FD & C Synthetic Colour Additives

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that exclude and restrict FD&C colour additives as detailed above. *See usage restrictions below. Article for EatingWell.com, Hidden health risks of food dye: "The three most widely used culprits—Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40—contain compounds, including benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, that research has linked with cancer. Research has also associated food dyes with problems in children including allergies, hyperactivity, learning impairment, irritability and aggressiveness." And, “We see reactions in sensitive individuals that include core ADHD symptoms, like difficulty sitting in a chair and interrupting conversations,” says David Schab, M.D., M.P.H., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and co-author of a 2004 meta-analysis that found food dyes promote hyperactive behavior in already hyperactive children.


Synthetic dyes are used in all toiletries and bath products like soap, shampoo and body wash, body lotions, smelly jellies, creams and gel products, as well as hair dye.

ALLURA RED TGA - they had noted a cluster of minor adverse events associated with a product containing Allura Red AC (increased hypersensitivity). "Allura Red AC is a red synthetic azo dye that is known by several names including: Food Red 17 and FD&C Red 40. It is also used as a food dye and has the code number 129." Acid Red 40 & Allura Red 40 [CI16035]: made from petroleum distillates or coal tars, it is the most widely used food dye in America, consumed daily. Also known as:


FD&C Red 40 or E129 : CAS No: 25956-17-6; Other names: C.I. 16035; CI 16035; CURRY RED or Allura Red 17 CAS No. 25956-17-6 Other names Disodium 6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonate Allura Red Food Red 17 , FD&C Red 40 E129 2-Naphthalenesulfonic acid, 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-, disodium salt. Sunset Yellow 6 [CI15985], E110.
‎CAS No. 2783-94-0, C.I. 15985
. Tartrazine Yellow 5 [CI19140], E102, primarily a food colouring, personal care products and hair colouring. CAS No: 1934-21-0; manufactured using benzene. Green 8 [CI59040]. Blue 1 [CI42090]. Basic Red, hair dye, restricted in EU, maximum 2%. Red 76 CAS No: CAS No: 8005-78-5 NICNAS search states "Basic Brown" (Dyes that could release selected carcinogenic amines (listed on AICS))

Other Names:

  • Acid Black 132, CAS No. 12219-02-2.

  • Disperse Yellow 23, CAS No. 6250-23-3

  • Disperse Yellow 7, CAS No. 6300-37-4.

  • Basic Brown 4, CAS No. 5421-66-9.

  • Bismark Brown R; C.I. 21010. Direct Red 24, CAS No. 6420-44-6.

  • Direct Red 26, CAS No. 3687-80-7.

  • Acid Red 73, CAS No. 5413-75-2

  • Acid Red 264, CAS No. 6505-96-0

  • Acid Red 264, CAS No. 8005-78-5

  • Basic Red 42, CAS No. 12221-66-8

  • Disperse Red 151, CAS No. 70210-08-1 Disperse Red 151, CAS No. 27165-08-8


"The chemicals Acid Red 35 (CAS No. 6441-93-6) and Basic Red 76 (CAS No. 68391-30-0) are on the 'List of chemicals used as dyes in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes in Australia' (NICNAS, 2007)." - NICNAS Australia.

  • EU approved for use in food and cosmetics with restrictions, but local laws banning food colorants are preserved. Wikipedia.com

  • "The break down and release of carcinogenic by-products is a major concern but it isn’t the only problem to besiege colours. More and more research is being done into the fate of colours in UV light following on from concerns over UV induced rashes and dermatitis made worse with cosmetic use. These free radical style reactions can affect almost any type of chemical and might result in a complete re-think of how we formulate colour cosmetics in the future." - RealiseBeauty.wordpress.com

Usage Restrictions

SCA campaigns for mandatory restrictions of synthetic colour additives (excluding iron oxides) including food dyes, FD&C colours and carmine (cochineal or carmine extract) used in cosmetics and personal care products, especially eye makeup and lip products; SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo that restrict the use of synthetic colours, including carmine, to a maximum of <1% or less for leave on products and a maximum of <3% or less for rinse off products. Colour additives should also require a warning on the product label to "always patch test before use" and "discontinue use if irritation occurs" - The EU and FDA has banned the use of many colour additives in products applied to the eye area >

Where a brand tests their products and/or the ingredient of concern is tested for carcinogenic contaminants, test reports confirming that the product and/or ingredients are free-from carcinogens can be submitted; SCA will endorse product(s) containing toxic-free colour additives with unrestricted usage provided proof of testing is provided. (Brands have 12 months to comply with SCA's terms effective as of 4th April, 2019 or discontinue use of SCA's Allergy Certified seal).

Amina Kitching