Monday, May 5, 2008
These treats may seem harmless, but they could contain carcinogens.
Microwave popcorn. The butter flavor in microwave popcorn comes from a chemical called diacetyl, which may cause serious lung and respiratory problems if an individual is around too much of it. Although most people who have gotten sick due to diacetyl exposure have worked in popcorn factories, one man developed a lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans after eating two bags of microwave popcorn a day.Most companies that manufacture microwave popcorn have stopped using diacetyl in the butter flavoring.
French fries. When fried, potatoes release a chemical called acrylamide, which is known to cause cancer in lab animals and is considered to be a probable human carcinogen . In addition to being found in French fries, acrylamide is often in other starchy foods like potato chips, cereal, and bread. Officials in California even considered putting warning labels on foods that may contain acrylamide. However, so far, the most conclusive links between cancer and acrylamide have only been found in rats, not in humans.