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#4: Flame Retardant Drinks


If you live in the US and drink Mountain Dew and some other citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks, then you are also getting a dose of a synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.

BVO has been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and animal studies have found it causes reproductive and behavioral problems in large doses. Bromine is a central nervous system depressant, and a common endocrine disruptor. It’s part of the halide family, a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine and iodine. When ingested, bromine competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine. This can lead to iodine deficiency, which can have a very detrimental impact on your health. Bromine toxicity can manifest as skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, and cardiac arrhythmias.

Where it’s banned: Europe and Japan

According to the featured article:

“The FDA has flip-flopped on BVO’s safety originally classifying it as ‘generally recognized as safe’ but reversing that call now defining it as an ‘interim food additive’ a category reserved for possibly questionable substances used in food.”


Answer Question

Asked by fiatpax at 2:14 PM on Sep. 22, 2013 in Health

Level 46 (221,572 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Wow!

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 2:17 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • I signed a petition a few years ago trying to get sports drink companies to remove the flame retardants from their products--I guess it didn't work yet. I've never touched Gator Ade or Power Ade since then.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:44 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • I used to love Mountain Dew until I learned this. I didn't know it was in Gatorade, which is one of the few things that can break/weaken my and my kid's migraines. *huff* This is really NOT good.

    Answer by May-20 at 4:57 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • I'm NOT giving up my Mt. Dew too. I only drink 1-2 per week, so I don't think it's gonna kill me.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:01 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

  • i thought Gatorade got rid of its BVO this past year?

    Answer by okmanders at 8:34 PM on Sep. 22, 2013

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