Out of over 100 soft drinks and other beverages analyzed by the government, five contained levels of benzene -- a cancer-causing chemical linked to leukemia -- that exceed federal standards set for benzene in drinking water, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While the federal benzene limit for drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), researchers found benzene levels as high as 79 ppb in the drinks, and most had at least some detectable level of benzene present.
Benzene is able to form in beverages that contain vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and the preservatives sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Exposure to heat and light can trigger the formation.
The five drinks that contained excessive benzene levels were:
Safeway Select Diet Orange Crush Pineapple AquaCal Strawberry Flavored Water Beverage Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail.
In response, soda manufacturers, including Safeway, are changing their beverage formulations to reduce the risk.
Aside from the potential benzene risks, MindConnection has compiled a thorough article on all of soft drinks‘ potential health threats. Soft drinks, they say, could rightfully be called:
Osteoporosis in a can Diabetes in a can Cancer in a can
Bloomberg.com May 20, 2006
Yahoo News May 19, 2006