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Orange B — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Thursday, November 16, 2017 by

Orange B is a food color additive and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its use, but only for hot dog and sausage casings, and only in concentrations that do not exceed 150 ppm by weight of the finished food. Chemically speaking, Orange B is the disodium salt of 1-(4-sulfophenyl)-3-ethylcarboxy-4-(4-sulfonaphthylazo)-5-hydroxypyrazole.

Permanently listed as a synthetic food dye, Orange B is also known as C.I. Acid Orange 137, AC1NSG0D, and LS-128771. This chemical appears as dull orange crystals, and when heated, Orange B emits toxic fumes (sulfur oxides).

List of known side effects

Orange B does not have any adverse side effects when fed at a five percent level to rats and mice and at a one percent level to dogs. Meanwhile, the safe level for Orange B human ingestion, calculated based on 0.01 percent of the maximum to no adverse effect level established by the long-term animal studies for the most sensitive species and assuming a daily dietary intake of 1814 grams (g) for humans, was initially established at 181 milligrams per person per day (mg/person/d). However, based on the CCIC (1968) survey, the estimated maximum ingestion of Orange B in human nutrition is 0.31 mg/person/d.

Body systems affected by Orange B

In a study on the Developmental toxicity of Orange B given to rats in drinking waterOrange B, was given in distilled drinking water to pregnant Osborne-Mendel rats throughout gestation. Throughout gestation, the treated animals consumed less fluid than the controls, but the decreases were not dose-related.

Feed consumption and maternal weight gain were not affected. No dose-related changes were determined in maternal clinical findings, implantations, fetal viability, or fetal size (weight and length). No compound-related effects were seen in sternebral development.

In animals treated with 0.4 percent Orange B, significant increases were seen in the incidence of hydroureters (severe and moderate), in the average numbers of fetuses with at least one and at least two soft-tissue variations per litter, and in the percentage of litters containing fetuses with at least two soft-tissue variations.

If a victim comes into contact with Orange B, administer immediate first aid. Ensure that adequate decontamination has been carried out.

If the patient is not breathing, start artificial respiration, preferably with a demand valve resuscitator, bag-valve-mask device, or pocket mask, as trained. Perform CPR if necessary and immediately flush contaminated eyes with gently flowing water.

Do not induce vomiting. If vomiting occurs, lean patient forward or place on the left side (head-down position, if possible) to maintain an open airway and prevent aspiration. Keep patient quiet and maintain normal body temperature. Obtain medical attention.

Items that can contain Orange B

The dye Orange B is only allowed for use on specific foods such as hot dog and sausage casings.

Where to learn more about Orange B


Orange B is a food color additive. The FDA has approved its use, but only for hot dog and sausage casings

When heated, Orange B emits toxic fumes (sulfur oxides).

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