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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Miranda

Acrylamide is a neurotoxic chemical and a human carcinogen that has been linked to kidney cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and, indirectly, to prostate cancer. It is formed spontaneously in carbohydrate rich organic material subjected to high temperatures, such as the burning of tobacco leaves or the deep frying of potatoes, as is done in the production of potato chips and french fries.

Studies estimate the acrylamide exposure from a lifetime consumption of french fries alone may result in an extra 1-2 incidences of cancer per thousand children than would have otherwise developed. Additionally, pregnant women are advised to avoid all deep-fried carbohydrates due to the effects of acrylamide on neural development.

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