If someone has an average of 1 litre of Coke or Pepsi a day, would this form too much benzene oxide in the person's body or stomach and eventually effect part of their genetics?


Benzene oxide isn't present in Coke or Pepsi. Some drinks contain sodium benzoate though. If that is what you're concerned about, there's not really any cause. Sodium benzoate is not remotely harmful in the concentrations that humans ingest. Here is the FDA's statement on benzoates and benzoic acid.

There were claims that a mixture of ascorbic acid and benzoates would react to form benzene. That has been shown to not be an issue. There were ~100 drinks containing benzoates tested by the FDA, and only 5 showed benzene levels higher than allowed in drinking water. These were reformulated and now show less than 5ppb benzene. I would suspect that their benzene came from another source rather than this unlikely reaction, but I don't have any evidence for that.

Finally, neither Coke nor Pepsi even contain benzoate, benzoic acid, or any other compound that is chemically close to benzene.

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  • $\begingroup$ ssavec indicated benzene can form when one drinks Coke or Pepsi and one has some ascorbic acid already injested and then benzene oxide can form when the body tries to get rid of the benzene. Benzene oxide can accumulate and alter gene expression. $\endgroup$ – user128932 Nov 5 '14 at 8:31
  • $\begingroup$ So if one drinks orange juice in the morning and the Coke or Pepsi during the day (many drink a lot of pop drinks during the day) then benzene may form , the body the forms benzene oxide to get rid of the benzene. The benzene oxide is harmful.. $\endgroup$ – user128932 Nov 14 '14 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ @user128932 Who or what is ssavec and what evidence does he, she, or it have that benzene is formed from Coke or Pepsi in the body? Why make the same comment twice? Your claim seems to indicate that if we tested regular cola drinkers we should find significantly higher quantities of benzene oxide in their systems. Can you cite a study that shows that? $\endgroup$ – Jason Patterson Nov 14 '14 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ ssavec is a user of this very stack exchange. The idea was that benzene may be formed when ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate is injested by a person. If you tested many cola drinkers who drink a lot of cola in one day benzene MAY form in their body and benzene oxide would be used by the person's body to get rid of the benzene. I didn't know this , I'm just reporting what @ssavec indicated. $\endgroup$ – user128932 Nov 16 '14 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ you asked who or what is ssavec and I replied and then no comment. The user with the designation ssavec should be concerned. $\endgroup$ – user128932 Nov 25 '14 at 17:39

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