Time to Take Off the Toxic Gloves: How Harmful Chemicals in Some Food Service Gloves Threaten Consumers’ Health —and What Restaurants Can Do About It

The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, a national alliance of public health nonprofits, sampled and tested 123 plastic food service gloves from 32 top glove distributors and 15 popular restaurant chains in the U.S. in order to determine which gloves contain toxic chemicals that can escape into your meal.

They found that toxic chemicals known as ortho-phthalates, many of which have been shown to harm reproductive health and brain development, are still used in some vinyl (PVC) food-handling gloves in the U.S., despite being highly restricted in Europe and Japan and recently banned by the state of Maine:

  • Over two-thirds of fast food restaurants surveyed used vinyl gloves
  • One out of seven vinyl gloves tested contained phthalates
  • Some gloves from McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s had phthalates
  • One-third of the top glove distributors sold some gloves with phthalates

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