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Highly toxic compounds found in popular hand blenders

by Ion Gireada on 29 October 2014
Environment     |      chlorinated paraffins,  Kidney,  liver,  Thyroid


An alarming eight out of twelve hand blender models are leaving traces of chlorinated paraffins when used according to manufacturer’s instructions, a recent Swedish study reveals.

Scientists from Stockholm University examined a selection of popular hand blenders available on the Swedish market. Chlorinated paraffins, present in the subject group, are included in the permanent list of organic pollutants humans and animals should be protected against.

The hand blenders were purchased in stores in Sweden and examined to determine whether they leave any traces of chlorinated paraffins in the food when used as recommended.

“The results showed that eight of the twelve tested hand blenders emit chlorinated paraffins during normal household use. In five of them, the levels are high in our opinion”, informed Åke Bergman, Professor at the Department of Materials and Environment Chemistry, Stockholm University, and Head of Swetox. “We have reported the discovery to the Swedish Chemicals Agency and the Swedish National Food Administration and informed the suppliers of the tested hand blenders.”

Chlorinated paraffins have a highly toxic effect on aquatic organisms, potentially causing long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment as its stable toxic compounds get stored in the environment. Contained in Chlorinated paraffins, short carbon chains (C8-C12) affect the liver, kidneys, thyroid and could act as carcinogens. Leaks detected during the study include chlorinated paraffins with both short and medium-long carbon chains.

“This means that the use of two-thirds of the tested hand blenders will lead to human exposure to materials stored in the body in the same way as, for example PCBs. A substance that is prohibited to use in products for more than 40 years”, says Åke Bergman.

Highly toxic compounds found in popular hand blenders

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