This past Valentine's Day, you may have found yourself perusing candy aisles in various retail stores that were filled with products that had been dyed red and pink. Well, as innocent as scarfing down a box of candy hearts may seem, there's a good chance that the majority of those red candies contained a chemical that has been deemed dangerous but is still legal for human consumption in Colorado.

Chemical Linked to Cancer + Hyperactivity Legal for Human Consumption in Colorado

The chemical that could be quite dangerous is a food coloring additive known as Red Dye No. 3. The frightening reality is that this chemical is not only found in thousands of products readily available to Coloradans but has also been known to cause thyroid cancer in rats.

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In addition, Red Dye No. 3 can also be found in various medicines like cough syrup, cough drops, and even tablets used to treat hyperactivity in children. However, and quite ironically, studies have shown that this dye actually causes hyperactivity in children.

How Can I Avoid Purchasing Items in Colorado with this Dangerous Chemical?

First of all, if you're concerned that your lipstick or other cosmetics might contain Red Dye No. 3, you can rest easy as it was banned for this purpose in 1990 after studies showed that it caused cancer in rats.

However, it is still perfectly legal to manufacture and sell products containing the chemical that are deemed safe for human consumption.

Luckily, all products containing Red Dye No. 3 must be clearly labeled, making it easier to identify which red-colored products to avoid.

[Consumer Reports]

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