Poisonous Colors.

The Manufacturer and Builder 2, 1874

In opposition to our expressed opinion that all anilin colors are not necessarily poisonous, some of our contemporaries think that it is better to cry, if at all, on the safe side, and to avoid the use of anilin dyes for culinary purposes altogether. We do not object to this advice, and surely those anilin dyes in which arsenic enters as a component part are certainly poisonous. A warning has been raised against fabrics dyed with anilin colors as injurious to the wearer. That has been contradicted by German chemists, who think to prove that it can not be so. But then it is asserted that people have been poisoned and no sufficient cause could be found than the wearing of anilin dyed clothes. A writer in California goes even so far as to assert that carmine is awfully poisonous, and bangs up an alarming tableau of the consequences - loosening of the teeth, falling out of the hair, scrufulous eruptions, dyspepsia, insanity, and idiocy. It is curious that carmine has from time immemorial been considered utterly harmless, and used by druggists to color tinctures, etc. It is also stated that experiments were made in France, and that a baby died under terrible convulsions after eating four ordinary plates of ice cream, colored with carmine. Our esteemed contemporary, the Boston Journal of Chemistry, remarks justly in this regard, that four ordinary plates of ice cream are very likely to disagree awfully with a baby, whether it (the cream, not the baby) were colored with carmine or not.

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