Fluorinated Compounds in Greaseproof Paper Bags May Cause Cancer?!

Common Snacks Packaged in Greaseproof Paper Bags or Boxes with Fluorinated Compounds May Increase Cancer Risk if Consumed Excessively. Photo / Flickr
Common Snacks Packaged in Greaseproof Paper Bags or Boxes with Fluorinated Compounds May Increase Cancer Risk if Consumed Excessively. Photo / Flickr

Recently, there have been reports indicating that many common snacks, such as crispy chicken fillets, scallion pancakes, and salt-and-pepper chicken, are often packaged in greaseproof paper bags or cardboard boxes. However, some media reports suggest that these food packaging materials may contain fluorinated compounds, and excessive intake may increase the risk of cancer. Does this mean that consuming these delicious snacks regularly could lead to cancer? To this, toxicology expert Chen Ya-wen said that although food packaging may contain fluorinated compounds, the doses of these compounds are typically minimal, so short-term consumption of these foods is unlikely to cause health issues. However, fluorinated compounds may accumulate in the body, so long-term consumption still requires attention. 

Recent Findings Show Carcinogenic Compounds in Food Packaging Paper. Photo / Flickr

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Chen Ya-wen pointed out that perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, among other PFAS compounds, are considered harmful to health and have been classified as carcinogens. These compounds are highly effective in waterproofing and oil resistance, hence their widespread use in various products, including food packaging, waterproof clothing, and even non-stick pans. The recent discovery of these compounds in food packaging paper is not surprising. 

Nevertheless, Chen Ya-wen also cautioned that simply consuming these foods would not immediately lead to cancer. Firstly, even if PFAS is present in the packaging paper, the food itself is typically not contaminated. Secondly, even if there is potential for contact between the food and the packaging paper, the release of PFAS is minimal, making it unlikely to contaminate the food. Furthermore, long-term consumption of these foods may lead to health problems, rather than just one or two instances of contact.


Food Packaging May Contain Carcinogenic Substances; Be Vigilant for Long-Term Health Safety. Photo / Flickr

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Additionally, Chen Ya-wen reminded that PFAS compounds have cumulative effects, so long-term exposure may impact health. Therefore, both the government and consumers should take this issue seriously and strive to find safer alternatives for food packaging.

In conclusion, while food packaging may contain carcinogenic substances, occasional consumption of these foods is unlikely to have a significant impact on health. However, vigilance should be maintained during long-term consumption to minimize exposure to these compounds and ensure the health of oneself and one's family.

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