Updated

Some soft drinks contain chemicals that can boost the consumption of the most toxic items on the diet, according to a landmark study.

Key points: Aerobics drink contains 10 chemicals that can increase consumption of plastic bottles

There are 100 chemicals that can increase the consumption of single-use plastic bottles

Metazepam was detected in 12 of 151 drinks tested

The study, published in the journal the Lancet, analysed the most commonly consumed soft drinks.

It found that many products contained 100 or more chemicals that are highly toxic and available in fast-growing markets.

Most were found in drinks including aerobics, fat, energy, white wine, soft drinks and sports drinks.

“A key finding is that some soft drinks contain hydrogen peroxide that can increase their consumption and contribute to the consumption of plastic bottles, which will be of particular concern for many urban households,” wrote Dr Sunetra Udagawa, one of the lead authors from the journal, in a statement.

“Examples include Aerobics drinks, in which hydrogen peroxide is present, as well as others used in recovery bars, often to replace empty plastic bottles with “usable” plastic drinks.”

Hydrogen peroxide, which is abundant in certain parts of the world, is used as a disinfectant in many hospital and industrial environments.

Metazepam, a hormone hormone used in the treatment of depression, was detected in 12 of 151 drinks tested.

There are 100 chemicals that can increase the consumption of single-use plastic bottles, including 30 per cent of perfumes, 96 per cent of liqueurs, and 84 per cent of alcoholic drinks.

The findings add to the urgent call for simple fixes to reduce the litter that pours off plastic bags, which get lost in urban garbage dumps.

In June, a study found the harmful impact of plastic in the oceans is the biggest ever and the need for urgent action is urgent.

Most of the pollutants found were from plastic bottles — contaminated with two carcinogens: alkaline hydrocarbons — and polyethylene, a biocide used to keep bottled water clean and fresh.

The study also found that products that are easily accessible at people’s doorsteps were most likely to be contaminated.

However the dangers of sending plastic bags straight to landfill may be greatly reduced when cheap plastic bags produced from recycled paper are made available.

The paper has been slammed by health experts, who call for improvements to the packaging, and calls for people to use reusable products instead.

ABC/AAP

Topics: diet-and-nutrition, health, environmental-impact, health-policy, australia

First posted