Select an article on this page.
1: Certain additives linked to a negative effect on children’s behaviour.
2: Coca-Cola to Remove Sodium Benzoate in the U.K
3: Benzene found in flavoured beverages.
4: Benzene a known carcinogen.
5: Study shows Drinking Chlorinated Water may boost Cancer Risk.
6: Bladder cancer and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
7: Your Clothes and contact dermatitis. Toxins in Your Textiles
8: View complete list of Australia and New Zealand Food Additives Codes.
Double Click on a word on the table below to get a definition of that word.
Select a code number.
|No.||Type||Chemical Name||Origin||Possible Human side effects||Food Types|
|102||Colouring||Tartrazine||Synthetic, azo dye||People who are intolerant to salicylates (aspirin, berries, fruits) . In combination with benzoates (E210-213), tartrazine is implicated in a large percentage of cases of ADHD syndrome (hyperactivity) in children. Asthmatics may also experience symptoms following consumption of tartrazine, as it is a known histamine-liberating agent.||Confectionery, fruit juice cordials, soft drinks, canned fruit, canned peas, brown sauces, pickles and flavoured pie fillings.|
|110||Colouring||Sunset Yellow FCF||Synthetic coal tar azo dye||Hypersensitivity in aspirin-sensitive people, producing urticaria (nettle rash), swelling of skin, gastric upset, vomiting.||Fruit juice cordials, packet rifle mix, hot chocolate mix, packet soup and confectionery.|
|122||Colouring||Azorubine ( Carmoisine )||Synthetic, azo dye||Can produce adverse reactions in sensitive people - aspirin allergy or asthmatics. Reactions include nettle rash and oedema.||Jelly crystals, confectionery, pre-packaged sponge fillings, pre-packages Swiss roll, marzipan, brown sauce.|
|123||Colouring||Amaranth||Synthetic coal tar azo dye||Possible connection to malignant tumours||Package cake, trifle mix, jelly crystals, fruit-flavoured fillings|
|124||Colouring||Ponceau 4R||Synthetic coal tar azo dye||Azo dye to be avoided by asthmatics aspirin-sensitive people.||Desert toppings, canned strawberries, packet cheesecake, cake mix, trifle mix, jelly crystals.|
|127||Colouring||Erythrosine||Synthetic iodine-containing red dye||Increased hyperactivity has been reported in a few cases, as well as a possible connection with mutative activity. Erythrosine causes an increased photosensitivity in people with sensitivity to sunlight. In high concentrations erythrosine interferes with iodine metabolism.Thyroid gland.||Glace cherries, scotch eggs, biscuits, custard mix, canned cherries, rhubarb, strawberries.|
|129||Colouring||Allura Red AC||Synthetic||Has been associated with cancer in mice.||Orange Red colour used in sweets, drinks, condiments, medications, cosmetics.|
|132||Colouring||Indigotine||Synthetic coal tar dye||Avoid if history of allergy. May cause vomiting or nausea, high blood pressure.||Commonly added to tablets and capsules, Biscuits, confectionery, ice cream, sweets, baked goods.|
|133||Colouring||Brilliant Blue FCF||Synthetic azo dye||Cancer, malignant tumours, asthma, hyperactivity.||Soft drink, dairy products, canned peas, gelatine, cereal, toothpaste cosmetics, deoderant.|
|155||Colouring||Brown HT||Synthetic azo dye||Allergic reaction in aspirin sensitivity and asthmatics, hyperactivity, cancer.||Chocolate cake mix and biscuits.|
|200||Preservative||Sorbic acid||Synthetically manufactured from ketene||Possible skin irritant.||Almost every food product.Sausages,yoghurt , confectionery , lemonade, cheese, rye bread, cakes , pizza, shellfish, lemon juice, wine, cider and soups.|
|210||Preservative||Benzoic acid||Chemical synthesis||Asthmatics nettle-rash sensitive people should avoid. Reported to be responsible for neurological disorders.||Cordial, chilli paste, brewed soft drinks, fruit juice, non-dairy dips non-canned tomato juice.|
|211||Preservative||Sodium benzoate||Sodium salt of benzoic acid||Combined with 102 can exacerbate allergic reactions in asthmatics or people with sensitive skin. - has the ability to deactivate parts of DNA and eventually cause diseases such as Parkinson's and cirrhosis of the liver. These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria.||As above.
Pepsi Max, Fanta, Sprite, Sunkist, and Coke Zero, cordials and other drinks. Benzene found in some beverages ( applies to code 210, 211, 212, 213 when combined with 300 Ascorbic acid )
|212||Preservative||Potassium benzoate||Potassium salt of benzoic acid||>Inadvisable for asthmatics or those allergic to aspirin||As above.|
|213||Preservative||Calcium benzoate||Calcium salt of benzoic acid.||Can cause adverse reactions in asthmatics aspirin-sensitive people.||Fruit juice cordials, flavoured cordials, soft drinks, fish marinades.|
|220||Preservative||Sulphur dioxide||Produced by combustion of sulphur.||May cause gastric irritation. Can precipitate an asthma attack.||Fruit juices, cider, low-kilojoule jam, mixed dried fruit, dehydrated peas, cordials, syrups, flavoured toppings, pickles.|
|221||Preservative||Sodium sulphite||Sodium salt of sulphurous acid - stops browning of potatoes, etc.||To be avoided by those with impaired kidneys or liver. Can cause skin gastric irritations, diarrhoea.||As above uncooked prawns shrimps,bread enhancer.|
|222||Preservative||Sodium bisulphite||Sodium salt of sulphurous acid - preservative for alcoholic beverages.||To be avoided by asthmatics those with impaired organs. reduces thiamine content.||As above.|
|223||Preservative||Sodium metabisulphite||Commercially manufactured.||Known to cause allergic skin reactions.||Bread flour products, frozen vegetables shellfish, dried fruits, pickles, fruit juice, cordials.|
|224||Preservative||Potassium metabisulphite||Commercially manufactured.||May cause allergic skin reactions and gastric irritation.||Fruit juices, cider, low-kilojoule jam, mixed dried fruit, dehydrated peas, cordials, syrups, flavoured toppings, pickles.|
|249||Preservative||Potassium nitrite||Curing agent - potassium salt of nitrous acid.||Nitrites can affect the blood's ability to transport oxygen, causing breathing difficulties, headaches. Not permitted in foods for children.||Corned, cured, pickled, manufactured pressed salt meats.|
|250||Preservative||Sodium nitrite||Manufactured from sodium nitrate.||May cause breathing difficulties headaches.||Canned, manufactured, cured pressed meat.|
|251||Preservative||Sodium nitrate||Natural mineral.||As above. Forms small amounts of nitrosamines. Hazardous poison ; possible carcinogenic.||Slow-dried meat, prosciutto ham manufactured meat.|
|252||Preservative||Potassium nitrate||Manufactured from waste - animal or vegetable material.||Anaemia, kidney inflammation, vomiting, muscular weakness.||As above.|
|282||Preservative||Calcium propionate||Synthetic or naturally.||Irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance||Bread flour products.|
|283||Preservative||Potassium propionate||potassium salt of propionic acid.||All propionates are thought to be linked with migraine headaches||Bread flour products.|
|311||Anti-Oxidant||Octyl gallate||Obtained by acid or alkaline hydrolysis.||Not permitted in foods intended for infants. May cause adverse reactions in asthmatics aspirin-sensitive people.||Edible fats, spreads, lard, dripping margarine.|
|312||Anti-Oxidant||Dodecyl gallate||Obtained by acid or alkaline hydrolysis.||May cause problems in asthmatics aspirin-sensitive people.||Edible fats, margarine, salad oils essential oils.|
|320||Anti-Oxidant||Butylated hydroxyanisole||Synthetic.||Asthma, hyperactivity, fatigue, allergic reaction to aspirin sensitivity.||Instant mashed potato, edible oil, reduced fat spread, chewing gum, baby oil, lipstick. eye liner.|
|321||Anti-Oxidant||Butylated hydroxytoluene||Synthetic preparation for use with petroleum rubber products.||Has been linked to reproductive failures ( high doses in experimental animals )||Food by absorption from food wrapping. Also Pecan walnut kernels, as above.|
|407||Thickener||Carrageenan||Fibre extracted from sea weed.||Ulcerative collitis, asthma, skin rash, colon camcer||Ice cream, dessert mix, confrctionary, pastries, biscuits, thickened cream.|
|620||Glutamates (inc. MSG) Flavour enhancer||L-Glutamic acid||Commercially produced from carbohydrates solution of bacterium.||Inadvisable for children. See MSG below.Contains gluten||Low-sodium salt substitutes.|
