Husain 2006: Estimates of dietary exposure of children to artificial food colours in Kuwait

CupcakesFood Additives & Contaminants, 2006. Mar; 23(3): 245-51.

Husain evaluated the amount of food dyes consumed by children in 58 schools in Kuwait, and found that the amounts of four of the colors were 4 to 8 times above the acceptable daily limit:

  • Yellow 5 (Tartrazine, E102)
  • Yellow 6 (Sunset Yellow, E110)
  • Carmoisine (E122, not used in the USA)
  • Red 40 (Allura Red, E129)

The reasons given for such high intake of colored foods was attributed to “high purchasing power, food consumption patterns and lack of awareness.”

The authors conclude by recommending further studies about the “potential adverse health effects associated with the high intakes” of these chemicals.

NOTE:   The 24-hour diet recall did not include the dyes encountered in toothpaste, medicines, vitamins, or toiletries.

NOTE:  While I think the information of the study is important, I am disappointed that the authors didn’t recommend these dyes should be banned, or that parents should be educated about their dangers, or something — anything — a little more meaningful than “do another study” at a point where it is already known the children are exposed to more dyes than the assigned upper limit of safety.  How much damage do you have to prove before taking action?

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