CEH Report: A Purchaser’s Guide to Safer Foodware

For decades, chemicals have been added to microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes, fast food wrappers, plates, bowls, food trays, take-out containers and other food packaging to make them water and grease resistant. But new research shows that these chemicals aren’t safe for people. These chemicals, known as PFAS, have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, elevated cholesterol, decreased fertility, thyroid problems and changes in hormone functioning in adults as well as adverse developmental effects and decreased immune response in children. Disposable foodware also creates avoidable waste, depletes natural resources, and raises concerns about other toxic chemicals that pollute the environment and endanger human health.

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) recently published a report – Avoiding Hidden Hazards: A Purchaser’s Guide to Safer Foodware – that identifies a variety of disposable foodware products that were found to contain PFAS.

The report offers commercial and institutional purchasers – such as schools, restaurants, cafeterias and hospitals – with PFAS-free foodware options and equips them with tools to push manufacturers away from these harmful compounds and towards safer products.

Check below to read our consumer tip sheet, recently released report, a database of foodware products we tested, and a fact sheet on fluorinated additives.

Consumer Tip Sheet: “Ten Reasons to Wash More Dishes”

Avoiding Hidden Hazards: A Purchaser’s Guide to Safer Foodware (revised June 2018)









CEH Foodware Database (Microsoft Excel version)
CEH Foodware Database (PDF version)

Fact Sheet: Fluorinated Additives