Chemicals Present in the Environment
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Chemicals can be present in the environment in which food is grown, harvested, transported, stored, packaged, processed and consumed. The physical contact of the food with the chemicals results in its chemical contamination.


 Possible sources of contamination are:

  • Air: Radionuclides (137 Caesium, 90 Strontium), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
  • Water: Arsenic, Mercury.
  • Soil: Cadmium, Nitrates, Perchlorates.
  • Packaging Materials: Antimony, Tin, Lead, Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Semicarbazide, Benzophenone, Isopropylthioxanthone (ITX), Bisphenol A.
  • Processing/Cooking equipment: Copper or other metal chips, Lubricants, Cleaning & Sanitizing Agents.
  • Naturally occurring toxins: Mycotoxins, Phytohaemagglutinin, Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, Grayanotoxin, Mushroom toxins, Scombrotoxin (histamine), Ciguatera, Shellfish toxins, Tetrodotoxin and many others.
  • Agrochemicals: Chemicals used in agriculture practices and animal husbandry with the intent to increase crop yields and reduce costs. Such agents include: Pesticides, (e.g. insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides), Plant Growth Regulators, Veterinary Drugs (e.g. nitrofuran, malachite green, chloroamphenicol), and Bovine Somatotropin (BST).