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Benzene in Drinks

On February 24 and February 27, 2006, EWG ( Environment Working Group) purchased the following drinks at four major retail outlets in Washington, DC.

They all contained ascorbic acid and either sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate—the ingredients that the FDA and the beverage industry have said can mix together to form benzene, a known human carcinogen.

The actual levels of benzene formed in these products may be at trace levels and within legal limits for drinking water. EWG has no information indicating that benzene is actually present in any of these products at any level, however, we recommend that consumers avoid any amount of benzene in drinks intended for children (listed alphabetically):

Country Time Lemonade
Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange
Diet Pepsi Twist
Diet Pepsi Vanilla
Diet RockStar Energy Drink
Fanta Orange
Fanta Pineapple
Fruit20 Plus 10 Natural Apple
Giant Fruity Punch Cooler
Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red
Hawaiian Punch Lemonade
Hi-C Blast, Orange Supernova
Kool-Aid Jammers Blue-Raspberry
Kool-Aid Jammers Cherry
Kool-Aid Jammers Grape
Kool-Aid Jammers Orange
Lo-Carb Monster Energy
Monster Energy
Pepsi Twist Lemon
RockStar Energy Drink
Sierra Mist
Sunny D
Sunny D Baja
Sunny D Intense Sport Cool Punch
Sunny D Orange-Fused Strawberry
Sunny D Smooth
Sunny D Smooth + Calcium
Tampico Citrus Punch
Tampico Grape Punch
Tampico Tropical Punch
Tropicana Twister Diet Soda (Diet Orange)
Tropicana Twister Soda Grape
Tropicana Twister Soda Orange
Tropicana Twister Soda Strawberry

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