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Study Reports Yellow Dye Could be Dangerous

Update Date: Feb 24, 2014 12:05 PM EST
Yellow
Researchers identified a dangerous chemical called PCB 11 in products made with yellow dye. (Photo : Wiki Commons)

When picking out any item to buy, people might need to start paying more attention to the color. According to a new study conducted at Rutgers University, products that are made with yellow dyes can be potentially dangerous for one's health.

In this study, the research team examined common household items, which ranged from paint to clothing. The team looked at 16 pieces of yellow-printed clothing, 28 pieces of paper printed with ink, which included maps, postcards, colored newsprint and magazine advertisements, and 18 paper goods that were made in the USA. They discovered a chemical called PCB 11 that can be found in the yellow dyes that were used in making these products. All 16 pieces of clothing and 28 paper samples contained the chemical. 15 out of the 18 paper goods tested positive for PCB 11 as well.

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"PCBs cause a whole range of really worrisome health problems," study author Lisa Rodenburg said in an interview with "Good Morning America," reported by ABC News. "There is enough evidence that there could be health effects from this specific kind of PCB that we should investigate further."

Rodenburg, who is an associate professor in environmental chemistry at the University of Rutgers, and fellow researchers plan on conducting more research on the dangers of PCB 11. Previous studies have tied PCBs, in general, to birth defects, irritations, cancers, bad acne and developmental problems for young children.

Despite the recent findings that PCB 11 could be potentially hazardous, the researchers acknowledged the fact that there is no easy solution. Without the removal of this chemical, people will continued to be exposed via air or water even if they do not personally purchase items with PCB 11.

"We know that everyone is going to be exposed to these things sooner than later. You can't really avoid contact with every printed material in the world," Rodenburg said. "The PCBs get out of that printed material and they get into the air, so whether you like it or not everyone is breathing this stuff in."

The researchers added that PCB 11 is not present in every single yellow item. Consumers should not be alarmed every time they see a yellow item.

Rodenburg added, "I don't think that people should be terrified of this, but I think it is important to be aware of what is going on and to try to do something about it through the law."

The study is currently unpublished.

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