Four out of ten children's medicines contain additives linked to hyperactive behaviour, researchers say.
A study reveals that even some products deemed suitable for under-threes contain the suspect chemicals.
The Food Commission campaign group looked at 70 over-the-counter and prescription medicines, including pain relievers, cough syrups and antibiotics. Its report, published today, said 28 of the products contained one or more of the seven food additives shown by a landmark Southampton University study to trigger hyperactive behaviour.
The chemicals were found in 17 of 37 paracetamol-based products, including the Calpol brand.
They were also in two out of 11 ibuprofen products and four out of nine throat syrups, including Benylin Children's Tickly Coughs syrup. Among antibiotics, three of five amoxycillin products and two of eight erythromycin formulations contained the chemicals.
The additives are the colours Tartrazine (E102). Quinoline Yellow (E104). Sunset Yellow (E110). Carmoisine (E122). Ponceau 4R (E124) and Allura Red (E129) and the preservative sodium benzoate (E211).
The Southampton research found that the behaviour of children from all backgrounds - not just those diagnosed as hyperactive - could be affected by a combination-of these chemicals. The youngsters, aged between three and nine, found it more difficult to sit still and concentrate and became loud and impulsive.
Source - Daily Mail