Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Industrial chemicals found in food samples

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Summary:
Researchers have discovered phthalates, industrial chemicals, in common foods purchased in the United States. Phthalates can be found in a variety of products and food packaging material, child-care articles and medical devices.

A sample of 72 commonly consumed foods including pizza, meats and beverages from supermarkets in Albany, N.Y., were purchased and tested for the presence of phthalates. Researchers detected some level of phthalate in every food product they sampled.
Credit: cristi lucaci / Fotolia

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have discovered phthalates, industrial chemicals, in common foods purchased in the United States. Phthalates can be found in a variety of products and food packaging material, child-care articles and medical devices.

"Although it's not completely understood how phthalates get into our food, packaging may be a contributor to the levels of the toxin in food," said lead investigator Arnold Schecter, M.D., M.P.H., professor of environmental health at The University of Texas School of Public Health Dallas Regional campus, part of UTHealth.

The study is published in the online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives. Schecter believes this is the first study to compile an analysis of phthalates in foods found in the United States. National Institutes of Health researcher Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., is the senior author on the study publication.

"It's unfortunate that we have these toxic chemicals in our bodies," said Schecter. "However, this is not a cause for alarm because the amount of phthalates found in the food falls below what the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe. But it is cause for concern because these toxins and others previous reported by this group do not belong in our food or our bodies."

Phthalates are synthetic compounds that are used as a plasticizers and in personal care products such a shampoo, soap, perfumes and other common household products. According to Schecter, exposure to phthalates has been reported to be associated with harmful effects including reproductive changes such as damage in sperm, premature breast development in girls and premature birth.

A sample of 72 commonly consumed foods including pizza, meats and beverages from supermarkets in Albany, N.Y., were purchased and tested for the presence of phthalates. Researchers detected some level of phthalate in every food product they sampled, Schecter said.

Schecter believes further research is necessary to fully characterize phthalates in U.S. foods.

The study was funded by the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Schecter A, Lorber M, Guo Y, Wu Q, Yun SH, Kannan K, Hommel M, Imran N, Hynan LS, Cheng D, Colacino JA, Birnbaum LS. Phthalate Concentrations and Dietary Exposure from Food Purchased in New York State. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2013 DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1206367

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Industrial chemicals found in food samples." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124701.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. (2013, March 7). Industrial chemicals found in food samples. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124701.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "Industrial chemicals found in food samples." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124701.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins