Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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 man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less
Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less

"Emissions from pyrotechnic displays are composed of numerous organic compounds as well as metals," a new study reports. Nodar Chernishev / EyeEm / Getty Images

Fireworks have taken a lot of heat recently. In South Dakota, fire experts have said President Trump's plan to hold a fireworks show is dangerous and public health experts have criticized the lack of plans to enforce mask wearing or social distancing. Now, a new study shows that shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins.

Read More Show Less
Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons. Curtis Palmer / CC by 2.0

By Ashutosh Pandey

Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons (Mt), or 7.3 kilogram per person, a UN report showed on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A women walks with COVID-19 care kits distributed by Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services in Boston, Massachusetts on May 28, 2020. The pandemic has led to a rise in single-use plastic items, but reusable bags and cloth masks can be two ways to reduce waste. JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP via Getty Images

This month is Plastic Free July, the 31 days every year when millions of people pledge to give up single-use plastics.

Read More Show Less