Common Food Preservative May Harm the Immune System

In a new study, researchers assessed the harmful effects of chemical food additives and food contact substances on the immune system and found that tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a widespread food preservative, might affect the function of the immune system.Common Food Preservative May Harm the Immune System

For the current study, a team of scientists analyzed 63 direct food additives present on more than 10 product labels sold in the U.S. in 2018–2020. They also assessed 9 identified per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that migrate from food packaging to food.

Lead study author Dr. Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG’s vice president for science investigations, comments on the results of this research: “The pandemic has focused public and scientific attention on environmental factors that can impact the immune system. Before the pandemic, chemicals that may harm the immune system’s defense against infection or cancer did not receive sufficient attention from public health agencies. To protect public health, this must change.”

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