Pizza boxes are functional, collectable, customizable, recyclable and now: toxic. More specifically, three types of chemicals used to produce pizza boxes and other food packaging have been found to be toxic to humans, resulting in cancer and birth defects. Three types of perfluoroalkyl ethyl are set to be banned by the FDA, who have declared there is "no longer reasonable certainty" that harm does not come from exposure to these chemicals.

The chemicals used to create the containers act as a sealant to protect the packaging from being soaked with oil or water during transport—and they're prolific. In addition to some pizza boxes, the chemicals can also be found in microwave popcorn bags and food packaged for both humans and animals.

Alarmingly, evidence to support the chemicals' toxicity has been around for over a decade, and many chemical companies have even stopped producing the chemicals, reports Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs. In fact, the Environmental Working Group sees the ban as a hollow one: "Industrial chemicals that pollute people's blood clearly have no place in food packaging," EWG President Ken Cook said to BNA. "It's taken the FDA more than 10 years to figure that out, and it's banning only three chemicals that aren't even made any more."

The Natural Resources Defense Council has called for seven additional harmful chemicals and food additives to be banned.

The current ban is expected to go into place 30 days after the FDA makes things official with the Federal Register. In the interim, there are other uses for the stack of pizza boxes next to your trash can.

[h/t First We Feast]