one green planet
one green planet

Food dyes are common additives in many products we consume daily. One such dye, red dye 40, has recently come under scrutiny due to potential health risks. Despite being regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), research suggests that red dye 40 may pose risks for bladder cancer and ADHD.

Red dye 40, also known as Allura Red AC, is a synthetic preservative used to color food products red. It was originally synthesized from coal tar and is now made from petroleum. Some studies have revealed that red dye 40 contains carcinogens like p-credine and benzidine, which have been linked to cancers in animals and bladder cancer, respectively.

Red dye 40 can be found in a wide range of foods and products, including cereals, sodas, condiments, chocolate pudding, dairy products, baked goods, chocolates, candies, juice, gummies, and sports drinks. It can also be present in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. To identify if a product contains red dye 40, check the ingredient list for names such as Red 40, Allura Red, Red 40 Lake, INS No. 129, and E129.

The reason red dye 40 can stain the mouth is due to a chemical reaction between the dye and proteins within the human body. As Dr. Jennifer Linehan, a urologic oncologist, explains, when your body breaks down the dye, it releases carcinogenic ingredients like benzidine. Exposure to benzidine increases the risk of developing cancer, although not everyone who is exposed will develop the disease.

While the FDA considers red dye 40 safe due to its low benzidine levels, studies have shown that red dye 40 may increase the risk of ADHD in children. However, research on this topic is inconclusive, and there is no standardized, validated test to perform for patients concerned about a red dye allergy.

To reduce the risks associated with red dye 40, consider cutting out artificial food dyes from your diet. Look for uncolored snacks and beverages and avoid products with red dye or other artificial dyes listed in the ingredients. You can also make your own red recipes using natural ingredients like beet juice, cranberry juice, cherries, and red cabbage.

While the extent of red dye 40’s health risks remains uncertain, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Reducing your exposure to red dye 40 and other artificial dyes can be a proactive step.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!

Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.