HEALTH & FITNESS ARTICLES
Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene
Bacon cheeseburgers and French fries drip with weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, and higher blood pressure. But what if further research findings made these foods look safe?
Unfortunately though, the danger does not stop here. Other, even more alarming, food contents insidiously permeate meals every day. With a large percentage of America remaining uninformed, food itself has stolen control of people's own bodies. Poison may actually be included on the menu too.
With its lively bubbles, sparkling texture, dancing foam, and energy boosts, soft drinks function as a household staple for a majority of society. Dinner, lunch, even breakfast, America warmly welcomes soda, fruit juices, and flavored waters into its glasses. However, these pleasing beverages do not come cheap. Weight gain from frequent consumption of high calorie drinks proves too common, and these beverages largely contribute to the country's ever-rising obesity rates. But researchers have found something even more disturbing. Along with high sugar levels, artificial flavorings, and calcium-reducing fizz, some soft drinks even contain the highly toxic substance benzene sometimes at alarming levels. Could a bottle of good old fashioned soda pop be nothing more than a sizzling industrial plant?
How Did Benzene Get in a Mere Soda Can?
Cars release benzene with their fumes. Above gas stations benzene invisibly lingers in a thick, intractable haze. Factories release benzene in their production of some plastics, chemicals, dyes, and detergents. A pollutant and a toxin, it is not surprising that benzene causes cancer. The air of such work establishments has reportedly infected employees. With such characteristics, benzene is definitely not a substance that one would expect to find in a grocery aisle. So, how did it get there?
Many soft drinks contain benzoate salts and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Both these substances are naturally a part of fruit-based drinks. A high percentage of other sodas use them as preservative agents or as nutritional additions. However, when benzoate salts and Vitamin C come in contact with high levels of light and/or heat, there is a strong chance that a chemical reaction will occur. Benzene is the product of this process.
Is Benzene Contamination Preventable? There is no way to ensure that soft drinks remain benzene-free. But what if someone only drinks those that he/she purchases? What if people only store beverages in cool and shaded areas? It does not matter. No one can be sure of conditions in every storage warehouse or every transported shipment. Once created, benzene permanently remains. Even the most impeccable treatment and care cannot erase existing damage.
While the presence of any amount of benzene is unsettling, the FDA determined that levels must not exceed 5 ppb in order to pose a threat. Nonetheless, thousands of bottles and cans are never untested. No one can be sure of the history of his/her individual drink before purchase. Scientists cannot be certain how benzene levels will affect each specific person. What if some people are more sensitive than others? Will research find that lower benzene levels are actually harmful tomorrow? Under the circumstances facts can easily change, and assurances leave questions unanswered.
In 1990 soft drink companies altered production methods in hopes of preventing benzene development. Nevertheless, from 2005 to 2006 the FDA found benzene amounts well above 5 ppb in some products. Furthermore, the experiment proved highly inadequate. Covering only a small percentage of the country, the study also did not include all products or brands. What if benzene levels are actually far greater? Could these findings only be a glimpse of a terrible reality? .
Are there any preventive strategies? No longer just unhealthy, some foods may actually contain toxic elements. People can maintain healthy diets with foods low in fat, sugar and salt and high in fiber. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat are some excellent examples. Foods without artificial sugars, dyes, and preservatives lower chances of unwanted chemicals. However, while healthy and natural foods prove best, people are not always given a choice to decide. The FDA only recently confirmed that benzene still appeared in some soft drinks. Could harmful substances be contaminating other foods? How can a person defend him/herself from unknown threats?
It is also advisable for a trained professional to recommend the best brands. Labels can not always be trusted. Some vitamin manufacturers overly dilute their products with buffers and other use less fillers. Nonetheless, after proper instruction, consumers can easily find affordable high quality discount vitamins from excellent retailers.
People can easily eliminate possible benzene levels by avoiding soft drink products. Unfortunately, safeguarding the body from other unknown chemical toxins is not so easy. Apparently, everything in food is not always edible. Nevertheless, an individualized diet plan under the guidance of a trained professional can easily ensure health and prevent problems. Wholesome and natural foods and discount vitamins greatly prepare for the unknown.
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