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Rhodamine-B |

Rhodamine-B

Context

∙ The Tamil Nadu government banned the sale and production of cotton candy in the state due to the presence of Rhodamine-B in it.

What is Rhodamine-B ?

∙ Rhodamine-B or RhB is a chemical commonly used for dyeing in the textile, paper, leather, and paints industry as a coloring agent that helps in attaining the red and pink spectrum.

∙ In powdered form the chemical is green in color and upon being added to water, it turns pink. 

∙ It is widely used as a food additive in the manufacturing, packaging, import, and sale of various food items.

Why is it harmful?

∙ According to studies, even if consumed in small quantities, the chemical is highly toxic and carcinogenic. 

∙ If consumed regularly, Rhodamine-B can cause severe damage to the cerebellum tissue in the brain and to the brainstem that connect the brain to the spinal cord. 

∙ This damage can lead to functional abnormalities and can hinder human motor functioning. ∙ As per the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006, preparation, packaging, importing, selling and serving food items with Rhodamine-B in wedding ceremonies and other public events is a punishable offense.

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