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I blue myself
August 11, 2010 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Dyeing oneself blue by ingesting Brilliant Blue G?

I just remembered this article from Wired last year, and I have some questions:

Are there examples (photos and such) of a person who has ingested enough Brilliant Blue G to turn themselves blue? I'm familiar with the effects of colloidal silver, but I'm asking specifically about Brilliant Blue G.

How much would you need to get a decent hue going?

How long could you expect to stay blue?

Finally, where can you buy it in bulk?


This for an idea I have for (pick one):
a)a Halloween costume
b)a story I'm writing
c)an elaborate practical joke
posted by logicpunk to Grab Bag (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't think ingesting would work (beyond staining your mouth and throat. In the article, they injected the dye. If you ingested it, the dye would go into the stomach where, I presume, it would be substantially degraded as it is digested.
posted by darkstar at 11:46 AM on August 11, 2010


Important safety tip: Colloidal silver poisoning is irreversible. If you turn yourself blue that way, it's permanent. And, permanently shocking and embarrassing. The fun of it gets old pretty quick.

As for Brilliant Blue G, I'm inclined to suspect from the Wiki writeup that it may also be permanent, or extremely long-lasting, at the very least.
posted by Citrus at 11:49 AM on August 11, 2010


Here's 50gm for $66.60. Let us know how it turns out.
posted by Floydd at 11:57 AM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


If I'm reading the study in question correctly, the rats were given a total of approximately 150 mg/kg of blue dye over a three-day period. So if you weigh about 70 kg (about 150 lb), you'd need a little over 10 grams of the stuff. The dye was administered intravenously; according to the article, intestinal absorption is around 5%, so if you'd rather eat it (blue poop!) instead, multiply that quantity by 20 or so.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:57 AM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm inclined to suspect from the Wiki writeup that it may also be permanent, or extremely long-lasting, at the very least.

According to the study, "the blue color fades slowly and is not noticeable after 1 week."
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:59 AM on August 11, 2010


Thanks Floydd and Johnny Assay. Exactly what I was looking for.

Also, I mentioned in the question that I already know about colloidal silver. Please no more on that.
posted by logicpunk at 12:07 PM on August 11, 2010


I know you're excited to dye yourself blue from the inside out, but there are other ways you can do this (assuming hypothetical situation a, not b or c). I once blued myself for a costume using gel-based blue food color. It went on easily, you could see skin tones and freckles through it, it didn't wipe off on things I touched during the evening, and the main part of it washed off in a long soapy shower. I only looked mildly ill/suffocating for about a day. Worked so well I did an orange/yellow-based costume a couple of years later.
posted by aimedwander at 12:29 PM on August 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


I am not in any medical fields, but injecting yourself with something that treats spinal cord injuries by having a weird and surprising effect on nerves does not sound like a good or safe idea to me. At least not until they study the long term effects on the mice.
posted by brenton at 12:41 PM on August 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


I couldn't find any smurfing LD50 data looking around, but might I suggest trying oral doses on a mouse, first? That would give you an idea of what to smurf for.
posted by adipocere at 12:42 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you're thinking of topical application, I've tested that for you already. I've gotten plenty of Coomassie Blue on my hands over the years, and despite its affinity for protein (it's used to stain protein electrophoresis gels in labs), the color washes off very quickly. Like in a few washings, so call it a day or so.

I still wouldn't drink it or inject it, though. That's just too edgy for me, man.
posted by Quietgal at 1:04 PM on August 11, 2010


Here's the MSDS.

Section 11, Toxicological information, says "To the best of our knowledge, the chemical, physical, and toxicological properties have not been thoroughly investigated."

You should pardon me for saying so, but this is a really stupid idea. If you want your skin blue, you should do it the way aimedwander describes.

(And if you're really serious about doing this to someone else as a practical joke, almost certainly it would be a crime.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:14 PM on August 11, 2010


This is only very tangentially related, but Yann Marussich did a performance in 2008 called Bleu Remix where he sat in a clear tank and his sweat/bodily fluids were blue. I don't know how he did it, other than that the piece was "created in cooperation with physicians and chemists," according to the Ars Electronica listing (scroll down to the Hybrid Art Award of distinction).
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 6:31 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


(blue poop!)

grass green poop. don't forget bile contributes yellow.

(I actually did this one time after eating a whole box of blue Oops! All Berries! Captain Crunch. Forgot all about it overnight. Next morning - Aaaaaarrrgh! Bright green poop! I'm dying! I'm...oh, yeah.)
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:06 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Coomassie is a nonspecific protein binder. The proteins that are part of your musculo-skeletal structure, make the organs in your body, and are all the enzymes that are involved in every aspect of your metabolism. It is also a somewhat flat aromatic compound capable of intercalating into your DNA.

Even if it is a weak binder.....the likelihood of these intermolecular interactions being ANY FUCKING GOOD FOR YOU AT ALL is marginal.

Performing this test on yourself is a bad idea.
posted by lalochezia at 9:53 PM on August 11, 2010


I couldn't find any smurfing LD50 data looking around, but might I suggest trying oral doses on a mouse, first? That would give you an idea of what to smurf for.

Amateur toxicology is only a slightly better idea than smurfing yourself by ingesting massive amounts of textile dye. Do arrange to have your body donated to science afterwards before trying this.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:04 AM on August 12, 2010


grass green poop. don't forget bile contributes yellow.

I'm sure I had blue poop when I was a kid - after eating a normal amount of some weird promotional ice cream.
posted by The Monkey at 2:37 AM on August 12, 2010


Eating a chemical that hasn't been tested on people seems like a recipe for seriously hurting yourself. If you are planning on dosing someone else you are probably entering into very immoral and/or criminal territory.

There are better and easier ways to cosplay as a smurf.
posted by arcolz at 5:19 AM on August 12, 2010


I'm sure I had blue poop when I was a kid - after eating a normal amount of some weird promotional ice cream.

The closest I've gotten was a very vivid teal, after eating a couple of bags of blue Twizzler-type candy. It did not, however, have any effect on my skin tone.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:52 AM on August 27, 2010


The closest I've gotten was a very vivid teal, after eating a couple of bags of blue Twizzler-type candy. It did not, however, have any effect on my skin tone.

You know what, it's actually possible it was teal. In my memory it was blue rather than green, but possibly it was somewhere between. Whatever colour, it was extremely rich/bright.
posted by The Monkey at 12:02 AM on August 30, 2010


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