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Is Dimethylpolysiloxane Bad For You?

Also Known As: Polydimethylsiloxane, PDMS, dimethicone, E900



Short answer

As sinister as dimethylpolysiloxane sounds, there is no definitive proof that it poses any immediate danger to your health. When looking at other ingredients found in products/foods containing the additive, dimethylpolysiloxane becomes the least of your worries.



Long answer

Dimethylpolysiloxane (or polydimethylsiloxane) is a product of an industrial chemical process that is partially derived from silicone.  This chemical may be found by most people to have a vinegar-like smell and is most associated with its presence in such commercial products as grease, silicone lubricants, mold expulsion agents, polishes, bathroom caulk / sealants, de-foaming agents and cosmetic products.  Additionally, dimethylpolysiloxane can be found in small amounts in the food we eat.  These silicone polymers are well-known for being non-biodegradable.  To put into perspective, it could take dimethylpolysiloxane as much as one hundred years to fully decompose.  Thus, the non-biodegradable characteristic of dimethylpolysiloxane serves as a good food preservative.

For the sake of neutrality, it is important to point out that no official studies have proven that dimethylpolysiloxane is a health risk to humans.  According to CFR Title 21, de-foaming agents may be safely added to food products in the United States.  The FDA authorizes that ten parts per million of dimethylpolysiloxane and other similar silicone derivatives can be added to foods that are labeled as “ready-for-consumption”.  The “zero” exception for this regulation as explained in CFR 21, is milk.

The production process that yields dimethylpolysiloxane has a combination of many chemicals that are considered “less than safe” for human consumption.  However, these potential precursors are quantitatively insignificant and have not been proven to cause any adverse effects to the human body.  The truth is that the foods in which dimethylpolysiloxane are contained, as a whole, are terrible for the wellness of the body when consumed excessively.  It is most often lurking in the fast-food joints, inside your made to order ‘heart attack in a bag’.  In other words, dimethylpolysiloxane is the least of all the dreadful ingredients in foods “ready-for-consumption”. 

Commonly found in

  • likely restaurants to use dimethylpolysiloxane (not comprehensive):
  • mcdonalds
  • subway
  • chick-fil-a
  • wendy’s
  • jack-in-the-box
  • taco bell
  • domino's

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Written by DeeAnne Oldham | 03-07-2016

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
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