Uses of CI 15985 (FD&C Yellow 6 Lake, E110) in Various Industries

Uses of CI 15985 (FD&C Yellow 6 Lake, E110) in Various Industries

If you've ever used a yellow soap, shampoo, or cream, chances are high that it contained CI 15985 (FD&C Yellow 6 Lake), also known as E110. This water-insoluble synthetic dye is commonly used in the food, drug, and cosmetic industries to impart a bright, yellowish-orange hue to various products. But what are the origins, history, science, significance, impact, myths, FAQs, risks, and uses of CI 15985, and why does it matter? In this article, we will explore these questions in exhaustive detail, focusing in particular on its various applications in skincare, hair care, nail care, makeup, wellness, and industry.

What is CI 15985 (FD&C Yellow 6 Lake, E110)?

CI 15985 is a water-insoluble synthetic dye that belongs to the category of azo dyes, which are organic compounds containing the azo (-N=N-) group between two aromatic rings. It is typically obtained by coupling diazotized 4-aminoazobenzene-3,4'-disulfonic acid with 6-hydroxy-2-naphthalene-sulfonic acid, followed by recrystallization and milling to form a fine powder of yellowish-orange crystals that are stable to light and heat.

In the European Union (EU), E110 is the designation given to the salt form of CI 15985, which is produced by treating it with sodium or calcium ions to enhance its water solubility and stability. In the US, FD&C Yellow 6 is the name used for the certified version of CI 15985 that meets the safety and purity standards of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in foods, drugs, and cosmetics. Its CAS Registry Number is 2783-94-0.

CI 15985 is commonly used as a food coloring agent, particularly in products such as desserts, candies, and carbonated beverages. It is also used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, such as lipsticks and eye shadows, as well as in pharmaceuticals, such as tablets and capsules. However, some studies have suggested that CI 15985 may have adverse effects on human health, including hyperactivity in children and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

As a result, some countries have placed restrictions on the use of CI 15985 in food and cosmetic products. For example, the European Union requires that products containing E110 must be labeled with the warning "May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children." In the US, the FDA has set limits on the amount of FD&C Yellow 6 that can be used in food and cosmetics, and requires that it be listed on product labels.

History of CI 15985 in Skincare, Hair Care, Nail Care, Makeup, Wellness, Food, and Industry

The use of synthetic dyes in cosmetics and personal care products can be traced back to the early 20th century, when chemists began developing an array of colored substances that could be easily produced, standardized, and manipulated to achieve desired hues and shades. CI 15985 was first listed as an approved color additive in the US in 1960, and has since been permitted for use in various categories of products, including lipsticks, eye shadows, blushes, powders, soaps, shampoos, lotions, ointments, and dietary supplements.

It is worth noting that the safety of CI 15985 has been a subject of some controversy, with some consumer groups and studies questioning its potential health hazards and long-term effects. For instance, a 2016 study published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research suggested that the dye can induce oxidative stress and DNA damage in human skin and liver cells, and may be linked to inflammation, allergy, and carcinogenesis. However, most regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), have concluded that CI 15985 is safe when used within the prescribed limits and under the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) guidelines.

Despite the controversy surrounding CI 15985, it remains a popular choice for many manufacturers due to its versatility and affordability. In the food industry, it is commonly used to color beverages, candies, and baked goods, while in the wellness industry, it can be found in supplements and herbal remedies. In the nail care industry, it is often used in nail polishes to create vibrant shades, and in the hair care industry, it can be found in hair dyes and shampoos.

As consumer demand for natural and organic products continues to grow, some companies are opting to use plant-based dyes and pigments instead of synthetic ones like CI 15985. However, this shift can come with its own set of challenges, such as limited color options and higher costs. Ultimately, the decision to use CI 15985 or any other color additive is up to individual manufacturers and consumers, who must weigh the benefits and risks based on their own preferences and priorities.

The Science Behind CI 15985 and its Usage in Various Industries

The bright yellow color of CI 15985 is due to its ability to absorb light in the blue-green region of the spectrum while reflecting mostly yellow-orange wavelengths, thus creating the perceived color. This property makes it suitable for a wide range of applications in various industries, from food and beverages to cosmetics and personal care products. In food, it is used to enhance the visual appeal of baked goods, snacks, candies, cereals, dairy, and drinks, although its use is limited in some countries due to concerns about possible allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children.

In cosmetics and personal care products, CI 15985 is used to impart a yellow hue to lipsticks, eyeliners, foundations, blushes, powders, soaps, shampoos, and skin creams, as well as to nail polishes and hair dyes. It may also be added to dietary supplements and functional foods to enhance their color and appeal to consumers who associate bright colors with health and wellness benefits. However, the use of CI 15985 in leave-on products, such as lip balms and face masks, is restricted in the EU due to the risk of skin sensitization.

Aside from its use in food and cosmetics, CI 15985 is also utilized in the textile industry as a dye for fabrics and clothing. Its bright yellow color is popular in fashion, especially during the summer season, as it adds a vibrant and cheerful touch to clothing items. However, the dyeing process can be challenging, as CI 15985 is not very soluble in water and requires the use of special techniques and chemicals to achieve the desired shade and intensity.

Moreover, recent studies have shown that CI 15985 may have potential health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These findings have sparked interest in the use of CI 15985 in functional foods and nutraceuticals, as it may provide a natural and safe alternative to synthetic food colorings and additives. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits and to determine the optimal dosage and formulation for human consumption.

