[Research advances in the adverse effects of azo dyes]

Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2020 Dec 6;54(12):1478-1483. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.cn112150-20200114-00020.
[Article in Chinese]


China is the world's largest producer and user of dyes. The mass production and widespread use of disperse azo dyes led to environmental pollutions and potential human health risks. Azo dyes in environmental media (i.e., water, soil, air, and dust), food and clothing can enter the human body through multiple exposure routes, and some of them can be metabolized to produce more toxic metabolites, which can trigger toxic effects such as allergic reactions, tumor formation, and endocrine disruptions. This study systematically reviewed the production and use of azo dyes, environmental concentrations, human exposures, toxic effects and their underlying mechanisms, and regulations and standards. Meanwhile, the research trends of azo dyes were also discussed.


Keywords: Carcinogens, environmental; Disperse dyes; Endocrine disruption; Toxic actions.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Azo Compounds* / toxicity
  • China
  • Coloring Agents* / toxicity
  • Humans


  • Azo Compounds
  • Coloring Agents