Chewing Gum Is Made Of Plastic!
Chewing gum has been a popular pastime for centuries, with people chewing it for fresh breath, stress relief, and to prevent snacking between meals. However, many people are unaware that the gum they chew is made out of plastic. In this blog, we will explore why chewing gum is made out of plastic and the potential health risks associated with it.
FDA Regulations on Chewing Gum Ingredients:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict regulations on the ingredients used in chewing gum. According to the FDA, chewing gum must contain a gum base, sweeteners, flavorings, and other optional ingredients such as colors, preservatives, and antioxidants. However, the FDA does not regulate the source of the gum base, which can be made out of a variety of materials.
Gum Base Made out of Plastic:
Most chewing gum is made out of a synthetic gum base, which is a blend of elastomers, resins, waxes, and plasticizers. The most commonly used plasticizers in gum base are polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate (PVA). Polyethylene is a type of plastic commonly used in packaging and is also found in products such as plastic bags and water bottles. PVA is used in adhesives, coatings, and paints.
Potential Health Risks:
The plastic used in gum base is not digestible and can remain in the digestive system for several years. While the FDA has deemed plastic in chewing gum safe for consumption, some studies have suggested potential health risks associated with it.
@taborplace Your gum is made of plastic. Both polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate are allowed as ingredients in gum base - a catchall term for whatever manufacturers want to throw in. All plastic is toxic. Here are some videos on this: @taborplace And this: @taborplace #endocrinedisruptors #plasticisbad #plasticinfood #chewinggum #toxicchemicals #todayilearnedthis ♬ original sound - Beatrice, CEO of Tabor Place
Plastic used in gum base can contain toxic chemicals such as phthalates, which are used as plasticizers. Phthalates have been linked to hormonal imbalances, reproductive issues, and developmental problems in children. While the amount of phthalates in chewing gum is relatively small, there is still a potential risk of exposure.
Chewing gum also contributes to the growing problem of microplastics, which are small pieces of plastic that do not biodegrade and can accumulate in the environment. When people dispose of their gum improperly, it can end up in waterways and harm marine life.
To support the claims made in this blog, here are some sources:
Al-Saleh, I., & Shinwari, N. (2006). Assessment of phthalates in polyvinyl acetate adhesives and their migration into food products. Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A, 41(9), 1837-1848.
European Food Safety Authority. (2011). Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs: Executive summary. EFSA Journal, 9(1), 1-38.
Juárez-García, D. M., León-Carmona, J. R., González-Córdova, A. F., Vallejo-Córdoba, B., & Montalvo-González, E. (2017). Effect of polyvinyl acetate on the physicochemical, rheological, and sensory properties of chewing gum. Journal of Texture Studies, 48(5), 359-365.
FDA Regulations on Chewing Gum:
The FDA allows for the use of plastic in chewing gum base, but it is not a required ingredient. Gum base can also be made from natural materials such as chicle, a sap harvested from the sapodilla tree. Some chewing gum brands use chicle as a gum base, advertising their product as natural or eco-friendly.