Are You Eating Coal? No? Think again. Do you eat anything with artificial coloring in it? Soda (even “natural” ones)? Candy? Even prescription medicines? Yep! All of these “edible” substances have coal tar dyes in them. Coal tar dyes are also used in other things, as well, like fabric, personal care products, hair dyes, etc.
So, how am I eating coal? What do you mean? Well, you know when you look at the ingredients list, and you see something like FD&C Yellow #6? That’s an artificial coloring regulated for Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. The thing is, what they are using to make these colors are not natural, and should definitely not be ingested! Here are some of the things known that they use: toulene, xylene, and benzene. You know where these unpronounceable substances come from? You guessed it, coal. Whoever has to do this, gets some bituminous coal and distills it. And then they make colors to put in the candy, sodas, and cereals marketed towards kids! Wow. Just Wow.
Now, let’s talk about the effects of coal tar. Well, first of all, its a carcinogen. That means it can cause cancer. This isn’t very surprising to me, considering so many other things in our society can cause cancer. Also, some of the colors contain heavy metals such as aluminum, and are very toxic to the brain. Even if it is not approved for food, it may still be in lipsticks, hair dyes, etc. Just because you’re not ingesting it, doesn’t mean it’s not getting in your system!
Coal tar dyes are not suitable for consumption. Why are they making colors with this carcinogen when there are so many other ways to make them (i.e. vegetable juices, etc.). I guess its cheaper, but its definitely not in the best interest of the population.
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