Synthetic dyes are used in hand hygiene products to offer an attractive color or to alter the color of a product deemed unattractive by manufacturers. It is estimated that there exist upwards of 1,200 different dyes used to color household products, the majority of which are known irritants or even toxins. Are most sanitizers dye free? What are the risks or benefits to these dyes?
Risks of Synthetic Dyes:
- The bulk of colorants used in personal care products are chemically derived from petroleum. These products often contain benzidine, a known carcinogen, and can be highly toxic. Though slightly less common, there also exist many products that make use of dyes derived from “coal tar”. Coal tar is a carcinogenic liquid obtained from bituminous coal and often contains a number of toxins, including benzene, xylene, naphthalene, phenol, and creosol. Most petroleum and coal tar-derived dyes are known irritants and allergens, and dyes in each category have been linked to severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, nausea, and even cancer.
- Certain red colors alone have been shown to, among other things, be highly carcinogenic and mutagenic, cause thyroid tumors in animals, and cause cancer in humans. Red dyes are most often found in inexpensive pink-colored soaps, and their presence can pose a particular hazard to young children.
- Environmental Hazards: Many dyes are in fact resistant to biodegradation. They therefore can be harmful even after they leave the hands of the user, as they become water pollutants and are highly toxic to aquatic life.
Benefits of Dyes in Hand Hygiene Products
The purpose of synthetic colorants in hygiene products is entirely aesthetic. Dyes are used only to make a product appear more attractive to the consumer, and they have no functional qualities.
It is best to completely avoid artificial colorants in hand sanitizer products whenever possible. If you so desire, there are natural ways to add color to hand sanitizer that are not harmful to you or the environment. With automatic dispensers such as the Signitizer, offering a colorful hand sanitizer is truly unnecessary. Contact us at 416-640-4477 or email@example.com for more information.