From Midwest Today , October 1999
Now there's something else to be worried about. There is some
evidence that plastic wrap, particularly the kind that clings,
can cause hormonal changes leading to cancer. Since so much of
the food we buy is covered in plastic, this is a real concern.
The suspect chemical is di-(2-ethylhexyl)adipate, better known as DEHA. Some animal studies have suggested that DEHA (not to be confused with the hormonal precursor DHEA) is an endocrine disrupter, one of a number of chemicals that can adversely affect the hormonal balance in our bodies and possibly lead to breast cancer, birth defects, low sperm counts and mental problems. Other suspected endocrine disrupters include dioxin, DDT and PCBs.
DEHA can leach into food that is wrapped in plastic. In a recent study, Consumers Union tested pre-wrapped cheese to see if it had picked up deha from its wrappings. Indeed it had.
The Environmental Protection Agency has begun to screen literally thousands of chemicals, including DEHA, to identify possible endocrine disrupters for further study.
In the meantime, it may be prudent to avoid buying foods wrapped in plastic. At least scrape the surface layer of the food to remove any contamination. If you use plastic wrap to store food, make sure it doesn't touch the food. Be especially careful never to let plastic wrap come into contact with microwaved food.