DAWN HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE: YELLOW PLUS ME EQUALS BLUE

Dawn Hawaiian Pineapple Scented Dishwashing Liquid – 10.3-Ounce

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Pros: Product contains an accurate, agreeable pineapple scent.

Cons: Experienced transdermal allergic reaction.  No ingredients listed on product label.  No ingredient disclosure provided at the Procter & Gamble website.  Those with a sensitivity to yellow dyes should wear rubber gloves when using this (or any) cleaning product.

Having to constantly accommodate an allergic constitution gives a person perspective.  As a kid, unbeknownst to me at the time, the yellow dye in my favorite Mountain Dew soda made me hyperactive and photophobic.  A single use of my aunt’s Palmolive dishwashing liquid caused the skin on my hands to thicken and peel.  Exposure to certain perfumes could cause nausea and blinding headaches.  I eschew the otherwise harmless turnip the way Bugs Bunny avoids Elmer Fudd.

Life Is Good

Lest you think I exist as a cartoon lab rat, there is a solution to this problem – learning to cook well enough to avoid eating processed convenience foods is a priority.  People who experience such a degree of sensitivity also become inveterate label-readers – for proven foods that don’t offend currently, can be subjected to unannounced ingredient substitutions such as needless dyes and MSG.  One must exercise constant vigilance when their well-being lies in the balance.

Although Dawn‘s formulation appears to have changed since its introduction, their standard blue dish soap remains a product I can trust not to cause a reaction.  When a CVS sale had depleted that inventory, I grabbed a bottle of Dawn Hawaiian Pineapple Scent.  Since fragrance can be a major allergy trigger, I popped the top and found the light, sweet scent acceptable.

Be Still, My Heart

Though I didn’t associate the onset of my sustained heart palpitations with a specific event, the result of my doctor’s inquiry was revealing.  My symptoms began soon after using the unfamiliar yellow Dawn product, and abated with decreased exposure.  Aside from the introduction of this one product, nothing in my deliberately structured orbit had changed.  Once the suspected source was identified and my use of the product fully terminated, the symptoms disappeared completely within hours.  To verify our findings and eliminate coincidence, I resumed use of the product until symptoms once again were evident.

Yikes!

Now, it appears not only do I have to avoid ingestion of particular yellow dyes, I must avoid skin contact, as well.  A long-winded diagnosis of Transdermal Systemic Hypersensitivity has led me to redouble my efforts to stick with those products I trust and avoid those that refuse to divulge the particulars of their respective formulations.

In this instance, my curiosity as to the specific ingredients of Dawn Hawaiian Pineapple Scent Dishwashing Liquid led me to the Procter & Gamble website.  Once there, multiple keyword searches of the product’s ingredients resulted in a dead-end.  Federal regulation requires a company to clearly present a complete list of inclusions for all food items sold, but this apparently does not apply to other non-ingested household products.

Subsequent avenues of disclosure for my pineapple predicament were equally fruitless.  A detailed product keyword search of potential adverse health issues led to a site called Environmental Working Group – an entity whose annoying pop-up was more interested in signing-me-up than providing pertinent information.  Ultimately, at this point in my research, I already knew a good deal more about the product than their listing revealed.

Scary Stuff

In addition to chronic restlessness and photophobia, consistent, long-term exposure to yellow dyes (in those with a sensitivity to same) can cause clinical depression, headaches, dizziness and vertigo – but I’ve never experienced an irregular heartbeat as a result of the ingestion of, or contact with an affected product.  The question is – does this neon-yellow concoction contain a hyper-excess of culpritive dye, or is there some other ingredient responsible for my unconventional symptoms?  The mystery may never be revealed.

Reasonable Assumption

As of this posting, I could go through my house and find a number of Procter & Gamble products that I use regularly without adverse consequence – including both basic Blue and Lavender Dawn.  In all fairness, due to the abstract peculiarities of human physiology, there is no product in existence that is totally non-allergenic to a certain percentage of the population.

Judging from the reviews observed while researching this product, a majority of people find their experience with Dawn Hawaiian Pineapple Scent Dishwashing Liquid to be satisfactory – but the percentage of those reviewers who wear rubber gloves when using this product is not stated.  In fact, many lament its alleged demise – though, as of this posting, it remains available at both Amazon and Wal*Mart.com.

Approach With Caution

It is incumbent upon all of us to understand and take responsibility for our own personal environment.  According to medfriendly.com, an estimated 360,000 Americans have a sensitivity to Yellow #5, alone.  Currently, at least seven numbered variations of FDA approved yellow dye exist in a variety of consumer products that people with a history of hypersensitivity should avoid.  Unfortunately, unless sufficiently motivated (as I was), the majority of those afflicted may never discover the source of their chronic symptomatic discomfort.

For purposes of full-disclosure and overall consumer safety, a voluntary and comprehensive product-specific listing of the formulations that we come into contact with on a daily basis should be the foremost responsibility and inclination of those who develop and market such products.

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