Chemicals of concern found contaminating cookware
Many of us enjoy home baking, it’s a great way to relax and is often a more cost-effective way to enjoy a sweet treat. Baking your own cakes, cookies and other sweets can help you know exactly what ingredients are being used. However, a recent study suggests that certain cookware may be contaminating our baking with unwanted chemicals.
The joint study by 10 members of BEUC (The European Consumer Organisation) focussed on silicone baking moulds. Silicone is a popular material for baking due to its non-stick properties and ability to withstand high temperatures.
Forty-four different silicone moulds were tested. Samples were purchased across the EU in both physical and online shops and sent for lab analysis to investigate if chemicals contaminants in the moulds could migrate into the food baked inside them.
23% of products tested either released contaminants in high amounts, or the level of contaminants released increased between tests, indicating the product was not suitable for repeated use.
82% of products were found to contain substances of concern, including suspected endocrine disruptors. Even though these were found at low levels they contribute to our overall exposure to multiple harmful chemicals from different sources, known as the cocktail effect. Unfortunately adverse impacts from a mixture of substances can be triggered even when each chemical is present at low concentrations.
Unlike plastic materials, no detailed EU rules exist to ensure silicone products meant to come into contact with food are safe for consumers.
This study emphasises the importance of strong legislation on food contact materials that properly protects people from harmful chemicals. The European Commission is currently revising the EU legislation on Food Contact Materials, including a public consultation which is open for comments until 11th January 2023. Respond to the consultation here.
Find out more on how to reduce your risk of exposure to toxic chemicals here.