Is that Yellow Print Piece Dangerous?

yellow_125As if scientists haven’t discovered enough things to worry about, we may soon be adding print pieces that contain yellow to that ever-expanding list. PCB-11, a chemical banned in the U.S. 35 years ago, “was detected in nearly all samples of paper products sold in 26 countries and clothing sold in the United States,” reports Scientific American. The chemical, tied to yellow dyes, inks and paints, is finding its way into human blood, air and waterways.

What this actually means, however, remains unclear:

“Health effects of exposure to traces of PCB-11 have not been studied. But unlike the old PCBs, it doesn’t accumulate in people or animals. The banned PCBs, which are so persistent they are still contaminating the environment, have been linked to reduced IQs, cancer and suppressed immune systems.”

That said, the sheer pervasiveness of the chemical is extremely troubling:

“In the new tests, all 28 samples of non-U.S., ink-treated paper products, including advertisements, maps, postcards, napkins and brochures, contained PCB-11 in the parts-per-billion range. In the United States, 15 of the 18 paper products had it.”

And here we thought Pantone’s Radiant Orchid would be the problem…

 

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