High levels of benzene, a compound known to cause cancer, were found in 230 soft drinks in Britain and France. The amounts of benzene were eight times the allowed amount in drinking water. The tests performed showed that the levels of benzene were eight parts per billion comparing to the allowed one part per billion.

High levels of benzene were found 15 years ago in Perrier water and around 160 million bottles worldwide were withdrawn from the market. This chemical compound has been linked to development of leukemia and other blood cancers.

The biggest concern with these products is that they are marketed at children and food safety campaigners are demanding lists of products that contain benzene. It hasn’t been revealed if any levels of benzene were safe.

One of the Government watchdog groups reported that further investigation need to be done with the drinks industry to check what is happening and that the products do not represent an immediate health risks. If new investigations show that the levels were high, proper measure will be taken.

It is thought that combination of sodium benzoate, a preservative, and ascorbic acid, a vitamin c was producing high levels of benzene. This combination was used earlier and drink industry started putting vitamin C into drinks again to influence the parents to buy the drinks. They themselves probably didn’t know that they could be causing negative results.