Is There Flame Retardant in Your Soda?

Health groups are concerned about brominated vegetable oil in soda

In a recent NPD Group survey of some 3,000 households, numbers indicate that nine out of 10 kitchens keep eggs on hand, and six out of 10 always have Cheddar cheese and yogurt.

But we may also have flame retardant in our kitchens, in the form of soda. Treehugger brings to light the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in Coca-Cola products, Fanta, and Mountain Dew. Apparently, BVO is also a flame retardant, and it has been banned from food in Europe and Japan.

The Coca-Cola company says BVO is used to "prevent the citrus flavoring oils from floating to the surface in beverages," and the FDA has set safety limits in the amount of bromine in food.

Environment Health News claims that the safety limits are outdated, however, especially since nowadays kids drink soda to pull all-nighters quite often. An overdose of BVO can lead to skin disorders, headaches, and fatigue. Of course, that's just the extreme.

"Any normal level of consumption of BVO would not cause any health problems — except the risk of diabetes and obesity from drinking that much sugar water," a medical director told EHN. Still, another reason to be wary of soda.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.