The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned three chemicals previously used in pizza boxes and other food containers over their potential health complications.
The three perfluoroalkyl ethyl substances helped prevent water and grease from seeping through boxes and bags. But those chemicals and other long-chain perfluorinated compounds are also linked to serious health problems.
The FDA, which reviewed the chemicals following a petition from environmental groups in 2014, wrote that "there is no longer a reasonable uncertainty of no harm from the food contact use" of the substances.
The agency and industry groups added, however, that the materials in question are no longer in use for food packaging.
The environmental groups, meanwhile, criticized the FDA's "belated action" and warned that dozens of related chemicals remained legal for food uses.
“This is another egregious example of how, all too often, regulatory actions under the nation's broken chemical laws are too little and too late to protect Americans' health," said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook.