Study: Marginalized communities in food deserts also live with risk of dangerous chemicals in food

Study: Marginalized communities in food deserts also live with risk of dangerous chemicals in food

Aside from communities of color existing in what are often called “food deserts,” now we’re learning that much of the food available to Black and brown people is more akin to a “food apartheid” where fast food restaurants line the streets and marginalized people live with unhealthy and potentially poisonous menus. 

A new study uncovers that many of the restaurants available those living in underserved areas have high concentrations of an extremely dangerous class of chemicals known as phthalates—a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable—used in everything from soaps to vinyl flooring. People are exposed to phthalates by eating and drinking foods that have contacted products containing phthalates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The study, published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, found that when researchers visited dozens of fast food restaurants in low-income neighborhoods, they found a phthalate knowns as DnBP in 81% of the samples and another one called DEHP in 70%. And in 89% of a food samples was another non-phthalate plasticizer that is supposedly safe and is known as DEHT. 

“These results have implications for health equity since Black people in the U.S. report greater fast food consumption than other racial/ethnic groups and also face higher exposures to environmental chemicals from other sources,” authors of the study wrote.

We know that Black and brown people were disproportionately infected, hospitalized, and killed by COVID-19, and that’s directly because of the inequalities in access to healthy food across the nation as well as unequal access to health care, increased exposure to toxic chemicals, and unhealthy air, according to the U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit investigative research group focusing on transparency for public health. 

“Unhealthy food marketing aimed at youth under age 18 is a significant contributor to poor diets and diet-related diseases. Therefore, greater exposure to this marketing by Hispanic and Black children and teens, both in the media and in their communities, likely contributes to diet-related health disparities affecting communities of color, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease,” reads a report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, Council on Black Health. 

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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