Paper straws deemed dangerous for environment and health, study reveals

Paper straws deemed dangerous for environment and health, study reveals
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Paper straws used to replace plastic straws are dangerous for the environment and our health, Le Soir reports.

Le Soir quoted a study published in the 'Food Additives and Contaminants' journal, which was reported on by Slate and analysed 39 different brands of straw. The results showed that paper straws sometimes contain more toxic and chemical substances than plastic straws.

These substances are thought to come from chemical compounds called PFAS, dubbed 'forever chemicals'. PFAS is a group of chemical substances widely used in the textile and food packaging industries to make products resist grease, oil and water.

The study noted, however, that the presence of PFAS can increase cholesterol levels and the risk of cancer, impact fertility and foetal development, and affect the endocrine and immune system and thyroid.

Of the 39 brands of straws tested, 90% of paper straws contained PFAS, compared to 75% of plastic straws.

The study concluded that the presence of these toxic substances also represents a danger to the environment, particularly when they break down in landfill sites or are completely incinerated.

Stainless steels straws are therefore the most sustainable alternative, the study's authors noted, as "they can be reused, do not contain PFAS and can be fully recycled."

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