The Hidden Dangers of Artificial Colors

The Slightly Greener Life | Episode 14

June 18, 2023

From sodas to candies and snack foods and salad dressings to medicines, artificial colors are everywhere! In this podcast episode, we’ll  dive into the alarming statistics, including a 500% surge in the use of artificial colors over the past 50 years and their direct correlation to increasing health concerns.

Why are these dyes more strictly regulated in Europe compared to the US? What’s the relationship between artificial food dyes and children’s neurobehavioral health? We’ll answer these questions and more, including other health effects such as their link to inflammatory bowel diseases, immune issues, and cancer.

Then, we’ll share ways to spot these hidden threats on labels, plus simple tips for how to limit your family’s exposure to these synthetic colors. 

It’s not always easy to spot artificial colors on labels, as they often hide behind different names, such as Allura Red AC for Red 40, but after this episode, you’ll be a label-reading pro!

Artificial Colors and hyperactivity






Links mentioned in this episode:

Naturally Colored Sprinkles & Food Colors

Membership: Slightly Greener Living

Free Facebook group: The Slightly Greener Community

For a list of over 100 safer products (foods, beverages, personal care products, and cleaning products, grab my book, The Slightly Greener Method: Detoxing Your Home is Easier, Faster, & Less Expensive Than You Think, here (or anywhere books are sold!).


The Toxicology of Food Dyes

Report Links Synthetic Food Dyes to Hyperactivity and other Neurobehavioral Effects in Children – OEHHA

Artificial food colors and attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms: conclusions to dye for

The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children

Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial – The Lancet

Amounts of artificial food colors in commonly consumed beverages and potential behavioral implications for consumption in children

Do artificial food colors promote hyperactivity in children with hyperactive syndromes? A meta-analysis of double-blind placebo-controlled trials

Immune reactivity to food coloring

Genotoxicity: damage to DNA and its consequences

Common food dye can trigger inflammatory bowel diseases, animal study suggests

Prolonged use of the food dye tartrazine (FD&C yellow no 5) and its effects on the gastric mucosa of Wistar rats