Cancer Causing Chemicals Found in 37 Popular Michigan Food Items

A recent study conducted by Consumer Reports has unveiled that 37 commonly sold food items in Michigan contain elevated levels of bisphenols and phthalates. These chemicals, utilized in plastic production, have been associated with cancer and other health issues.

What are Bisphenols and Phthalates?

Bisphenols and phthalates are synthetic chemicals extensively employed in manufacturing plastics, food packaging, and various consumer goods. They can seep into food and beverages from containers, particularly when exposed to heat or acidic and fatty substances.

These chemicals act as endocrine disruptors, disrupting the normal hormonal functions in the body. Even minor disruptions in hormone levels can contribute to an increased risk of conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, birth defects, premature birth, neurodevelopmental disorders, and infertility.

Which Food Items are Impacted?

Consumer Reports examined 85 everyday items, including water, soda, cereal, bread, meat, fish, condiments, desserts, and baby food, for the presence of bisphenols and phthalates. All but one product tested positive for these substances, with some containing more than 10,000 nanograms of phthalates per serving.

Some of the food items with the highest levels of phthalates included:

  • General Mills Cheerios Original (Paperboard Box with Plastic Bag Inside): 10,980 nanograms per serving
  • Success 10-Minute Boil-in-Bag White Rice (Paperboard Box with Plastic Bag Inside): 4,308 nanograms per serving
  • Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Original Flavor (Paperboard Box with Plastic Bag Inside): 3,956 nanograms per serving
  • Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (Paperboard Box with Plastic Bag Inside): 3,633 nanograms per serving
  • Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (Metal Can): 3,582 nanograms per serving

The study also found bisphenols in 71 out of 85 products, with some having more than 1,000 nanograms per serving. Food items with the highest levels of bisphenols included:

  • Coca-Cola Classic (Plastic Bottle): 1,016 nanograms per serving
  • Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water (Plastic Bottle): 930 nanograms per serving
  • Pepsi-Cola (Plastic Bottle): 927 nanograms per serving
  • Gerber Good Start Gentle Infant Formula (Plastic Tub): 835 nanograms per serving
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup (Plastic Bottle): 746 nanograms per serving

How can consumers protect themselves?

Although there is no confirmed safe level for bisphenols and phthalates, opting for fresh, unpackaged foods is the most effective way to safeguard oneself and one’s family. Additional tips to minimize exposure to these chemicals include:

  • Avoid microwaving food or drinks in plastic containers or using plastic utensils
  • Opt for glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers for storing and serving food and drinks
  • Choose products labeled as BPA-free or phthalate-free
  • Wash hands before eating and after handling receipts or other items that may contain bisphenols
  • Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to support the immune system and overall health.


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