There are bad preservatives… and then there are the even worse preservatives. Yuck!! You may think… almost right – it is BHA and BHT. Both can put your endocrine system on the line.
BHA and BHT are antioxidants used as preservatives and the two are often used together. Many types of foods as a food additive – chips, preserved meat, and fatty foods. It’s also used as a preservative in lipstick and moisturizers.
These synthetic antioxidants help preserve and remove “rancidity” particularly from fatty containing foods and products. It’s also used as a common preservative in animal feed, rubber and petroleum products.
The full names are butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
BHA is an endocrine disruptor as classified by the European Union and has been banned by the state of California as a preservative.
- Lower testosterone
- Lower the thyroid hormone thyroxin
- May have developmental effects
- May be a human carcinogen
BHT may also be an endocrine disruptor and possibly induce developmental delay however there are fewer studies on BHT.
A study of BHA in animals demonstrated safety in some species (dog, fish, chickens, pigs) although not in cats, who cannot tolerate BHA.
So… if it’s not good for your cat, would you wonder whether it should be good for you? And would you wonder how the two chemicals preserve your skin… After all, they are wonderful at preserving rubber and petroleum. Summarizing, BHA is very bad and BHT is less studied but bad for cats.
They are often used together; and now it is up to you to decide – if you are unwilling to compromise your health and be a guinea pig – opt for all natural products instead. They don’t contain this stuff.