Lead and other heavy metals found in soft drinks

22 Nov 2016 | By Supriya

The Minister of State for health, Faggan Singh Kulaste, informed the Rajya Sabha today, that lead and heavy metals such as Cadmium and Chromium have been found in several branded soft drinks.

These findings are from a study that was commissioned by the Central government last year.

Metals were found in five different soft-drinks manufactured by two market leaders in the beverage category.

In context: Study finds heavy metals in cold drinks

BackgroundSoft drinks and contamination

In 2003, a study by Centre for Science and Environment, found significant quantum of pesticides in soft drinks in India.

The pesticides and insecticides in soft-drinks of the biggest brands were high enough to cause cancer, damage to nervous/reproductive systems, birth defects and more.

Despite a government crackdown, a study in 2006 still found alarming levels of pesticides in soft-drinks.

Pesticide standards in beverages

In 2009, the health ministry eventually notified standards for pesticides in carbonated water. However these standards are pointless as no methodology is available to test for pesticides.
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Studies show toxins leach from PET bottles

DetailsStudies show toxins leach from PET bottles

In April 2015, a study was commissioned to study toxins that leached from PET bottles into soft drinks, pharmaceutical preparations, alcohol, juices and more.

It was found that heavy metals leaching from PET bottles into the beverage or other packaged liquid, would increase with a corresponding rise in room temperature.

Unlike other countries, India has no notified standards with respect to safe plastic packaging.

22 Nov 2016Lead and other heavy metals found in soft drinks

AboutStudy of aerated drinks

The government commissioned study by the Drug Technical Advisory Board sampled multiple products manufactured by reputed brands.

Products sampled included Mountain Dew, Sprite, 7UP, Pepsi and Coca Cola: these brands were selected by a stratified sampling method.

The soft-drinks were tested by National Test House and according to the findings, five different types of toxins were found in the sampled drinks.

HowLead and heavy metals grievous to health

WHO considers lead, cadmium and other heavy metals as a major health concern.

At high levels of exposure, lead impacts the central nervous system and can cause coma, convulsions and even death.

Children who survive lead poisoning can be left with mental retardation.

Metals like Cadmium affect the kidney, respiratory system and is a human carcinogen.

Chromium adversely affects the body as well.