Sodium metabisulfite can pose health risks, particularly for certain individuals or in specific circumstances. Here’s a detailed overview:
Allergic Reactions:
Sulfite Sensitivity: Some people, especially those with asthma, are sensitive to sulfites. Exposure can trigger allergic reactions, including wheezing, shortness of breath, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis.
Symptoms: Common symptoms include headaches, hives, nausea, and stomach cramps.
Respiratory Issues:
Inhalation: Inhaling sodium metabisulfite powder or fumes can irritate the respiratory tract, leading to coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation.
Digestive Problems:
Ingestion: Consuming high levels of sodium metabisulfite can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Skin and Eye Irritation:
Contact: Direct contact with the skin or eyes can cause irritation, redness, itching, and in severe cases, burns.
Long-term Exposure:
Prolonged exposure to high levels of sodium metabisulfite may lead to more serious health issues, although such exposure is uncommon in typical food use.
Despite these risks, sodium metabisulfite is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when used in regulated amounts. It is commonly used as a preservative in food and beverages, including wines, dried fruits, and processed foods. Regulatory guidelines ensure that the levels used in consumer products are safe for the general population.
People with known sulfite sensitivities or asthma should be cautious about consuming products containing sodium metabisulfite and check food labels to avoid it when necessary.
Is Sodium Metabisulfite Bad For Health