TBHQ Don’t you just love it when the actual name of an ingredient is so long and scary sounding that they have to abbreviate it? Tertiary Butylhydroquinone or TBHQ as it is commonly referred to, is a chemical preservative, petroleum-based product with antioxidant properties. A synthetic antioxidant and it is in our food, it is also in resins, lacquers, varnishes and oil field additives.
TBHQ is found in cosmetics, baby skin care products, crackers, pre-made taco shells, cereals, fast food and the list goes on and on.
From the FDA ‘The total antioxidant content of a food containing the additive will not exceed 0.02 percent of the oil or fat content of the food, including the essential (volatile) oil content of the food.’ The FDA allows up to .0.02% of the total oils to be TBHQ.
Doesn’t seem like a lot, does it? The mere fact that the FDA limits TBHQ to a minuscule amount should be a warning in itself. The problem I see it that because TBHQ is in so many processed food products, skin care products, fast food and the packaging of many microwaveable frozen food, actual consumption is far greater than 0.02 percent. Just like with medicines, it makes sense to consider the age and size of the person consuming these chemicals.
Another concern is that TBHQ is often used in conjunction with BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole ) and BHT, (butylated hydroxytoluene) creating a chemical cocktail that our bodies aren’t designed to metabolize.
According to Med Health ‘An upper limit of 0.02% of the fat or oil content in foods is set by FDA. In concentrations higher than this, TBHQ can cause adverse effect on the health.
Various symptoms which can occur due to consuming high doses (1-4 g) of TBHQ include nausea and vomiting, collapse, delirium, and ringing sound in ears. It can also cause asthma, dermatitis, and rhinitis. It can also worsen the symptoms of ADHD and restlessness.‘
Quite clearly, I don’t know of one parent who would knowingly feed their children poison, in fact most parents go above and beyond to protect their children. From car seats and bike helmets, to no over the counter cold medicines and then turn around and drive-thru for a ‘special (chemical) treat’.
If I had a child dealing with ADD, ADHA, anxiety, asthma, autism I would be hot on the trail to eliminate chemicals, dyes and preservatives from their diet. It certainly can’t hurt and it might just help the entire family.