A government study has found traces of heavy metals, including lead, chromium and cadmium, in samples of PET bottles which are widely used for packaging aerated drinks as well as pharmaceutical products.
“Samples of five different cold drinks -Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7UP, Pepsi and Coca Cola – were selected by the stratified sampling method and the samples were submitted to National Test House (in Kolkata) for testing,” Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply.
” …the samples were submitted to National Test House (in Kolkata) for testing,” Kulaste said in a written reply.
Giving details of the study conducted by Kolkata-based All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (AIIH&PH), Kulaste said the AIIH&PH had entered into a pact with the National Test House for further testing and estimation.
According to reports, in April last year, the Health Ministry is learnt to have directed the AIIH&PH to conduct a study on leaching of toxins from PET bottles, used for packaging pharmaceutical preparations, cold drinks, alcohol, juices and other beverages.
Tests conducted by the government has shown the leaching of heavy metals from the PET bottles in which the drinks were packaged increased with the rise in room temperature.
”These reports are completely unsubstantiated. Having said that, we would like to emphatically reiterate that our products comply with the permissible limits for heavy metals as laid down by the food safety and standards regulations in India,” a spokesperson for PepsiCo India said.
WHO considers lead and cadmium among the top ten chemicals of “major public health concern”. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead.