FDA: Temporary Tattoos Can Cause Permanent Damage

FDA Temporary Tattoos Can Cause Permanent DamageIf you want to show off some cool body art over spring break, but you’re not willing to have it permanently etched onto your arm, realistic-looking temporary tattoos seem like a healthy compromise. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday warned people to watch out. Apparently, certain temporary tattoos can still cause permanent damage.

‘Skin reactions’

The FDA’s warning has to do with temporary tattoos made with “black henna” ink containing para-phenylenediamine (PPD), a coal-tar product that is approved for use in hair dye but is known to cause skin reactions in some people. Traditional, reddish-brown henna and stick-on temporary tattoos (the ones that look like stickers and are applied with water) are not part of the warning.

Unlike permanent tattoos, in which ink is injected under the skin, “black henna” tattoos are drawn or stenciled onto the skin’s surface. They’re popular with vendors at beaches, boardwalks, resorts, and fairs because they’re easy to apply quickly and make for long-lasting, dark, realistic-looking temporary body art.


‘Permanent scarring’

But PPD can also have horrible side effects. The FDA has received reports of “redness, blisters, raised red weeping lesions, loss of pigmentation, increased sensitivity to sunlight, and even permanent scarring” in adults and children who have had “black henna” applied to their skin. Reactions can occur right away, a few days after exposure, or even as long as two or three weeks after the temporary tattoo was applied.

There are several ways to tell whether a temporary tattoo artist is using PPD instead of actual henna. According to Catherine Cartwright-Jones, who runs The Henna Page, “If the stuff they’re using is jet black and stains your skin quickly, it’s probably PPD-based black hair dye.”

Have you had any complications with a temporary tattoo? Would you prefer henna over permanent tats?

Source: Lylah M. Alphonse, Yahoo Shine

Image: The Telegraph

Sports Drink Scrutinized For Toxic Additive

Sports Drink Scrutinized For Toxic AdditiveSarah Kavanagh of  Hattiesburg, Miss., a dedicated vegetarian, checked the label of Gatorade before drinking to make sure no animal products were in the drink. One ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, caught her eye.

‘Safe for consumption’

“I knew it probably wasn’t from an animal because it had vegetable in the name, but I still wanted to know what it was, so I Googled it,” Ms. Kavanagh said. “A page popped up with a long list of possible side effects, including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones. I didn’t expect that.”

She threw the product away and started a petition on Change.org, a nonprofit Web site, that has almost 200,000 signatures. Ms. Kavanagh, 15, hopes her campaign will persuade PepsiCo, Gatorade’s maker, to consider changing the drink’s formulation.

Jeff Dahncke, a spokesman for PepsiCo, noted that brominated vegetable oil had been deemed safe for consumption by federal regulators. In fact, about 10 percent of drinks sold in the United States contain brominated vegetable oil. The ingredient is added often to citrus drinks to help keep the fruit flavoring evenly distributed; without it, the flavoring would separate.


‘Quixotic’

Use of the substance in the United States has been debated for more than three decades, so Ms. Kavanagh’s campaign most likely is quixotic. But the European Union has long banned the substance from foods, requiring use of other ingredients. Japan recently moved to do the same.

Meanwhile, no further testing has been done. While most people have limited exposure to brominated vegetable oil, an extensive article about it by Environmental Health News that ran in Scientific American last year found that video gamers and others who binge on sodas and other drinks containing the ingredient experience skin lesions, nerve disorders and memory loss.

How often do you check the label of any food or beverage that you ingest? What further intervention should be done by the federal regulators to make sure the public is safe from harmful ingredients?

Source: Yahoo Finance 

Author: Stephanie Strom, The New York Times

Image: Food Democracy