Ever wonder where yellow street signs come from? Well - they're about to be another color.
WCNN - Reporter
Sign makers use bananas to make the yellow pigment on street signs, and without the bananas signs cannot be made. Sign makers used to use highly toxic nuclear by-product to make the reflective, high-visibility, yellow coloration on street signs until California banned the formula due to cancer-causing materials.
Sign makers were then left to find a better, more sustainable, formula for their signs. Around 1990 a construction worker noticed that a semi truck ran over a crate of bananas, and for a split second the crate glowed bright yellow.
Sign makers caught wind and started experiments. Scientist found that compacting the bananas created a chemical reaction with the potassium that created a reflective substance. This became the new model.
Sign makers are concerned that current banana stock will not be enough to meet government demand. The federal government has placed a temporary sign making moratorium and has even thought about tapping into the nations banana reserves to subsidize low import volumes.
Road goers are concerned that signs will not be placed in key areas, and the NTSB is predicting 10% more deaths in the 4th quarter of 2014.