|621||Glutamates (inc. MSG) Flavour enhancer||Monosodium glutamate||Commonly found in plant animal tissue, Sodium salt of glutamic acid known as glutamates.||In susceptible adults it causes vomiting, dizziness, headaches. Animal experiments show brain damage.||Not permitted in foods manufactured for children infants.Occurs in sauces, packet soups, quick soups, flavoured noodles, condiments.|
|622||Glutamates (inc. MSG) Flavour enhancer||Monopotassium L-glutamate||Synthetic||May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea abdominal cramps.||Low-sodium , salt substitutes|
|623||Glutamates (inc. MSG) Flavour enhancer||Calcium glutamate||Synthetic||May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea abdominal cramps.||Low-sodium , salt substitutes|
|624||Glutamates (inc. MSG) Flavour enhancer||Monoammonium L-glutamate/b>||Synthetic||May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea abdominal cramps.||Low-sodium , salt substitutes|
|625||Glutamates (inc. MSG) Flavour enhancer||Magnesium glutamate||Synthetic||May cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea abdominal cramps.||Low-sodium , salt substitutes|
|951||Aspartame||Sweetener ( Nutrasweet )||Synthetic||Cancer; asthma; hyperactivity; fatigue; headache; anxiety; MS-like symptoms; migraine; depression; insomnia, irritability; impotence; dizziness; memory loss; Alzheimer’s disease; epilepsy; diabetes; Parkinson’s disease; blindness; neuralgia; seizures; plus many nore..||Artificial sweeteners, diet drinks, low-joule foods, low-joule gum, confectionery, brewed soft drinks, anything which is “sugar free” or “without added sugar” (used in over 5,000 products)|
|952||Cyclamate||Sweetener||Synthetic||Cancer; various skin conditions; migraine; it should be avoided by those with circulation, heart or liver problems||Artificially sweetened canned fruit, brewed soft drinks, low-joule foods|
|1520||Propylene Glycol||Humectant||Synthetic||Kidney damage; liver abnormalities; liver toxin; central nervous system depression; neurotoxin, contact dermatitis.||Confectionery, sweetened coconut, flavouring essences|
|Visit Food Science Australia||Bacteriophages * F.D.A. Approved U.S.A||View Printer friendly Page|
U.K. Food Standards Agency revises advice on certain artificial colours
Parents of children showing signs of hyperactivity are being advised that cutting certain artificial colours from their diets might have some beneficial effects.
Hyperactivity, in the context of this study, is being used to mean occurrence of the following behaviours at the same time: over-activity, inattention and impulsivity.
Coca-Cola to Remove Sodium Benzoate in the U.K
Benzene is a widely used industrial chemical. It is converted to other chemicals which are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibres, as well as some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. It is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke.Why is benzene found in some beverages?
Benzene can be formed at very low levels in beverages that contain both ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate [Additive number 211] is a permitted food preservative that may be added to many food products to ensure the microbiological safety of the food. Ascorbic acid [Additive number 300] is also an approved food additive (antioxidant) which may be added to drinks. It also occurs naturally in fruit and fruit juices. Ascorbic acid reacts with metals (copper, iron) found in water to form hydroxyl radicals, which react with benzoic acid to form low levels of benzene.FSANZ survey of benzene in non-alcoholic beverages.
FSANZ sampled 68 flavoured beverages in March/April 2006. These were purchased from typical retail outlets and analysed for benzene by a suitably qualified independent laboratory. The survey results are not representative of all flavoured beverages as the sampling was targeted mainly at beverages that were more likely to contain benzene and included; cola and non cola soft drinks, flavoured mineral waters, cordial, fruit juice, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and flavoured/sports water.What were the results of the survey?
