12 Chemicals You Didn’t Know Were in Your Food

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs)

PCBs are colorless, oily liquids or solids that used to be widely manufactured but are now considered toxic by the Environmental Protection Agency. These chemicals have been suspected to cause many health effects, including acne, skin rashes, gastrointestinal discomfort, changes in the blood and liver, depression, and fatigue. PCBs are no longer made in the United States due to their many negative health effects.

However, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “People are exposed to PCBs primarily from contaminated food and breathing contaminated air.” PCBs remain a dangerous contaminant of lakes, rivers, soil, and manufacture sites. The food main sources that elicit concern are fish, meat, and dairy products — especially processed meat products such as hot dogs.

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