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Yellow 4 – toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Thursday, November 23, 2017 by

Yellow 4, also known as Brilliant Yellow or Direct Yellow 4, is an odorless, yellow-orange powder that is most often used as a dye. It is usually utilized as a tint for paper fibers, flax, and cotton. Apart from imparting color onto various materials, Yellow 4 can also be utilized as a water soluble pH indicator.

List of known side effects

Yellow 4 is a skin irritant. Repeated and/or prolonged contact with this substance may result in dermatitis, a skin disease characterized by a rash, itchiness, and red skin.

Should ingestion occur, then Yellow 4 can cause gastrointestinal irritation. This is often marked by bouts of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. In the event that this happens, vomiting should never be induced, as it can result in this dye entering the respiratory system or spreading to other parts of the body.

Depending on the route of exposure, Yellow 4 can lead to eye and respiratory tract irritation.

Yellow 4 is a flammable substance, and should never be used in the presence of open flames or sparks.

Body systems affected by Yellow 4

Yellow 4 is a dermal, digestive, ocular, and respiratory irritant, meaning that it’s potentially harmful to the skin, stomach, eyes, and lungs. This substance can be particularly harmful to the skin and stomach if chronic exposure occurs, or if vomiting is induced in the affected person.

Items that can contain Yellow 4

According to, Yellow 4 can be found in a wide variety of products, with the major applications being:

  • Anti-fungal agents
  • Biosensors
  • Cosmetics
  • Detergents
  • Display devices
  • Enzyme activity assays
  • Inks
  • Photochromic materials
  • Sensors

How to avoid Yellow 4

People who are involved in the handling of Yellow 4 are at the most at risk of direct contact and exposure. To prevent this from happening, be sure to always wear personal protective gear and clothing. Should spillage occur, wear self-contained breathing apparatuses to avoid inhalation of Yellow 4.

For storage, make it a point to keep Yellow 4 in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Keep Yellow 4 away from sparks and open flames to reduce the chances of a small fire.

Where to learn more


Yellow 4 is a yellow-orange powder that is most often used as a dye.

Yellow 4 can also be utilized as a water soluble pH indicator.

Yellow 4 is an irritating substance that can harm the skin, eyes, respiratory, and digestive system. Chronic exposure may lead to dermatitis.

This compound is flammable, so ensure that no sparks or open flames are in the immediate area when handling Yellow 4.

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