Acrylamide is a chemical compound used to make polyacrylamide materials for use in drinking water and waste water treatment. It's also used in glues, paper, cosmetics, oil wells, organic chemicals and dyes, ore processing, herbicides, dam foundation and tunnel construction.
It can be found in foods cooked at very high temperatures, especially starchy foods like breads and potatoes, and in coffee. It's believed to form as a result of the Maillard Reaction—a chemical reaction that produces browning. Acrylamide is readily absorbed by ingestion, by inhalation and through the skin and is then widely distributed in body fluids. It can cross the placental barrier. The tissue distribution following intravenous injection of acrylamide into male Porton strain rats was highest in blood; progressively lower amounts were present in kidney, liver, brain, spinal cord, sciatic nerve and plasma.
Impact of Acrylamide:
Short Term Exposure: Studies have shown convincingly that acrylamide is a cumulative neurotoxin. Rats, cats and dogs receiving 5–30 mg/kg of body weight per day in the diet for 14–21 days exhibited weakness and ataxia in hind limbs, which progressed to paralysis with continued exposure. Other characteristic symptoms were testicular atrophy and degeneration of germinal epithelium.
Long Term Exposure: Signs of acrylamide toxicity in animals exposed for longer periods of time are generally the same as those in animals exposed for shorter periods, but average daily doses as low as 1 mg/kg of body weight sometimes produce effects. When male and female rats were exposed to 0, 0.05, 0.2, 1.5 or 20 mg/kg of body weight per day in drinking-water for 90 days, definite peripheral nerve and spinal cord lesions and testicular atrophy were observed in the group receiving 20 mg/kg of body weight per day; although 1.5 mg/kg of body weight per day caused no external signs of toxicity, histological evidence of neuropathy was noted. The noobserved-adverse-effect level was 0.2 mg/kg of body weight per day.
Epic Water Filters has not conducted testing on this specific chemical but has tested for hundreds of other chemicals. See our complete testing page here.