Chemicals In Coke and Fake Leather Sofas

Two interesting toxic chemical stories in my inbox this morning to share with you:


A chemical in the colouring that gives Coca-Cola its colour has been at the centre of a health alert in US.  Coca-Cola in US has recently switched to a new manufacturing process to bring down the level of the suspect chemical, 4-methylimidazole (4-MI.)

But this precaution has not yet been taken in other countries such as UK.  The amount of 4-MI found in regular Coca-Cola cans in UK was 135mcg – some 34 times higher than the 4mcg level in US, found research by the US group ‘Center for Science In the Public Interest’ in partnership with Britain’s Children’s Food Campaign.

Californian health authorities are so concerned that they have passed a law that requires any drink can containing a 4-MI reading of 30mcg or more to carry a health warning.  If this was applied to UK all Coke cans would have to carry a warning.

Published in ‘International Journal of Occupational & Environmental Health’ on 26.6.12. Source: Daily Mail 26.6.12


Pregnant mothers exposed to chemicals in artificial leather & vinyl floors are 52% more likely to have children who suffer from eczema.  Exposure to butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP) before birth significantly raised the chance of a child developing eczema by age 2.

All the pregnant mothers tested were found to have been exposed to the chemical but those with the highest levels were 52% more likely to have a child with eczema.   BBzP is used to make PVC soft & more flexible.  Previous studies have linked the chemicals to behavioural problems and their use in cosmetics have been linked to breast cancer.  Lead research was Dr Allan Just of Columbia Uni.

Published in “Environmental Health Perspectives.” Source: Daily Telegraph 26.6.12

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