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TBHQ - Why this preservative should be avoided

Monday, February 14, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: TBHQ, food preservatives, health news

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(NaturalNews) TBHQ is used in many foods, ranging from crackers to crisps to fast foods. It is also found in certain brands of pet foods, as well as in cosmetic and baby skincare products, varnish, lacquers and resins. It is used in the stabilisation process of explosive compounds. The risks and side-effects of this preservative product far outweigh the benefit of it being used as a highly unsafe preservative ingredient.

Tertiary Butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ as it is more commonly referred to as, is in fact a chemical preservative which is a form of butane. It is used in foodstuffs to delay the onset of rancidness and greatly extends the storage life of foods. It's no wonder that certain fast foods and convenience foods seem to last a lifetime on the shelf these days.

The FDA allows amounts of up to 0.02% of the total oils in food to be TBHQ. This may not sound like a lot, but it does tend to make one wonder why there needs to be a limit on the amount if it is apparently a 'harmless additive.' Mind you, anything which derives its origins from butane could hardly be classified as safe, no matter how small the dose.

Consuming high doses (between 1 and 4 grams) of TBHQ can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and vomiting. There are also suggestions that it may lead to hyperactivity in children as well as asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis. It may also further aggravate ADHD symptoms and cause restlessness. Long term, high doses of TBHQ in laboratory animals have shown a tendency for them to develop cancerous precursors in their stomachs, as well as cause DNA damage to them. It is also suggested that it may be responsible for affecting estrogen levels in women.

This seems to be quite an extensive list of side-effects for such a seemingly innocent preservative, although warning bells should immediately ring if the FDA has to impose apparent 'safe' limits on an additive. Being they're butane based, it may also be wise to take a few steps back from that barbecue flame while consuming your crisps. Definitely, this is an additive that should be avoided at all costs.

[Editor`s Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]


About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here

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