The findings showed that the preservative tert-butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, has been found to harm the immune system both in both animal tests and in non-animal tests known as high-throughput in vitro toxicology testing.
TBHQ is a preservative that is pervasive in processed foods. It has been used in foods for many decades and serves no function besides increasing a product’s shelf life.
Using new non-animal test results, the team found that TBHQ affected immune cell proteins at doses similar to those that cause harm in traditional studies.
“The pandemic has focused public and scientific attention on environmental factors that can impact the immune system,” said researcher Olga Naidenko from US-based Environmental Working Group.
“Before the pandemic, chemicals that may harm the immune system’s defense against infection or cancer did not receive sufficient attention from
For the study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the researchers used data from the
They analyzed all publicly available studies that show how PFAS migrate to food from packaging materials or processing equipment.
Earlier studies have found that TBHQ might influence how well flu vaccines work and may be linked to a rise in food allergies.
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