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Asthma

Asthmatics should avoid this common food additive

Monday, March 07, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: asthma, food additives, health news

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(NewsTarget) Sodium Metabisulphite, or E223 as it may be more commonly referred to as, has been linked to a host of allergic reaction in people. Because of its ability to induce asthmatic symptoms and bronchospasms in individuals, this preservative product of industrial quality should not be consumed by those prone to these conditions, or by children.

It consists of a yellow crystalline powder that smells similar to sulphur dioxide. It can be found in most fruit juices, candy bars, wines, breads, dried fruits, baked goods and sauces as well as cosmetic products. It is used as an industrial bleaching agent and is found in developing solution used in photography and film. Its main purpose is to preserve colour and prevent the growth of mould in foods.

At a so-called `safe` recommended dose of 42 milligrams a day, one standard glass of wine is more than likely to see you exceeding that limit. Many fruits and salads contain doses which may exceed the `safe daily dosage` by as much as five times.

Symptoms and side-effects of intolerance to this preservative may include central nervous system depression, flushing, tingling sensations in the body, skin irritation (when it comes into contact with skin, rash, redness and pain may be experienced), gastric irritations such as nausea and vomiting (consuming or ingesting it causes the stomach to release sulphurous acids) and abdominal pain. Bronchospasms (coughing and shortness of breath), asthmatic symptoms and hives have been reported. If this ingredient comes into contact with the eyes, corneal damage or even blindness may occur, which is irreversible. Anaphylactic symptoms have also been reported.

It is used to remove excess chorine from drinking water supplies. It is also used in vaccination-type medications and may be used as a reducing agent in pharmaceutical products.

It was reported to have caused the deaths of two crew members on a shrimp trawling ship, who were applying it in dry/powder form to the catch. It caused them to suffer from visceral congestion, which in turn led to diffuse pulmonary oedema. The sodium metabisulphite had possibly reacted when coming into contact with water and other acids and released highly toxic sulphur dioxide.

Regulations require that sulphite products be listed on all ingredient labels, due to the fact that they are possibly carcinogenic and extremely toxic to the human body.

Sources:

http://www.ehow.com/about_5343851_uses-sodiu...
http://www.livestrong.com/article/318325-sod...
http://www.foodrecap.net/recipe/sodium-metab...
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5757114_dangers-so...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8267251
http://www.ukfoodguide.net/e223.htm



About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here


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