Lawmaker wants chemicals stripped from fast-food wrappers

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Fast food may not be the healthiest choice, but now there's a concern that the packaging it comes in may be worse than the actual meal.

A new study says the wrapper that holds a burger or covers french fries could be loaded with unhealthy chemicals. The study, published in "Environmental Science & Technology Letters,” tested food wrappers from 27 fast-food chains and found that on average, one third contain perfluorinated chemicals. Health experts link those to cancer and other diseases.

Rep. Joan McBride, D-Kirkland, wants to rewrite the recipe on food wrappers.

“Where we can, I think for the good of our families, our communities, we need to move beyond those kinds of chemicals,” McBride said.

The wrappers have a tell-tale shine that keeps the grease from getting on a diner’s hands and clothes, but those same chemicals can also leach into the food.

“These are the same type of chemical that make your couch stain resistant or make your raincoat waterproof,” said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal with Toxic-Free Future, which is promoting the results of the new study.

HB 1744 would ban these products from food packaging, though McBride said her bill provides exemptions on a case by case basis.

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