Notwithstanding the fact that soft drinks can have disastrous effects on health, they remained to be the beverage of choice for millions of people across the world.The recent study by the Indian government that detected harmful toxins in PET bottles of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola worsened health implications of soft drinks. The results of the test conducted by the Health Ministry’s Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) showed traces of heavy metals such as antimony, lead, chromium and cadmium and DEHP, or Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, in five samples of soft drinks.These metals, particularly, lead and cadmium, are two of the top ten chemicals of “major public health concern”, as per the World Health Organisation
Lead has been widely considered as the single most significant environmental health threat to children. Lead exposure is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and lower IQ. And at high levels, it attacks the brains and central nervous system, causing coma, convulsions and even death. The WHO said that children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioural disorders.
According to the California Office of Environmental Health and Human Hazard Administration (OEHHA), both cadmium and lead can result in birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Cadmium can cause kidney, liver, and bone damage in humans, with children being more susceptible to the effects of exposure to even low doses of cadmium over time.
The health effects of cadmium also include developmental problems, such as decreased birth weight, harm to neurobehavioral development, and male reproductive toxicity.
As per WHO, cadmium exerts toxic effects on the kidney, the skeletal and the respiratory system, and is classified as a human carcinogen.
Therefore, it is important to avoid intake of even small amounts of these metals that will worsen the already existing body burdens.