Potentially Harmful Chemicals Found in Your Mac & Cheese

Check your pantry for this popular comfort food.

July 13, 2017
Heather Winters | Getty Images

You might want to rethink your next macaroni and cheese dinner plan. The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging recently sent samples of America's favorite comfort food to a laboratory for testing, and the results will have you putting down your fork.

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The testing revealed that all but one of ten varieties of the macaroni and cheese samples (purchased in the United States) had phthalates (a plastic-like chemical that's found in flooring, shower curtains, and other synthetic materials). The phthalates found in the powdered macaroni and cheese mixes were much higher than those found in the block cheeses, shredded cheeses, string cheeses, and cottage cheeses.

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The phthalates, which were banned from children’s teething rings and rubber duck toys nearly a decade ago have serious side effects. The potentially dangerous chemicals have been linked to genital birth defects in infant boys, as well as IQ deficits, and learning and behavior impairments in older children. The chemicals also pose a risk to pregnant women.

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An effort was made in April of 2016 to ban these phthalates and protect consumers from unsafe exposure in our food, nothing has been finalized. While consumers wait for further action, learn how to protect your family and yourself by checking out Safer Chemicals Health Families.