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Soft Drinks Can Be Even More Dangerous Than You Know

The FDA identified five common soft drinks sold in America late last week that exceed by up to almost 16 times the legal limit for the cancer-causing chemical benzene (in water), based on an agency analysis of 89 beverages. The worst offender, Safeway Select Diet Orange, contained as much as 79.2 parts per billion in one lot.

The other offenders:

  • Pineapple Crush
  • Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange
  • AquaCal Strawberry Flavored Water
  • Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail

Another interesting factoid: The FDA detected benzene in 54 of the drinks tested. Triggered by exposure to light or heat, benzene forms in soft drinks when vitamin C or other acids interact with two preservatives, sodium or potassium benzoate. Also, light and heat exposure varied greatly among drinks too, because a wide range of benzene concentrations was detected in different batches of the same drink.

Meantime, the companies cited with overloads of benzene have reformulated their products, but do you want to play Russian Roulette with your health by taking a chance on drinking this or any other "soft beverage"?

By the way, the benzene problem is way above and beyond why you should be staying away from soft drinks in the first place, considering they displaced white bread as the leading source of calories in America last year.

Yahoo News May 20, 2006

Bloomberg.com May 20, 2006

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