Subway, the popular sandwich chain, is currently in the process of removing a controversial chemical from its bread, according to the Associated Press.
The chemical, called azodicarbonamide, is used in the expansion of various polymers, including natural and synthetic rubbers, polyvinyl chloride and polyolefins, according to the World Health Organization.
The company’s announcement came out roughly a day after Vani Hari, a popular food blogger, started a petition on her website foodbabe.com to encourage Subway to stop using the chemical.
Hari notes in her petition that Subway uses the chemical to produce its bread quickly and cheaply, but that the compound is used by other manufacturing companies to produce rubber-based products such as yoga mats and shoe soles. She also notes that the chemical has been linked to certain health issues, such as asthma, allergies, respiratory problems and cancer.
A representative from Subway told the Associated Press that the move to do away with the chemical in the company’s bread production was already underway before the petition was launched. However, the representative did not give any further details on when the removal process would end.