If you were not sure how much toxins were there in your soft drinks here is an eye opener. Five cold drink samples – Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, Sprite and 7Up – picked by the government to study from the PET bottles they were in.
Shockingly, the study has found different toxins – heavy metals antimony, lead, chromium and cadmium DEHP or Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in cold drinks produced by two major multinational companies, PepsiCo and Coca Cola. Under the DTAB’s instructions, the study was conducted by the Kolkata-based All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (AIIH&PH), which comes under the Health Ministry.
According to reports the test results were submitted by the AIIH&PH to Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services and chairman of DTAB, a few days ago. The institute had last year submitted another set of test results, where it had found heavy metals in various medicines packaged in PET bottles.
A PepsiCo India spokesperson told, “We have received no intimation nor a copy of the cited test reports and without an understanding of the methodology used, would be unable to comment on the reports. Having said that, we would like to reiterate that all our products conform to Food Safety and Standards Regulations. We would like to emphatically reiterate that our products comply with the permissible limits for heavy metals as laid down by these regulations.” Although Coca Cola India declined to respond. Queries sent to PET Container Manufacturers Association remained unanswered.
The AIIH&PH had picked up four bottles (600 ml size) each of the cold drink brands as samples through the “stratified random sampling method”. The institute then handed over the samples to the Kolkata-based National Test House (NTH), which falls under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, to perform the tests.
The leaching of these heavy metals — from the PET bottles in which the drinks were packaged — increased with the rise in room temperature. For example, at normal room temperature, the tests found 0.004 mg/L and 0.007 mg/L of lead in 7Up and Sprite, respectively. However, when it was kept at 40 degree Celsius for 10 days, the lead increased to 0.006 mg/L and 0.009 mg/L, respectively.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers lead and cadmium two of the top ten chemicals used in these cold drinks a major health concern. According to the WHO, children are particularly defenceless to harmful effects of lead. Full Story From India Times