Consumers read product labels regularly to educate themselves on ingredients they are putting on or in their body. More likely than not, most consumers have read a label before and seen “RED 3” as an ingredient, often listed at the end of the lengthy list. What most consumers fail to recognize is what exactly “RED 3” is and the potential hazard it can pose to their health. While the Food and Drug Administration has requirements in place restricting the use of this color additive in cosmetics, it is still permitted to be used in food and drug products despite scientific findings of its cancer-causing effects.
Whether it is recognized or not, humans are exposed to a variety of products containing fragrances every single day. However, for something that is so common in the average human’s life, these chemicals are not as highly regulated as consumers would expect. While the Food and Drug Administration has requirements in place that fragrance formulas must meet in order to be incorporated in products, these formulas can also be considered “trade secrets.” This means that the formulas do not have to be disclosed to the public after FDA review. As a result, consumers should become more educated about potentially hazardous fragrance chemicals. These chemicals may lead to negative health consequences because they have gone unnoticed by the public.