Benzene in soft drinks

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Benzene Risks in Soft Drinks
Benzene has a carcinogenic effect and is genotoxic. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) provides information about the substance and its risks, especially in soft drinks and carrot juices, on its website.

Benzene mainly comes from fuels and combustion processes. Consumers ingest benzene primarily through the air they breathe. However, the substance can also be present as an impurity in drinking water or in food. Benzene has also been found in soft drinks and carrot juices for infants and young children.

In the case of soft drinks, the addition of the preservative benzoic acid can lead to the formation of benzene in the drink if ascorbic acid is also contained. With carrot juices for infants and young children there is evidence that prolonged heating of the product to over 100 ° C for the purpose of sterilization is the reason for the formation of benzene. Under these conditions, the substance can arise from the natural ingredients of the carrot.

The largest proportion of the total exposure to benzene is taken up by breathing in. In contrast, the contribution of benzene intake from soft drinks and carrot juices - and thus also their health risks - is comparatively small, so that BfR. (pm)

Image: Benjamin Klack /

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