12 Chemicals You Didn’t Know Were in Your Food

Silicon Dioxide

Silicon dioxide, or silica, is a naturally-occurring chemical used in many powdered food products. In nature, you’ll find silicon dioxide in the sand at the ocean’s beaches; in your food, you’ll find it packed into spices, dry coffee creamer, and other powdered foods.

Heavy exposure to the chemical has been linked to autoimmune disease, lung problems, and a disproportionate number of deaths of Chinese workers in one 2001 study. However, in low doses there are no known health consequences; the FDA has approved the use of silica under certain conditions.

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