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ToxicFree Foundation / Ingredient Database / FD&C Color Pigments
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    FD&C Color Pigments

    FD&C Color Pigments

    What is it?

    FD&C Color Pigments are synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin that can cause skin sensitivity and irritation.  Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and even death. As far as humans are concerned, these chemicals are suspected carcinogens. Coupled with coal-tar derivatives, hair dyes contain phenylenediamine, a carcinogen that may cause scalp inflammation and even blindness. Found in shampoos, toothpastes, body washes, cleansers, baby products, wipes, hand washes, deodorants, lotions, creams, etc.

    More Information

    Here is a list of some of the synthetic colors to look for:

    •aluminum lakes
    •carmine (because of the synthetic process used to secure the color from the insects)
    •sodium copper chlorophyllin (chlorophyll)
    •D&C colors (all)
    •FD&C colors (all)
    •iron oxides
    •titanium dioxide
    •zinc oxide


    FDA's Color Additive Status List:

    This ingredient is commonly used in: