… What the Heck are They?
What the heck are the toxin Acrylamides?
Have you heard of them? They are in foods and others products. They can cause cancer. They are not listed on labels.
What is Acrylamide
Acrylamides were first found in foods in April 2002, but they existed before then. One of the main sources of this toxin is a food borne chemical contaminant.
Acrylamide won’t be found on the ingredient list as it is a chemical reaction that occurs when carbs are exposed to high heat. This means many cooked foods that are browned, fried, blackened or which forms a golden crust has acrylamide. They are produced from high temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, or baking. Acrylamide is found mainly in foods made from plants, such as potato products, grain products, or coffee. Generally, acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures.
Boiling and steaming do not typically form acrylamide
Acrylamide caused cancer in animals in studies where animals were exposed to acrylamide at very high doses. Acrylamide causes nerve damage in people exposed to very high levels at work. According to the FDA, the exact effect on health has not yet determined.
Other Sources of Acrylamide
It’s not just in foods. Acrylamide is produced industrially for use in products such as plastics, grouts, water treatment products, and cosmetics. Acrylamide is also found in cigarette smoke. There are some industrial and agricultural uses of acrylamide and polyacrylamide. Acrylamide may be a natural decay product of the polyacrylamide used as a thickening agent in some commercial herbicides. Lab tests have shown that heat and light can decompose polyacrylamide into acrylamide.
Regulations are in place to limit exposure in those settings, but they still exist.
Historically, exposure to high levels of acrylamide in the workplace has been shown to cause neurological damage.
Health Hazards of Acrylamide
In addition to being a known carcinogen, evidence to suggest that exposure to large doses can cause damage to the male reproductive glands.
Direct exposure to pure acrylamide by inhalation, skin absorption, or eye contact irritates the exposed mucous membranes, such as the nose, and can also cause sweating, urinary incontinence, nausea, myalgia, speech disorders, numbness, paresthesia, and weakened legs and hands. In addition, the acrylamide monomer is a potent neurotoxin.
Let’s Talk about the Evidence & Facts
The European Chemical Agency added acrylamide to the list ofsubstances of very high concern (SVHC) in March 2010. What does this mean? SVHC is a chemical substance which it has been considered that the use within the European Union be subject to authorization under the REACH Regulation. Indeed, listing of a substance as an SVHC by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is the first step in the procedure for authorization and restriction of use of a chemical. The first list of SVHCs was published on 28 October 2008 and updated on 13 January 2010.
The National Toxicology Program’s Ninth Report on Carcinogens states that acrylamide can be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
A joint World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) consultation in June 2002 concluded that the levels of acrylamide in foods pose a major concern and called for more research to determine what the risk is and what should be done.
On April 24, 2002, the Swedish National Food Administration announced that acrylamide can be found in baked and fried starchy foods, such as potato chips, breads, and cookies. Concern was raised mainly because of the probable carcinogenic effects of acrylamide. This was followed by a strong but short-lived interest from the press.
On August 26th, 2005, California attorney general Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit against top makers of french fries and potato chips to warn consumers of the potential risk from consuming acrylamide. The lawsuit was settled on August 1st, 2008, with the food producers agreeing to cut acrylamide levels in half.
In 2007, more than 100 articles were written about acrylamide, by major newspapers such as LA Times, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and more, that were informing and protesting the effects of this toxic substance.
On August 1, 2008, 4 food manufacturers
- H.J. Heinz Co.
- Kettle Foods Inc.
- Lance Inc.
agreed to reduce levels of acrylamide in their products such as potato chips and French fries. They also had to pay over a three-year period a combined $3 million in fines as a settlement with the California attorney general’s office. California had sued these four companies in 2005, alleging they violated a state requirement that companies post warning labels on products with carcinogens.
Yet many products yet are not labeled even with all this overwhelming evidence! If you would like to learn more about acrylamides go to —http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=47815
To avoid this toxic ingredient – Acrylamides, and to keep you and your family healthy, start with planning a healthy diet filled with organic or local harvest foods that include lots of fruits and vegetables, raw organic milk products and organic foods or truly natural food sources. Avoid trans facts, processed foods, chemically laden additives and dyes, or any synthetic ingredient. Live healthy, live natural and live organically!
Marla Gates is the owner of organic4greenlivings.com. Marla worked for over 10 years in healthcare, which helped her understand the dramatic need for changes in our society and how we view what healthy actually is. Her mission is education and awareness, so that people can make healthier choices and ensure a safe world for all of us to live in. Since she has suffered from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), for 20 years or more it has given her the first-hand knowledge on what chemicals and pollution can do to your health. So come join her, read her blog and learn how to live healthy and green.
Other resources on acrylamide