Dye Filled

Rage: The Color of Slime

food dye slime

November 1. The day dye free families fear all year long. It’s the day after Halloween and no matter how diligent we are, we always end up with some sort of meltdown. After 6 years of being dye free, we still have slip ups.

We’re human.

It happens.

This year our slip up happened to something TOTALLY unrelated to food. This year slime was the guilty party. My 8 yr old’s class made slime for Halloween and like any kid these days, she immediately started playing with it when she got home. It was AWFULLY bright pink, so I asked her how they made it. With less than 5 ingredients, it didn’t sound too bad. Until I asked her how she got it SO pink. I knew before she even said it. RED food coloring.

And even though she hadn’t been the one mixing it, she was now the one playing with it.

Of course I immediately thought….this cannot be good, but like the glutton experimenter in me, I decided to not make a big deal out of it. She played with it for about 20 minutes and then put it away. She spent the rest of the afternoon playing, drawing, etc. She even got ready by herself, ate dinner nicely and we all left to go trick or treat.

Things were fine all during the night, we walked the neighborhood tirelessly. We finally came in around 8 pm to get ready for bedtime. (School starts stupidly early here in Tennessee)

That’s when we started what I lovingly refer to as “the slow descent into hell”. Food dye moms everywhere know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s that moment when you realize it’s about to go sideways and there’s not much you can do about it. I just assumed she was tired, we had walked. A lot.

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But that wasn’t the case.

It took us 30 minutes to wrangle her into bed. And I use that term lightly since when we left her and turned off the lights, she was still in the clothes she had worn under her costume, blankets kicked onto the floor and sheet half off the bed. I checked on her 10 minutes later and she was out cold.

*Whew* Right?

Nope. Not even close. I’ve lived this long enough to know that it usually takes about 3 days to get it all out of their systems. I KNOW for a fact that mornings are going to be a bitch when they’ve been exposed. And boy, was I right. It was like waking a sleeping 7 headed dragon. In the top horrible exposures of the last 6 years, this one would be in the top 10.

She fought. She kicked. She clawed. She screamed. She spit. She pitched a fit so epic that it ended in tears for her and nearly me. My husband had to physically hold her so we could finish dressing her and putting her shoes on.

Unless you’ve dealt with this, it’s hard to comprehend how utterly mind numbing and exhausting it is.

You’re probably thinking, wait? What? You don’t eat slime, how in the world could slime be a problem for my dye free child? How did the situation get that bad?

Well….since the skin is technically your body’s largest organ, it stands to reason that anything you put in or on your hand absorbs into your skin. In my mind, that problem becomes exponentially worse with a child. In fact, absorbtion is used in many aspects of life….

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They make medicinal patches to ABSORB through your skin to stop smoking, administer birth control, nitroglycerine and even deliver B12.

You put lotion on to ABSORB through your skin to sooth rashes and dry skin. (Many lotions today, especially those marketed towards children, are colored with dyes.)

And since a child will not only PLAY with the slime, they will then inevitably put those same fingers in their mouth, their nose, their eyes. It’s twofold.

For those of us with dye free kids, a child who’s touched things like colored slime, playdoh and finger paints is akin to a child who has touched poison. The dyes can absorb into the skin and cause a reaction in your child. 

In case you don’t believe me, here’s a link to a short article easily explaining how things are absorbed by your skin. https://www.downtoearth.org/health/general-health/your-skin-it-absorbs

I also came across this brief passage about a discovery made by a research team in Slovakia.

And a research team, out of the Slovak University of Technology, studied two blue dyes, Patent Blue and Brilliant Blue. The former is banned from food products in the United States, but Brilliant Blue (also known as FD&C Blue No. 1) is used in food, textiles, leathers, and cosmetics in several countries including the U.S. “[Brilliant Blue] is one of the most commonly used blue dyes,” says study co-author Jarmila Hojerová, an associate professor at the Slovak University of Technology and president of the Slovak Society of Cosmetology.  So it must be safe, right?

Experts thought so, but Hojerová and her colleagues have shown that the dyes can actually enter the bloodstream via the skin or through the digestive tract. That’s a major surprise, because it was believed that the skin blocked the dye from seeping into the body, and that ingested dyes were destroyed by the gastrointestinal system.

The team reached their conclusions by studying pig tongues coated with human saliva: Brilliant Blue and Patent Blue dye were placed on the tongues for 20 minutes, in an effort to mimic licking a lollipop. One day later, the team found that both dyes had actually been absorbed through the tongue and into the bloodstream, with Patent Blue penetrating to a greater extent.

Here’s the link to the full article: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/01/16/new-fear-about-food-dyes.html

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Lesson learned, we will definitely be more cautious about this slime craze that’s taken over. Looks like I’ll be buying the ingredients to make WHITE slime today. Hope everyone had a great Halloween!

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