Study reveals presence of harmful chemical in clothing, paper

TAMPA, Fla. - A Rutgers University research is warning that a potentially dangerous chemical found in yellow dye is still present in products like paper and children’s clothing despite a longtime ban.

Lisa Rodenburg, whose research into the chemical spans 10 years, told ABC News that she tested yellow paper and clothing manufactured all over the world and found most of it contained the chemical, known as PCB 11.

“Anything that’s printed with yellow pigment or yellow ink can have PCB 11 in it,” said Rodenburg in an interview with ABC News.

PCBs were banned more than 30 years ago. The Environmental Protection Agency has linked the chemical to cancer and immune and nervous system damage.

Florida Poison Information Center Director Alfred Aleguas said the chemical is common. He recommended people not throw out yellow-colored items from their home.

“I think the risk is extremely minimal,” he said. “There’s just not enough information at this point to make any decisions like that.”

He said more studies need to be done to determine if human skin actually absorbs PCB 11 and, if so, to what extent. And he said more work needs to be done to detail the long term effects.

Tampa mother Melody Hardy said the new study worries her.

“I definitely started to think about what do we have that could potentially have something that’s harmful for kids,” said Hardy.

Learn more about Rodenburg’s research here: http://envsci.rutgers.edu/php/totten.html

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