Food dyes, although used in small amounts are still toxic to our health. The popular belief is as long as toxins are used in small amounts, you should be okay. But the dose doesn’t make the poison, as I explain in this article on toxins in our every day personal care products. The FDA has approved of nine food dyes including red dye 40, and all of them are harmful artificial food dyes.
What Makes Artificial Food Dyes So Harmful?
Food dyes are actually made of coal tar (yeah, disgusting) or petroleum. Furthermore, they often can include toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, aniline, hydroxides, and sulfuric acids. Not only that, but impurities like lead, mercury, and arsenic (extremely dangerous).
A study done at Southampton University in England found a link between artificial food dyes and hyperactivity in children. In fact, most parents of children with ADHD avoid foods with artificial dyes.
An expansive review of numerous studies on the relationship between artificial food dyes and toxicity found that all nine of the food dyes approved by the FDA have health concerns. So let’s go over these nine dyes shall we?
This dye can cause cancer as seen in animal studies.
This dye is contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. It’s can also cause hypersensitivity reactions: exaggerated or inappropriate immune responses (i.e. asthma, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes).
Like red #40, this dye is also known to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens, and cause hypersensitivity reactions. Researchers have found a correlation between yellow dye and sleep disturbance.
This dye can also be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens, and cause hypersensitivity reactions. As stated above, there is a correlation between yellow dye and sleep disturbance. But it can also cause genotoxicity. Genotoxicity is when DNA is damaged by a chemical or agent that can cause a change in the altered trait or even malignant cancer.
This dye can also cause hypersensitivity reactions.
Artificial food dyes like red dye 40 are pretty harmful, especially for children. It’s important to consider what foods we’re consuming that have these harmful dyes, and find some safer (and tasty) alternatives.
Although these dyes are in small amounts in our food, they are still harmful to our health. Taking a pinch of rat poisoning is still rat poisoning! The dose does NOT make the poison.