From the pretty blue found in certain M&Ms to aftershave lotion used by men, blue dyes are in so many products we use. Here at Naturally Savvy we prefer to eat food devoid of any artificial ingredients, including colors. It just isn't safe. A recently published study on blue dyes affirms our stance. Researchers from the Slovak University of Technology found health risks associated with blue dyes through skin contact. They specifically looked at Brilliant Blue (also known as FD&C Blue No. 1) and Patent Blue (PB) dyes. The researchers applied four different cosmetics, including an after shave product, to a shaven pig-ear skin, and to pig tongues. What they found is that there was "significant permeation." In other words, the blue dye enters into the blood stream through the skin or tongue.
The blue dyes could harm the gastrointestinal system, and could inhibit cell respiration which, in turn, could lead to ADHD, allergies, and asthma. "Findings are troubling, particularly with regard to the frequent use of after-shave products by the male population and repeated lollipops licking by children," the study stated.
Patent Blue is banned from food products in the U.S., but Brilliant Blue (also know as FD&C Blue No. 1) is used in food. "[Brilliant Blue] is one of the most commonly used blue dyes," said study co-author Jarmila Hojerová, PhD, an associate professor at the Slovak University of Technology and president of the Slovak Society of Cosmetology.
Scientific American spoke to Hamish McNab in 2009, a chemist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. When asked if it's dangerous to eat blue food dye, McNab answered: "My own view is that any chemical should be regarded as potentially harmful when ingested."
If you are wondering how you can find treats that are free of artificial food dyes and flavors, check out our book, Unjunk Your Junk Food. In addition, take the added step of unjunking your cosmetics and hair care products. Avoid products with artificial colors and harmful chemicals by using products with natural ingredients.
Photo credit: Flickr user, stevendepolo
Andrea Donsky is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N) and co-founder of NaturallySavvy.com. Andrea has dedicated her life to sharing her passion for living a naturally and healthy lifestyle with the world, while helping to guide others through the confusing maze of 21st century supermarkets and fad diets. She is co-author of Unjunk Your Junk Food and a 'Parent Ambassador' for Healthy Child Healthy World.