CBS Local— Chemicals that have been banned from children’s toys and teething rings for a decade may have a different way in coming in contact with kids: through the cheese packets in most packages of macaroni and cheese.

According to a new study, as detailed in the New York Times, the chemical phthalates were found in 29 of 30 samples of macaroni and cheese tested. The highest concentrations were found in the highly processed cheese powder found in macaroni and cheese boxes. Phthalates can disrupt male testosterone, have been linked with genital birth defects as well as learning and behavioral problems.

“The 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 via New York Times.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to ban the chemicals from food, where researchers have found it’s most dangerous to children. Researchers also found that phthalates are not just found in one brand.

“Our belief is that it’s in every mac ‘n’ cheese product — you can’t shop your way out of the problem,” said Belliveau.


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