A woman in a bathtub covered in and blowing soap bubbles

What It Is: We already know that artificial colors are a toxic trigger in cosmetics. This particular variety, however, is doubly dangerous as it’s present not only in makeup, but surprisingly, also in shampoo and conditioner. “Lake” is a term applied to colorants precipitated with metal salts such as aluminum, calcium, barium, or others. Most lake pigments are synthetically produced from coal tar or petroleum and are also referred to as coal tar dyes.

Health Risk: The consumption of coal tar dyes has been shown to contribute to numerous ailments including ADD, ADHD and asthma. Known carcinogens, coal tar dyes have been banned in many countries, and California’s Proposition 65 requires an appropriate cancer warning on items containing them.

How to Avoid It: Be hyper-vigilant, not only in makeup selection but also when choosing hair products. Since many people are unaware these dyes are in shampoo and conditioner, this is a good place to start when checking for dyes in your home presently.  Don’t be fooled by natural looking labels promoting sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, as these too may contain Red 33. Read the bottom of the label for “hidden ingredients” and make sure the word “lake” is nowhere present.

Alternatives To Try: The Rahua line has options for different types of hair and contains all organic ingredients. This travel set allows you to try different types of shampoo and conditioner and pick the one most suited to your hair type. Bonus: The packaging is T.S.A. approved and will help you get through your holiday travels in non-toxic style.

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  1. What about the fact D&C red#33 is listed as the 1st “Inactive Ingredient” in the OTC Stool Softener-Docusate Sodium, 100 mg, followed by: edible ink, FD&C blue #1*, FD&C red #40, FD&C yellow #6, gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol*, purified water, sorbitan, sorbitol, titanium dioxide. *contains more or more of these ingredients. Why would it be necessary to put so many dyes in a stool softener? I was shocked when I happened to look @ this area of the label & see this toxic group of dyes. If they are bad to put on your skin/scalp, what might happen if it’s ingested long term”? I reviewed the 1st dye & the FDA claims it is safely ingested @ 0.075 mg per daily dose. I have no clue how much is in 1 softgel, I take 500 mg per day. I checked various name brand stool softeners/laxative (Docusate Sodium) vs. various generic brand Docusate Sodium – all contain this toxic cocktail of dyes. I saw this site & decided to see if I can get some referral to anywhere I can inquire further into this issue? I have been taking this stuff for at least 2+ year @ the dose I indicated above. There’s no Prop.65 warning on the labels, I live in California & no longer trust the FDA. Supposedly they monitor the dye but not the stool softener, Docusate Sodium & therefore the amounts contained &/or effects of these dyes as an ingredient- aren’t monitored. I noticed this site reviews D&C red #33 as an ingredient in topical products applied to skin/scalp but no reference to the dye on products being ingested. I”m whining now because after all this time using this product I had never thought to look @ the “Inactive Ingredients” list like I do every other product I carefully review before purchase. I guess I didn’t imagine there would be a toxic cocktail of dyes in a stool softener, no less, multiple dyes.
    Maybe this issue should be added to alerts because I would guess I’m not the only dummy who didn’t check it out. I’m not sure what to do about this because I have to purchase this as an OTC so no “credible professional” to ask.

    Karen McClellan | 09.03.2019 | Reply
  2. I am asking myself the same question about the stool softener.

    GEORGE GOODMAN | 02.26.2020 | Reply
  3. I found it in Children’s Benadryl cherry flavor. I have many allergies I am an adult and use liquid children’s liquid because it seem to work faster. I usually use dye free but can’t get it because of all the shortages at this time. I really need an alternative. Any suggestions.

    Mary | 03.22.2020 | Reply

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