Part of how the FDA oversees the safety of the U.S. food supply (domestic and imports) is by monitoring chemical contaminants in food and assessing the potential exposure and risk posed by these chemicals. The different types of chemical contaminants include environmental contaminants (such as industrial chemicals called dioxins), process contaminants that form while cooking or heating food (such as acrylamide), and chemical contaminants used for economically motivated adulteration (such as melamine). Some contaminants can have more than one source.
- 3-Monochloropropane-1,2-diol (MCPD) Esters and Glycidyl Esters (GE)
- 4-Methylimidazole (4-MEI)
- Ethyl Carbamate
Chemical Contaminants Used for Economically Motivated Adulteration
For information on toxic elements such as arsenic or lead, please go to our Metals and Your Food page.