Toxic Mineral Oil in Recycled Food Cartons and Boxes

Papers are made of trees. We need to cut down lots of trees to fulfill our needs for paper.  However, we also need to love our environment. Cutting down trees results to forest denudation that eventually lead to flash floods, global warming and other natural disasters. Irresponsible disposal of paper waste lead to pollution and clogging of canals and other waterways.

Recycling is the best solution to problem. Used papers such as cardboard, magazines, food cartons and corrugated boxes can be recycled. Hundreds of trees are save everyday by doing it.

But the problems never end here. Problems still arise when it come to food packaging. Many recycled paper products come from newspaper. Billions are printed everyday. Where do they go after reading? Either to garbage bin or to recycling plant. They are processed to corrugated cartons, food boxes, toy cartons and other commodity boxes.

Recycling newspaper is environment friendly but might not be human friendly. Inks used to print newspaper contains toxic mineral oils. This can cause chronic inflammation or various internal organs and cancer.

Toxic mineral oils from recycled paper packaging migrates to foodstuffs. A direct transfer if the commodity is placed in a box without or with minimal protection (e.g. pandesal bread, donuts and cakes). It can also transfer from carton to plastic to food. Indeed cause some plastics are permeable to oil.

food boxes

Toxic substance cannot pass through aluminum foil laminated packaging and some thick plastic. But the migration can still occur from paper to hands to food.

Most of the food tested exceed the limit of 0.6 mg per kg food. The standard limit were set by Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization (FAO and WHO).

Does it mean one can get the toxin by just reading a newspaper?

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