Yellow Dye May Be Hazardous to Health

Safety concerns surround a potentially dangerous chemical found in a popular paper and clothing dye.
3:00 | 02/24/14

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Transcript for Yellow Dye May Be Hazardous to Health
Now to the new health alert about the popular yellow dye found in so many of the things we use, including our clothing and paper. A new study raising serious safety questions about whether it's potentially toxic. Gio Benitez has the story. Reporter: It's the goalen hue that dominates our world. The color we turn to that makes us smile. A new study has one scientist seeing red. Sounding the alarm about a potentially dangerous chemical used in just about everything yellow from paint, to clothing, to toys. Fig printed with yellow pigment or ink can have pcb-11 in it. Reporter: Pcbs were banned 35 years ago. Pcb-11 is an unintentional by-product of pigment manufacturing. It's not regulated if the concentrations are not too high. In the study, all yellow clothing tested had pcb-11. Almost all paper with it had it, too. It's from the class of compounds caused pcbs. We know they're toxic. Reporter: Pcb-11 is among the large number of pcbs being evaluated. In the meantime, what do you do to avoid those products? The researcher washes the clothes a few times in hot water before they wear it for the first time. Yellow pigment is the worst offender. There are pcbs in other pigments as well. Reporter: When it comes to yellow, don't let the colorful brightness fool you. Goodness. This has raised a lot of eyebrows. Chief health and medical expert, Dr. Richard Besser weighs in. What is going on? This is -- this is a scary situation. Because we don't know whether there's risk here. Other researchers have looked at other colors. It's not just a situation with yellow. They're finding it in many different colors of dye. We know this has nothing to do with food dye. It doesn't. These are not allowed in foods. These dyes are getting into our water supply. They get into the food supply because of that route. They're able to detect them in people's bodies because of what they eat. How dangerous can can it be for human IFS consumed? I think if there were a really big health risk, we would have detected something. But at the doesn't mean there's not a small risk from long-term exposure. Not enough studies about low-dose Kem cams in our environment and long-term exposure. I'm not changing anything time doing auz of this. The researcher is. She's washing some of the clothes. That will reduce the exposure. It makes sense any way. All kinds of fabric softener in there. Thanks. We're going to turn now to

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