Watch Out for Lethal Food Additive that May Be Banned in Colorado
A common food additive has unfortunately become a popular means to commit suicide in its concentrated form and lawmakers in Colorado have introduced a bill in hopes of making it more difficult to obtain.
What is the Food Additive that Colorado Might Ban?
Sodium nitrite is a food additive that is used to cure meats. While sodium chloride or table salt has been used to cure meats such as ham, hot dogs, and bologna, sodium nitrite has replaced salt in many cases due to the red color it gives the meat as opposed to the brown color that salt produces.
The compound has also historically been used to treat individuals who have experienced cyanide poisoning.
However, the compound has also been widely used for something much darker.
Suicides Have Inspired Colorado Lawmakers to Ban Concentrated Sodium Nitrite
Unfortunately, sodium nitrite has also become known for being an aide in suicides. The compound has been reportedly sold in "suicide kits" online which also include instructions, and have assisted in a staggering number of deaths.
In fact, between 2018 and 2023, a reported 25 people committed suicide in Colorado using this method.
As sad as these numbers are, some Colorado lawmakers are seeking a solution.
A Colorado Bill Aims to Ban Concentrated Sodium Nitrite
Because of the tragic statistics that link sodium nitrite to suicide deaths in Colorado, lawmakers have introduced HB24-1081 which, if passed, would regulate the sale of the chemical compound in the state.
Essentially, the bill would limit the sale of sodium nitrite to legitimate businesses and prohibit sales of the compound in its concentrated form from being sold to individuals.
The bill also outlines the punishment for violating the law, which would come with a penalty of $10,000 for first-time offenders.
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Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams