Benzene, a potent carcinogen, was found to have levels higher in some soft drinks than the levels allowed in water, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Based on a test conducted by Consumer Reports, Consumer Union (the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports) says the FDA should restrict benzene in all beverages to the limit set for drinking water.
Benzene in soft drinks
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Dr. Diet weighs in:
This has not been a good time for soft drink manufacturers. Sugary, high calorie soft drinks are being removed from school vending machines and now some manufacturers are being sued because of this benzene issue.
Another potential concern to dieters is that a Crystal Light product was one of the products studied under special conditions that boost benzene production (under fluorescent light in a 90 degree chamber for 3-4 weeks) and this product did show high levels of benzene.
Experts agree, however, that this should not be cause for panic as the levels found normally in these products are not enough to present an acute health risk.
This article is a good reminder to moderate your intake of soft drinks and pay attention to how you store your soft drinks - in a cool place and not in direct light.
I talk a lot about liquid calories and how these can quickly add up when trying to control your weight. If soft drinks account for much of your liquid calorie intake, maybe this will be your impetus to grab that water bottle instead.