As if we needed another reason to avoid fast food: the chemicals used to prevent grease from leaking through fast food wrappers are being transferred to food and ingested by human beings.

Various studies (mostly on animals) have linked a class of chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) to infertility, thyroid disease, cancer, increased LDL cholesterol levels, immune system problems, tumor development after prolonged exposure and all sorts of other fun conditions.

Perfluoroalkyls are a class of synthetic chemicals that repel oil, grease and water. Although fast food makes an easy target, they're actually in numerous products including many types of food packaging, carpet and fabric protectors, flame retardants, non-stick cookware and stain-proof clothing. Basically, most of what we call modern life.

So why is this potentially hazardous class of chemicals used in so many products? Because when regulators approved them for use with food and other products, they made three assumptions, says according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, a longtime opponent of non-stick cookware:

1. The chemicals won't migrate from paper into food.

2. The chemicals won't become available to your body.

3. Your body won't process these chemicals.

Findings from University of Toronto researchers belie that. They see these toxic chemicals showing up in human blood, urine and feces. (These chemicals have also been found in drinking water, dust, air and even cord blood and breast milk.)

As Dr. Nick once said to Homer Simpson while holding up a grease-soaked fast food bag: “When the bag is clear, it's your window to weight gain.” It may also be your ticket to disease.

LA Weekly