numbered in the range C8-C18 and the salts have a fluorine content of 52.4 percent to 54.4 percent as determined on a solids basis;

2. Pentanoic acid, 4,4-bis [(gamma-omega-perfluoro-C8-20-alkyl)thio] derivatives, compounds with diethanolamine (CAS Reg. No. 71608-61-2); and

3. Perfluoroalkyl substituted phosphate ester acids, ammonium salts formed by the reaction of 2,2-bis[([gamma], [omega]-perfluoro C4-20 alkylthio) methyl]-1,3-propanediol, polyphosphoric acid and ammonium hydroxide.

These chemicals may leach into your slices of pepperoni and mushroom and over time build up in your body — what science nerds call biopersistence — because it cannot naturally eliminate them.

So what do you think? Will the industry just find some new deadly chemical to line your pizza boxes with, or will it come up with a whole new transport method entirely? My favorite pizza place back home puts ‘em in paper bags. I don’t get it either.


Pizza boxes Will Kill You Before Pizza Will, Says FDA

2 replies on “Pizza Boxes Will Kill You Before Pizza Will, Says FDA”

I thought about this before. When you get that pizza and it is all oily in the bottom of the box…that is when I thought of it.

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