Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center have found traces of industrial chemicals called phthalates in several food samples. Phthalates are commonly found in food packaging, articles of child-care, and even in medical devices.
Arnold Schecter, M.D., M.P.H., professor of environmental health at The University of Texas School of Public Health Dallas Regional campus speculates that food packaging could be the culprit for trace levels of phthalates often found in our blood. National Institutes of Health researcher Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., published a study in the online edition of “Environmental Health Perspectives,” which reports concentrations of phthalates in U.S. food and compares these with other countries. Schecter says that, although these findings are a cause for concern — not alarm — there is still a need to conduct further investigation on phthalate contamination as these toxins have been linked to negative effects on consumer health.
According to Health Canal:
In other studies, Schecter and his colleagues have found bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a widely-used flame retardant, in foods. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), another kind of flame retardant, was found in butter and its paper wrapping, which led to butter contamination.
To read more on the study authored by Birnbaum, visit Environmental Health Perspectives.
News of the discovery of industrial chemicals found in food samples follows a recent report concerning a pending petition to the FDA to allow for the use of Aspartame in sweetened milk, which researchers in Texas claim risks exposing children to potential neurotoxins in flavored dairy products.