Common foods found in U.S. grocery stores are contaminated with Polybrominated dphenyl ethers, or PBDEs: a class of chemicals commonly used as a flame-retardant, according to a recent study.
The study examined ten samples of 31 distinct food types, including meat products, fish, dairy foods, vegetable-based foods, and eggs. The samples were collected from five supermarkets on two separate occasions in Dallas, Texas, in 2009.
The most heavily PBDE contaminated food was butter, followed by canned sardines and fresh salmon. Lowest detected levels were found in other dairy samples (whole milk and yogurt) and in vegetables (cereal, apples, and potatoes).
Although the purpose of the study was “to update previous U.S. market basket surveys of levels and PBDE dietary intake calculations” it’s disturbing to know that these types of chemicals are present in our food at any level.
As Rodale.com reports, “previous studies have shown butter to be contaminated with everything from PBDEs to DDT, and when those chemicals combine, their collective health effects can have an even greater impact than if they existed alone.”
The Environmental Working Group reports that dozens of independent studies have linked low levels of bromated fire retardants with a variety of adverse health effects, including effects on learning and memory, spontaneous motor behavior and habitutation capability that worsened with age; endocrine disruption; and decreased sperm count in adult offspring.
Unfortunately, the newly Senate-approved Food Safety Modernization Act that so many people hoped would eliminate these threats would do nothing to reduce this contamination as it focuses on bacteria rather than chemicals, according to Delish.com.
Image Credit: Flickr - green kozi
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