The Significance of FD&C Yellow 6 Lake in Skincare, Hair Care, Nail Care, Makeup, Wellness, Food and Industry

The significance of CI 15985 in various industries lies in its ability to meet the demand for visually attractive, affordable, and standardized products that consumers can trust and recognize. For manufacturers, it offers a versatile and versatile tool for creating a diverse range of colors and tones that can match different skin types, moods, and occasions. For consumers, it offers a way to express their personality, creativity, and identity through the visual language of color, while also enjoying the functional benefits of the products.

However, the significance of CI 15985 also has ethical and environmental implications that should not be overlooked. For example, some critics argue that the use of synthetic dyes in cosmetics and food may contribute to the commodification and objectification of human bodies, as well as to the depletion of natural resources and the pollution of water and soil. They also point out that some people may suffer from allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances to certain dyes, which can cause itching, redness, or swelling of the skin, or even anaphylactic shock in severe cases.

Another aspect of the significance of FD&C Yellow 6 Lake is its impact on animal testing. Many cosmetic and personal care products that contain synthetic dyes like CI 15985 are tested on animals to ensure their safety and efficacy. This practice has been criticized by animal rights activists and some consumers who believe that it is cruel, unnecessary, and unreliable. As a result, some companies have started to use alternative methods of testing, such as in vitro assays, computer modeling, and human volunteers, to reduce or eliminate animal testing.

Furthermore, the significance of CI 15985 also relates to cultural and social factors. Different cultures and societies have different attitudes and preferences towards colors, which can influence the use and perception of FD&C Yellow 6 Lake in various products. For example, in some Asian countries, yellow is associated with happiness, prosperity, and good luck, while in some Western countries, it can be seen as a warning or cautionary color. Similarly, some subcultures or communities may use yellow as a symbol of their identity, values, or beliefs, which can affect their consumption and production choices.

The Impact of FD&C Yellow 6 Lake on Health and the Environment

The impact of CI 15985 on human health and the environment has been a subject of ongoing research and debate, as different studies and opinions have yielded conflicting results and conclusions. On the one hand, many experts and regulatory bodies have deemed CI 15985 safe for use in cosmetics, food, and drugs within the prescribed limits, and have not found any conclusive evidence of its adverse effects on human health or the environment.

On the other hand, some studies have suggested that CI 15985 may pose health risks to some people, particularly those with sensitive or damaged skin, or those exposed to high levels of the dye through occupational or environmental exposure. For example, a study published in the journal Dermatitis in 2008 reported an outbreak of occupational allergic contact dermatitis in a group of workers exposed to a cosmetic containing CI 15985, and suggested that their symptoms were caused by the dye.

In terms of its impact on the environment, CI 15985 is considered to be non-biodegradable and potentially harmful to aquatic ecosystems, as it may persist in water and soil and accumulate in the food chain. Some efforts have been made to develop alternative color additives that are more eco-friendly and sustainable, such as natural dyes derived from plants, insects, or minerals, or biodegradable synthetic dyes that break down into harmless components in the environment.

Despite the ongoing debate about the safety and environmental impact of CI 15985, it remains a widely used color additive in various industries. In the United States, for example, FD&C Yellow 6 Lake is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in food, drugs, and cosmetics, and is commonly found in products such as candy, baked goods, and shampoo. However, some consumer advocacy groups and health experts have called for more rigorous testing and regulation of color additives, and for greater transparency and disclosure of their ingredients and potential risks.

Debunking Myths Associated with CI 15985 in Food and Cosmetics

As with many synthetic substances, CI 15985 has been the subject of many myths, rumors, and misconceptions that may cause unnecessary worry or confusion among consumers. For example, some people believe that FD&C Yellow 6 is derived from coal tar, a known carcinogen, and may therefore pose a cancer risk when consumed or applied to the skin.

In reality, however, FD&C Yellow 6 is not made from coal tar, but from petroleum, which undergoes a complex process of purification, synthesis, and testing to produce a pure and safe dye. Moreover, the FDA and other regulatory bodies have set strict standards and guidelines for the use of CI 15985 in food and cosmetics, and have not found any evidence of its carcinogenicity when used within the prescribed limits.

Another common myth associated with CI 15985 is that it can cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. In fact, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducted a comprehensive review of the available studies on the safety of CI 15985 and concluded that there was no evidence of any adverse effects on behavior or cognitive function in children or adults.


CI 15985 (FD&C Yellow 6 Lake) is a synthetic dye that is widely used in various industries, including food, cosmetics, and personal care products. It is valued for its ability to create bright and attractive shades of yellow and orange, and to standardize the appearance of products. However, its safety and environmental impact remain a subject of ongoing research and concern, with some studies suggesting that it may have harmful effects on human health and ecosystems. As a consumer, it is important to inform oneself about the origins, history, science, significance, impact, myths, FAQs, risks, and uses of CI 15985, and to make informed choices based on one's own values and preferences. By doing so, we can contribute to a more transparent, sustainable, and equitable system of production and consumption that benefits us all.

It is worth noting that some countries have already banned the use of CI 15985 in certain products, such as food and beverages. For example, the European Union requires warning labels on products containing the dye, and has set limits on its use in food. Similarly, some companies have voluntarily removed the dye from their products, in response to consumer demand for safer and more natural ingredients. This highlights the importance of consumer awareness and advocacy in shaping the market and promoting healthier and more sustainable products.

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