Thursday, October 26, 2006

SODA SCIENCE: Benzoate + Ascorbic Acid = Panic

In Apparently Alarming News About Innocuous Things That Turn Out to Be Almost Entirely Harmless, a report on WPXI in my homeland of Pittsburgh (go Stillers!) screeches that SODA WILL GIVE YOU CANCER. Well, that's what it leads with, but here's the real Soda Science: a few sodas that contain the preservatives sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate AND ascorbic acid (you know it as Vitamin C), CAN, in the presence of copper and iron (common elements in water), form benzene, a badass chemical also found in gasoline and cigarette smoke.

First of all,
this news will only serve to encourage nihilistic teens to seek out and guzzle the killer sodas so as to get the combined effects of huffing and smoking, all with a delightfully fruity taste. Second of all, I checked out the actual FDA report, which reveals that only four (4) out of 100 (one hundred) beverages tested had levels of benzene higher than the legal level for drinking water, and all the offending companies are reformulating those sodas. Thirdwise, look at that picture. I refuse to believe that any molecule shaped like a Nerf throwing star can hurt me.


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