Nothing says "lunch time" to an American kid quite like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Slices of deli meat might be a close second. Unbeknownst to most parents who pack school lunch boxes, however, both of these favorites could expose kids to toxic chemicals.
In a new study of popular products purchased from grocery stores in Dallas, Texas, researchers found that nearly half of the sampled peanut butter and cold cuts, as well as turkey, fish, beef and other fatty foods, contained traces of a flame retardant commonly used in the foam insulation of building walls.
"This is not good news. Here's yet another toxic chemical that can be found in many of the foods we buy at our supermarkets," said Dr. Arnold Schecter of the University of Texas School of Public Health and an author of the study published on Thursday. "Food does not need to have flame retardants."