130 Brands Not Named Subway Also Use the "Yoga Mat" Chemical

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 27 2014 4:16 PM

130 Brands Not Named Subway Also Use the "Yoga Mat" Chemical

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Wonder is just one of almost 130 identified by EWG's list of brands that use ADA in their products.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Jimmy Dean, Kroger, Little Debbie, Pillsbury, White Castle and Wonder are just a few of nearly 130 brands joining Subway in being called out for the use of the chemical azodicarbonamide (ADA), a chemical also found in yoga mats.

The Environmental Working Group today published a list of brands that use ADA that included nearly 130 brands and 500 food items. The common thread? Most of the companies are in the bread business. CBS News explains how the chemical is utilized in bread and why it could be a problem:

ADA is used to bleach flour and help make dough stronger and more rubbery. The Food and Drug Administration currently approved the use of the chemical as long as it is used in quantities less than 0.0045 percent of the weight of the flour used.
But, the World Health Organization raised concerns about the compound. Case reports have shown that some workers who come in contact with the product on a regular basis have developed asthma, respiratory symptoms and skin problems. Very few studies have been done on ADA, but animal research has shown that if the compound is inhaled or consumed it tends to not be absorbed and is easily eliminated with the body's waste.
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Subway, which was the first to draw complaints about using the controversial chemical, already took action earlier this month when it announced that it would remove it from its products. Head to the EWG website for the full list of food items with ADA.

Kelly Tunney is a Slate intern in New York City.