Toxic lead chromate used to give turmeric roots and powder a bright yellow color.



Results of a new research sounded the alarm on a serious form of commercial fraud, as it revealed that toxic lead  chromate (PbCrO4) is being used in Bangladesh to give turmeric roots and powder a bright yellow color.This toxic substance is banned globally for food products, as it increases the level of lead in the blood and poisons the nerves; thereby, causing heart problems and brain diseases in addition to impeding the development of the brain of children.

While the research did not consider samples of turmeric powder exported by this country in large quantities to many countries around the world including Kuwait and other Gulf states, the results raised this question: Does turmeric being used in Kuwait contain toxic lead chromate?The intensive research was conducted in areas with high production and consumption of turmeric powder in the country. Using systematic and analytical methods, the research was conducted under the supervision of Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment with the involvement of 11 specialized researchers.

The research concluded that high rate of the toxic substance was found in the analyzed turmeric samples, and that this is probably the main reason behind high level of lead in the blood of many people of that country. “It is clear that people are consuming turmeric root and powder and they do not know that they are being cheated through the use of harmful chemicals which could cause major health problems,” says researcher Gina Forsyth who led the study at the Stanford Woods Institute of the Environment. “We now know that turmeric contains lead chromate compound and we have to do something,” she added.-A.T.