Of the 68 samples tested, 38 beverage products contained trace levels of benzene. The levels detected ranged from 1 to 40 ppb. More than 90% of all beverages surveyed had levels of benzene below the WHO guidelines for drinking water (10 ppb).
How am I exposed to benzene?
Benzene a known carcinogen.
Breathing very high levels of benzene can result in death, while high levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, rapid heart rate, and death.
The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.
Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries, but we do not know for certain that benzene caused the effects. It is not known whether benzene will affect fertility in men.
Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, particularly acute myelogenous leukemia, often referred to as AML. This is a cancer of the bloodforming organs. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene is a known carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the EPA have determined that benzene is carcinogenic to humans.
Children can be affected by benzene exposure in the same ways as adults. It is not known if children are more susceptible to benzene poisoning than adults.
Benzene can pass from the mother’s blood to a fetus. Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.
Drinking, bathing or swimming in chlorinated water may increase the risk
of bladder cancer.
The findings are the first to suggest that these chemicals can be harmful when they are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, as well as when they are ingested, Dr. Cristina M. Villanueva of the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona, and colleagues note.
4 Februray 2008
For hairdressers the issue is hair dye, for vegetable growers the culprit is chemicals.
Research by Massey University's Centre for Public Health Research into bladder cancer and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in New Zealand has confirmed that occupational cancers account for between 300 and 400 deaths in New Zealand each year.
Occupations identified as higher risk for bladder cancer, which comprises around 12 per cent of cancers, were hairdressers and sewing machinists.
The researchers continue to believe that only about 10 per cent of cancers caused by occupations are reported as such.
Professor Neil Pearce said the new research in New Zealand was consistent with overseas studies.
Dr Andrea 't Mannetje was lead author of a study on Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in New Zealand published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and second author of a study of high risk occupations for bladder cancer in New Zealand, published in the International Journal of Cancer.
The Non-Hodgkin's findings include that workers in plant nurseries are four times more likely to develop the disease, with apple and pear growing associated with a five-fold risk.
Vegetable producers and those in general horticulture production have more than a two-fold risk of developing Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is understood to account for about 9 per cent of cancer cases.
Dr Andrea't Mannetje said that overseas studies have indicated that dairy and beef farmers had an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin's, which is a group of cancers arising from lymphocytes, a type of while blood cell. In New Zealand this was not the case.
"Farming in other countries can be very different from what is done here," she said. "Animal farming, for example, in the Netherlands where I come from is very intensive because they don't have a lot of space. In New Zealand, the sheep and dairy farming is spread out and there are not many farmers using barns."
The hypothesis behind farming exposure was that the risk emerged from exposure to agents from animals, including viruses. In horticulture however, the risk is from pesticides.
Overseas the findings were not always replicated because, Dr. Mannetje said, overseas crop farming is much larger in scale with more spraying and processing done by machine.
"Vegetable and fruit products here are applied by farmers and often they have close contact with sprayed fruit and veg."
Other occupations with increased non-Hodgkin's risk include meat workers, possibly through exposure to animal viruses, cleaners through exposure to cleaning chemicals, heavy truck drivers through exposure to petrochemicals or agents being carted and metal product manufacturing through exposure to trace metals and lubricants.
Occupations identified as higher risk for bladder cancer, which comprises around 12 per cent of cancers, were hairdressers and sewing machinists.
In both cases the likely cause was exposure through skin to a group of known carcinogens named aromatic amines, including benzidine. Dr. Mannetje said that although several of these aromatic amines have been banned for some time, chemicals structurally similar to benzidine are still used in dyes.
Sewing machinists are exposed to the dyes through fabrics, she says, while hairdressers are exposed using hair dye. Aromatic amines are also found in tobacco smoke, Dr. Mannetje said, and bladder
cancer is also linked to smoking.
"Foot dermatitis caused by the textile dye Basic Red 46 in acrylic blend socks
Teflon in Your Trousers
“ But of all possible nefarious traffic and deception, practised by mercenary dealers, that of adulterating the articles intended for human food with ingredients deleterious to health, is the most criminal, and, in the mind of every honest man, must excite feelings of regret and disgust. "
A Treatise on Adulterations of Food, and Culinary Poisons. Friedrich Accum (1769-1838)