Reynolds came out with a new “non-stick” aluminum foil and some people in our community were concerned it was coated with PFAS “forever chemicals” so we got to testing. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like safest parchment paper without PFAS chemicals, safest ketchups without PFAS chemicals, & safest cookware without PFAS & nanoparticles, now join us for the lab results of Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil for indications of PFAS.
Disclosure: This post has been medically reviewed by Sondra Strand, RN, BSN, PHN. This post contains affiliate links.
Table of Contents
Potential Health Effects of PFAS Chemicals from Research Over Decades
PFAS (aka PFCs or perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS) are added to many consumer products we purchase to make them “stain-resistant,” “grease-proof,” and “water-resistant.” In food packaging, they are used in popcorn bags, pizza boxes, fast food canisters & wrappers, and the flat dish on the bottom of cakes. They are also in carpeting, furniture, bamboo flooring & clothing as “stain-proof” agents and you’ll find them on non-stick pans, some tooth flosses, and period underwear.
Here is the list of health problems (PFAS) perfluorinated chemicals are linked with.
- reduction in immunity
- metabolic diseases like obesity & diabetes
- reduced vaccination response
- cardiovascular disease
- affect the growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- increased risk of allergies & asthma in young children
- lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
- increase the chances of miscarriage
- increase cholesterol levels
- low sperm count
- smaller penis size
- increase the risk of cancer like testicular & kidney cancers
Because these chemicals are ubiquitous and persistent, meaning they do not go away, it’s important to limit your consumption of them as often as you can. If you feel like you’ve been exposed to PFAS, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of Community Health Investigations has created this fact sheet to use when talking to your doctor.
9,000+ PFAS “Forever Chemicals” Are Impossible to Test For Directly But There’s a Solution
This part about the testing is very important to understand. Because there are over 9,000 of these PFAS “forever chemicals” and testing is only available for about a couple dozen or so, it’s impossible to test for them all directly. Any critique of this form of testing will rely on this fact. Chemical companies hide behind the fact that they can’t be tested directly as a way to deny their presence.
The fact that 98% of people in the United States have some of these chemicals (PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA) inside their bodies, in addition, coupled with the fact that close to 100% of samples of breastmilk show traces, it’s apparent how prevalent they really are. Therefore it’s not shocking to find them things like food packaging.
Not being able to test for all available PFAS chemicals directly was a real big problem for the composting industry when ascertaining whether food packaging was safe to be certified as “compostable” for the gardens of consumers. So they devised a plan to test instead for fluorine, which is the chemical all PFAS chemicals have in common. Testing for fluorine and finding it at certain levels can indicate whether PFAS was “intentionally added” or not based on how much is found.
Because testing for fluorine is the only standard that is out there for food packaging, we’ve adapted this to parchment baking paper and now for aluminum foil for our investigation.
Results of Fluorine Testing for Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil
In April of 2021, an EPA-certified laboratory conducted tests of Total Fluorine by Oxygen Flask Combustion and Ion-Selective Electrode on Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil. The Level of Detection was 10 parts per million (ppm).
Understanding how this works is important. There are thousands of PFAS chemicals, so it’s not possible to test for each one individually. So instead, we test for fluorine which they all have in common. The higher the levels of fluorine, the more likely it was intentionally added. BPI Industries & Compost Manufacturing Alliance certifies that food packaging is compostable below 100 ppm, so any results below 100 ppm means it’s non-intentional.
- Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil: “non-detect” fluorine
Conclusion of Mamavation’s Investigation of Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil
Mamavation got a “non-detect” result from the EPA-certified lab that tested Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil for fluorine. This means the lab did not detect any fluorine, which is indicative of a non-detect result of PFAS as well. So to answer the question does Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil contain PFAS ‘forever chemicals”? That answer is no.
Here are other brands that Mamavtion has tested and found non-detect levels of fluorine for food packaging:
- If You Care Parchment Baking Paper
- GIFBERA (Finish brand) Unbleached Parchment Baking Paper
- Katbite Parchment Baking Paper
- Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil
Additional Brands Mamavation has cleared as non-detect levels of fluorine:
Full investigation here.
- 365 Whole Foods Market Tomato Ketchup — non-detect
- Heinz Organic Certified Tomato Ketchup — non-detect
Period Underwear Brands
Full investigation here.
- Lilova (no fluorine detected)(*newest brand added) Use discount code “MAMAVATION20” for 20% off your order.
- Aisle (formerly known as Lunapads) (no fluorine detected) Use discount code “MAMAVATION10” for $10 off any order over $35 placed on periodaisle.com here.
- Bambody (no fluorine detected)
- Intimate Portal (no fluorine detected)
- Period (no fluorine detected) Use discount code “MAMA” for a special sale of “Buy 3 panties and get 1 free”
- Modibodi (no fluorine detected) Use discount code “MAMAV10” for 10% off orders over $100 for new customers. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer, on sale, gift cards or bundle packs. Limit one per customer.
- Revol (no fluorine detected) Use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 15% off your first purchase.