First Research On Synthetic Chemicals In UK Food
The University of Birmingham has finished the first comprehensive assessment of synthetic chemicals commonly found in UK food.
The study utilised almost 400 food samples and specifically tested for organophosphate esters (OPEs). OPEs are a group of chemicals that can be used as flame retardants in furnishings and textiles, construction, food packaging materials, interior decorating materials and other consumer products.
If OPEs levels are excessive, they may be hazardous to human health. Although the study found that all samples were safe, the researchers have encouraged their findings to motivate industrial users of OPEs to take action. This includes ensuring safety with chemicals and seeking out alternative options.
The study team also calculated dietary intakes for four age groups: toddlers, children, adults, and the elderly. Baby food contributed 39 percent of OPE intake for toddlers, while non-alcoholic beverages were the main contributor for children (27 percent). In the elderly and adults, cereal products (25%) and fruit (22%) were responsible for the majority of contributions.
The study also found that when compared to foods from other countries, UK foods had similar OPE concentration levels.
The full study was published in Science of the Total Environment.
News Credit: First UK study of synthetic chemicals found in food
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