Preservatives banned from skin care products but still allowed in food? A chemical in popcorn and butter that damages your lungs when vaporized? Those are just a few of the more than 10,000 chemicals, flavorings, and other questionable ingredients the Environmental Working Group says are lurking on your dinner plate. To help you banish the worst offenders from your kitchen, EWG has published its first-ever Dirty Dozen guide to food additives.
Some of them are fairly innocent, but others have been linked for years or even decades to cancer, reproductive problems, heart and lung disease, and other health dangers. Here are six that stand out for the scientific evidence against them and the seriousness of their risks. Pocket this list the next time you head for the grocery store, and help keep your food chemical-free.