Hot pizzas delivered to your home in a wrapper or a perforated box can contaminate your body. Studies in rich countries suggest presence of carcinogenic chemicals in human bodies by way of Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid also known as PFOS, the chemical used to manufacture those boxes.
From October this year, use of these chemicals for manufacturing these boxes or wrappers may become history under the Stockholm Convention, to which India is also a signatory. Frank Moser, in-charge of Stockholm Convention unit in United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), said five chemicals including PFOS have been identified for global ban under the convention.
“The final decision would be taken at a convention of parties meeting in October this year,” he told HT on Tuesday.
The US Environment Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board in 2006 classified PFOS as a likely human carcinogen. Animal studies also indicate that the chemicals affect the liver, neonatal development, the immune system, and hormone levels.
European Union and Mexico has already banned PFOS, where it is still in use in many developing countries.
Philippe R Scholtes, Representative and Regional Director of UNIDO, said in all five chemicals are on the list of persistant organic pollutants (POPs), considered non-biodegradable, for the ban including PFOS and some fire retardants.
“If the countries agree to the list India will have to ban used of PFOS,” he said. Then, the companies will have to look for environment friendly chemicals to manufacture boxes, which can keep your food warm.