Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Study Raises Concerns About Health Impacts from Yellow Dyes Found in Common Household Products

Health + Wellness

The dye used to make yellow clothing, newspapers, paint and much more could contain a banned chemical that is suspected of causing birth defects, cancer and irritation to the nose and lungs by leaking potentially harmful toxins into the air.

Students at Rutgers have been testing consumer products and found that newspapers, magazines, napkins, plastic bags, and even children's and adult clothing all contained PCBs.

The chemical, known as PCB-11, has made its way back into yellow goods due to a major loophole in the Toxic Substances Control Act, which states PCBs are allowed in consumer products as long as their production is unintentional. Oftentimes, PCBs are byproducts of chemical processes, according to the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Food blog. 

Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act in 1979 banning PCBs after the chemical began showing up in fish and wildlife. But lawmakers realized it was difficult to regulate the inadvertent production of the chemical and created the legal loophole to permit its accidental production, reports ABC News.


ABC Entertainment News|ABC Business News

One process that generates an inordinate amount of PCBs is the production of pigments, which are used in paints and printing inks.

Researchers at the University of Iowa tested batches of paint pigments and found a wide range of PCBs in them. Students at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, have been testing consumer products and found that newspapers, magazines, napkins, plastic bags, and even children's and adult clothing all contained PCBs.

"PCBs cause a whole range of really worrisome health problems," said Rutgers University Associate Professor Lisa Rodenburg in a Feb. 23 interview with Good Morning America. "There is enough evidence that there could be health effects from this specific kind of PCB that we should investigate further."

Yet to avoid widespread alarm Rodenburg added, "I don't think that people should be, you know, terrified of this, but i think it's important to be aware of what's going on."

Michelle Noehren, founder of the Connecticut Working Moms blog, told ABC Newss it's concerning because there's virtually no way to fully weed out the color yellow when shopping. 

Rodenburg said the best option is to thoroughly wash new yellow clothing and to simply be mindful of what you're purchasing and its potential impact. 

Researchers say further studies need to be conducted to find out just how harmful PCB-11 is to the public. 

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD and TIPS pages for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A woman drinks tea inside her home. martin-dm / Getty Images

Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.

In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.

Read More Show Less
Pope Francis delivers his homily on April 9, 2020 behind closed doors at St. Peter's basilica in the Vatican. ALESSANDRO DI MEO / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis spoke about the novel coronavirus, suggesting that the global pandemic might be one of nature's responses to the man-made climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Migrating barn swallows rest on electricity cables in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Patricia Fenn Gallery / Moment / Getty images

Thousands of swallows and other migratory birds have died in Greece trying to cross from Africa to Europe this spring.

Read More Show Less
A ringed seal swims in a water tank at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan on July 26, 2013. Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP / Getty Images

Ringed seals spend most of the year hidden in icy Arctic waters, breathing through holes they create in the thick sea ice.

But when seal pups are born each spring, they don't have a blubber layer, which is their protection from cold.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A volunteer sets up beds in what will be a field hospital in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on April 8, 2020 in New York City. The cathedral has partnered with Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital and is expected to have more than 400 beds when opened. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

New York state now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any single country save the U.S. as a whole.

Read More Show Less