Flame-Retardant Chemicals Found In Common Foods

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


W. C
W. C10 months ago


William C
William C10 months ago

Thank you for the article.

Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Sandra Bell
Sandra Bell4 years ago

Please, ladies and gentlemen, do not trust the FDA. That, and all government agencies, were corrupted long ago. The Food and Drug Administration was originally set up to protect the public, but has long been run by the very corporations it is supposed to monitor. Example: Michael Taylor has been swinging back and forth through the revolving door between his positions as Chief Deputy of the FDA and head attorney and CEO of Monsanto - outrageous. All sane individuals can readily see this as blatant criminality, yet it goes on unabated and business-as-usual in all corners of state and federal government. They don't care what we think, say or eat.

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Wendy F.
Wendy F6 years ago

How in the hell does a flame retardant end up in butter or ANY dairy product?? I'd REALLY like an answer to that one! For God sake is ANYTHING safe to eat anymore?

Sophia Ajeto
Sophia Ajeto6 years ago

just unbelieveable!

Carol B.
Carol Burk6 years ago

I always read labels and choose fresh rather than packaged if I can, but BUTTER? It is supposed to be fresh.

Masha Samoilova
Past Member 6 years ago

this doesn't sound good

Howard Crosse
Howard Crosse6 years ago

What a sad world we live in, you can't trust the food that you are eating! It is the role of Government to protect people from harm, no matter if the risk comes from bugs, chemicals or anything else for that matter!