Yellow does add a bit of sunshine in our lives. There’s hardly a household, workplace or school where there isn’t any kind of yellow fabric or stationery in use. Unfortunately; all that yellow around us may be a serious health hazard.
A study by scientists at Rutgers University has concluded that yellow printing inks and dyes in a number of paper products and clothing brands contain chemicals (PCB 11 to be exact) that have been banned in the U.S. for decades under the Toxic Substance Control Act.
“When you touch these things, you are getting [PCB 11] on your hands,” says Dr. Lisa Rodenburg, one of the scientists involved in the research.
These chemicals have been known to cause cancer in animals. Though evidence for humans has not yielded similar results; the dangers of the toxic chemicals are there.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these chemicals have been linked to a higher risk of birth defects, irritations, cancer, and developmental issues in some children.
Another study showed that 60 and 85 percent of women in urban areas in Indiana and Iowa respectively, tested for PCBs had traces of PCB-11 in their blood.
So, the easiest thing to do would be to stop suing any fabric or paper product dyed in yellow. But exposure to the harmful toxin will still not be ensured as the chemicals can also get out of the pigment and find their way into air and water.
There’s no need to panic though, as the PCB-11 is used in small amounts but what is needed is careful choices and precautions.
Artificial dyes are full of health hazards as it is and their use has to be kept to a minimum.