A study has found that chemicals linked to genital birth defects and learning and behavioral problems as kids get older are prevalent in a popular childhood dish: packaged mac-and-cheese mixes.
Phthalates, once banned from foods and children’s products like teething rings and rubber ducks, were found in 29 of 30 cheese products tested in the study, The New York Times reported.
It was the powdered mac-and-cheese mixes that held the highest concentrations.
“Phthalate concentrations in powder from mac-and-cheese mixes were more than four times higher than in block cheese and other natural cheeses like shredded cheese, string cheese and cottage cheese,” said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center.
The center was one of four environmental advocacy groups that funded the independent lab report, along with the Ecology Center, Healthy Babies Bright Futures and Safer States. The results have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.